Writing a speech or a presentation, especially a motivational one, may be a hard task for many people. It does require, after all, extensive knowledge on the subject that will be discussed. It also calls for eloquence, something that many people find hard to put into words, much less say in front of a hundred-strong audience.
But being an event’s keynote speaker need not be an earth-shattering, horrifying experience. This handy list of guidelines on preparing a speech or presentation aims to aid the uninitiated in the art of perfecting this particular performance. Know – and engage – your audience. In order to write a meaningful and truly motivational speech, any effective speaker must be able to connect to the audience. These are the listeners – your listeners – and your presence on the stage is supposed to make them feel better about their future tasks. In order to get their attention, know what they are about. Are they fond of visuals? Include a slide presentation in your speech. Will they appreciate videos? Cut your speech at an opportune time to sneak in a short and relevant video. Keep your audience absorbed in your speech.
Make it tweet-able
Especially if you are asked to be the keynote speaker in your high school alma mater, this is an important consideration to make. With the proliferation of social networking websites, the emphasis on concise but meaningful quotes is more visible than before. Make the speech memorable by inserting witty one-liners or deep, philosophical anecdotes that carry the discussion’s theme. The audience may not be able to remember the whole speech, but at least they will have retained a few words, the important bite-sized pieces, that equal the weight of the overall discussion.
Keep it simple :
Contrary to popular opinion, you do not need to use highfalutin words to enthrall an audience. It does not make you sound intelligent; it only makes you sound unintelligible. A good keynote speaker knows that a good speech is one that is written simply and understandably. There is no point in writing an excellent script when more than half of the audience cannot grasp the main idea. To ensure that your speech is easy to digest, read the sentences out loud. If they do not make sense to you, the best thing to do is to rewrite them.
Use examples :
Cite the accomplishments and experiences of the people who inspired you. Success is not achieved by solo flight. Rather, it is a journey that involves a whole village. Share your aspirations and dreams to the audience, and who helped you achieve them. Discuss why they served as your role models. What traits attracted you to them? What were the positive things in their lives that inspired you? Sharing a piece of you – being vulnerable – in front of an auditorium filled with young minds can help build a deeper connection between the keynote speaker and the audience.
Sprinkle good-natured humor :
Making other people laugh will help keep them at ease.It is best to engage your audience in this way because you will be building a friendship-like connection to them that makes them absorb and believe what you say. Humor breeds comfort, and cracking the right kind of jokes at an opportune time will break the ice.
Have someone else edit your speech :
If you are unsure about the efficacy of your writing, get another person to read and comment on it. This brings a fresh perspective to your work. They will be able to see the errors that you may have missed in the course of your writing. You will also be able to know which areas you should improve on, which can help you craft your next keynote speech.