If you have been asked to give a speech to your business colleagues, you may be filled with pride or terror—or both at the same time. Few things rival the feeling of standing up in front of your peers and giving a presentation, and many people refuse to do so out of fear or their belief that they will embarrass themselves.
While giving a speech is certainly an art form that becomes easier and less nerve wracking with practice, you can employ some simple tips now to make your speech interesting and on-topic. Giving a speech does not have to be difficult; if you plan well and use time-honored strategies to engage your audience, you’ll be wowing your crowds in no time.
Will Anyone Want To Listen To Me?
Business speeches are necessary. You would not be asked to speak on a subject if there were not a need for your skills. Therefore, even though your colleagues may not be overjoyed to be there, they still expect to hear solid, helpful material. Once you convince them that they will, most people will pay close attention to learn something that they did not know from your speech.
What Are the Components of a Great Speech?
You will want to organize your speech into sections: an opening, a middle, and a strong close. Each of these sections should be clearly identifiable by their characteristics. The most important parts of your speech are actually the opening and the close, when attention is at its greatest. Here are four tips for boosting the impact of the opening and close of your speech.
1) Open with an attention-getter.
The use of a tasteful joke, a bold statement, or a call to action gets your audience’s attention and lets them know that you mean business. A strong opening can also give you confidence; when you see that your audience is interested, you gain momentum and become even more involved in your speech.
2) Introduce yourself.
Think about times when you have listened to someone else speak. Most likely, you paid attention because you knew the person understood his or her subject matter or was an expert in the field. While you do not want to brag, it is important for your audience to respect you and believe you are knowledgeable about your subject. Open with a brief statement about why this topic matters to you and about the work you have done on the subject in the past.
3) Continue the conversation.
While it may take a little of your time, offering your audience a chance to ask questions or to meet you after the presentation makes them feel connected. Instead of a monologue, aim for a dialogue in which other people’s voices are heard at the end of your speech. This will cause your audience to form a bond with you, and may even teach you something about your own topic. Further, this is a great opportunity to clarify anything that was unclear from your speech.
4) End with a power close.
Nothing closes a speech better than a short summary followed by “thank you.” After all, the audience has given you their time and attention, so it is only polite to thank them for that. Further, a strong finish lets your audience know the presentation is concluded and gives a feeling of closure to the event.
5) Adjust your surroundings.
Have you ever noticed your mood changing when you’re either hot or cold, hungry or tired? Our moods have a tendency to swing quite a bit, even when we’re not even aware of the reasoning behind them. This is why you should do your best to control your surroundings, to help keep your audience as comfortable as possible
This includes little details like lighting, stage props and the temperature of the room you’ll be presenting in. Finding a universal temperature that’s comfortable is a great first step in the process. Aiming for a room temperature of between 70 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for optimal comfort.
Also, make sure to have the building set the AC temperature at least an hour before your speech, so the room has time to adjust. Asking questions a few days before your speech is even better, since they may need to have an AC repair company out if anything isn’t working correctly.
By following these simple rules and setting up your environment for success, you can make your speech interesting, entertaining and informative and give your work colleagues something valuable in exchange for their time and attention – good luck!
About the Author: Jen McCarthy is a freelance speech and business researcher – overall, she really enjoys the art and craft of speech and research. Prior to her latest business speaking event, she secured emergency AC Repair Houston services to ensure the comfort for her guests, and felt that it made a significant difference in her presentation.