You rehearse your speech the recommended amount of time, 30 minutes of practice for every 1 minute of speech time. You practice for your parents, your baby brother, even your dog. You record yourself and post the speech to your Instagram to see how many of your friends “like” it. You are ready! Afterwards, you ask your friends what they liked best about your presentation, and they can’t remember a single point. What went wrong?
Even the most spectacular of speeches are only half-remembered by spectators immediately after finishing, and most can’t recall a single point by the next day. So, how can students deliver an unforgettable speech? A speech that sticks in their audience’s mind and stimulates discussion for weeks to come?
Quills and Quotes, Oakville and Mississauga’s leading public speaking class, offers a few pointers in preparing a memorable speech:
1) Use the KISS method, Keep It Short and Simple
Most people can only retain three major points from any speech. Focus on those three points and reinforce their importance by previewing them in the introduction, expanding on them in the body and summarizing them in the speech conclusion. Consider that Abraham’s Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was only 2 minutes long but is still recited over 150 years later.
2) Use stories to make your topic relatable
Mnemonics help people remember strings of information. By tying a concept to something easy to remember, the concept is effortlessly brought forth from memory. In the same way, anecdotes help an audience remember your main points. Anecdotes are often relatable, interesting and simple to recall, especially if they have an emotional impact on the listener. Consider that the most interesting person one meets at a party is often the most dramatic storyteller.So, make your speech memorable by incorporating stories that highlight the key aspects of your speech. You will know you were successful if you hear others re-telling your tales!
3) Consider using slides
There are all sorts of learners in your audience, auditory, kinetic and visual. Most people learn with a combination of auditory and visual information delivery. So, while the audience listens to your speech, have pictures project behind you to drive home your message. Make sure to use the KISS method with your slide presentation, limit the number of slides, restrict pictures to one per slide and keep text at a minimum. Pictures should complement your presentation; they should not detract from your speech.
4) Use Humour — but use it wisely
Everyone loves to laugh, and a good laugh is often memorable. However, not everyone is an expert at delivering a funny speech. If humour is your strength, then play to it, and incorporate some fun into your presentation. When an audience laughs, they relax, and a relaxed audience is one that is open to new information. Plus, the humourous parts are like a good story; they are interesting and easy to re-call which helps the information stick.
So, the next time you have a presentation to deliver, remember these tips from Quills and Quotes, not only will you have an audience hooked on your every word, but a week later they will still be talking about your dynamite presentation!