What Makes A Good Speech

I attended a Charity Ball the other night. There were five speeches. Each one was quite different in their method use, most had similar messages (about the Charity) and they were all unique in their approach to ‘Listen to ME!’ – that is, how they used their body – their voice, gestures, notes etc.

If I used the audience applaud as the measurement stick, a young man who spoke clearly, used photographs with one - three words on a slide and used the life-line biographical method to tell his message, won hands down. With almost 500 in the audience, no-one talked while he delivered his speech. He had us emotionally captivated.

On the other hand, the ‘key-note’ speaker, a well-known politician, broke all the rules. We would have advised for this type of speech, the 3x3 method - tell them what you’re going to tell, tell them and tell them what you’ve told. However, he repeated himself five times. One line in particular “…now, you might not like politics or politicians …”. Not a great line – the brain now agrees!

When you have a large audience and there are other speeches, alcohol being consumed and people socialising at the event, you seriously need to do your homework. It’s not just the words you use, or the method to get and gain their attention, it’s also where you stand and how you even hold your notes. It’s an art form and people will speak about you and remember what you say – if it’s great or worse still, when it’s really bad.