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Four Steps To A Memorable Speech

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If you know your audience, your content, have it simply organized and a touch of your personal flair, you’re well on your way to creating a memorable speech that’s a pleasure to give and hear!

Know Who You’re Talking To

Try to learn as much about your audience as possible. Ask yourself what would be meaningful to them.

Know What You Want To Say

Knowing the message you want to convey to your audience will help you speak with conviction and keep your content from wandering. Ari Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary suggests that speakers, “Literally write the headline you want a newspaper to carry as if your speech were going to make front-page news. If you can't, your message is too complicated, too boring or too vague to impress anyone.”

To help you decide what must go in your speech and what material is optional, Professional speechwriter Lawrence Bernstein offers a simple strategy, “Make two lists: ‘Must Say’ and ‘Could Say’. In the ‘Must Say’ scribble down the people you need to thank, the toast you need to make and the basic points you need to cover. In the ‘Could Say’ list the things that might bring the speech to life.” Then select the most meaningful items in your could say column.

Organize Your Speech

Try to make sure your speech is clear to your audience; seek feedback from other people and try to keep it simple. Allen Hershkowitz, Ph.D., and Senior Scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council often speaks in front of large groups and warns speakers not to overwhelm their audience with data, “I speak at nursery schools; benefactors ask me to speak for Earth Day. It is invariably the most challenging presentation I ever give, but I force myself to do that because it really forces me to get down and think [about] the basic message and how can I communicate it as simply as possible.” Also, don’t try to cram your entire presentation on Powerpoint slides, use them as a guide, not a verbatim script.

Be Yourself

Try to give your speeches an element of personal feelings and humanity. Give your audiences something or someone they can identify with emotionally. Ken Starr, Dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law and former White House independent counsel says, “Have a unifying theme tethered to a powerful, inspirational story that will be sufficiently moving to be remembered long after the lights are dimmed and the microphone turned off. And close with notes of profuse thanks to the audience for being gracious and patient enough to listen.”


Sources

http://www.greatspeechwriting.co.uk/speechwriting/writing-a-speech-at-very-short-notice/

http://www.forbes.com/2007/07/31/microsoft-sun-microsystems-ent-sales-ex_fs_0801byb07_publicspeaking_slide_3.html

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