The ingredients of a great speech involve more than simply the text on the page, but draw on diction, sentence structure, and emphases, all supported by charisma and non-verbal signals broadcast by well-honed and confidently wielded body language.
Working within the business world, the inevitability of public speaking can be a frightening prospect for anyone, even the highest-ranking members of the corporate environment. Whilst speeches can be subject to character and circumstances, several universal truths to the art of speech giving can help anyone, and ensure speeches are intelligible, informational, enjoyable, and memorable.
Owning the spotlight
An effective speech calls for an easy balance of confidence and naturalness from entrance to end. Rather than forcing bold and awkward outward shows of confidence that may not exist, cultivating a sense of inner confidence and belonging will lead to natural, unconscious, and ultimately more convincing expressions of assuring confidence in the spotlight.
The subtlest changes in body language often produce the greatest effects. A straight and open posture that avoids slouching aids delivery from the chest in a calm and controlled voice. Simple, but decisive movements across the stage and relaxed positions will prevent a sense of physical inertia becoming a feature of the delivery itself.
Trust from the audience underpins any successful public speech, so it is important to quickly build rapport with a speech’s opening minutes, dictating firstly expertise, then honesty. Expertise can be highlighted with testimonials, profiles, and data demonstrative of authority and skill, but not delivered so as to be an oral CV. A sense of honesty and trustworthiness can be further nurtured with an emotionally engaging introduction that lays out the speech’s key sentiments, points and takeaways, allowing the audience to see the plan with you, and enjoy the process of your speech unfurling.