Nail Giving a Good Speech: Follow These 7 Simple Steps

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Christoph Trappe gives a keynote in Florida.

Giving a good speech can be hard. The audience has high expectations to be entertained, enlightened, and after all, we are also competing with people checking social media and email on their phones.

But yet, there are ways to ensure you are giving a good speech. Here they are.

1. Be entertaining

At the end of the day, people want to be entertained. If a speaker is monotone, nobody wants to or even can listen to them. Paul Zak talked about creating immersive and fun content experiences in this podcast episode.

2. Know your content

It should go unsaid, but know what you are talking about and share it in a way that makes sense, is correct, and is believable. This can also be harder than it sounds. You have 120 minutes of content but only a 30-minute speaking slot. We have to simplify, summarize and share only the details that are actually needed and advance the story.

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3. Surprise them to give a good speech

Surprising the audience is another way to give a good speech. When I spoke at a conference in Berlin, the speaker ahead of me made the audience do the wave. I don’t remember the exact context, but it seemed to work and definitely surprised them and got their attention. There are many ways to surprise audiences in a good and engaging way. Brainstorm which ones would work specifically for your topic and audience.

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4. Use new technology in your presentation

Use the best technology, and that might go above a fancy animation in PowerPoint. Consider using a group VR experience, for example. Is there something visual and immersive that can be shown? That could really leave an impression.

Watching VR together - human reaction

5. Give them something to think about

Making people think can be a differentiator. What are the final thoughts that you sent them off with? It shouldn’t be: “Thanks for coming and listening.” That’s not an inspiring thought.

Think of the motivational speech coaches give in the locker room right before the team storms out. The message is inspirational, motivating, and sends the team off on the right foot. What message can you share to inspire your audience to run out and win the(ir) game?

YouTube Short: The ways to a good speech

6. Know your audience

All of these steps work, but your implementation might not work if you aren’t clear on who the audience is. So make sure you understand who is in the audience. The more you know about them, the easier it is to give a good speech that will resonate with them.

7. Practice and prepare

Steve Gavatorta shared on “The Business Storytelling Show” how he prepares and practices for a presentation.

He explained that he starts outlining content weeks in advance when possible, then flushes it out, goes back, thinks about how everything will flow and work together. Keeping the time limitations in mind is also helpful. A rushed presentation is usually not a good one, so getting the timing right matters. Then practice – not necessarily in front of the bedroom mirror – but determine what works for you and what will help you create that engaging presentation.

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