Three tips to make your speech more interesting
Don’t end the story with the story! Three tips to make your speech more interesting
Newbie public speakers may often feel nervous delivering a presentation. Whether it’s a presentation to a board, a conference, or even a TED talk, you want to make a great impression and engage your audience.
The best thing you can be is interesting and useful to your audience and not make them work for it. They won’t remember everything you say, but you do want them to retain what’s most important (your One BIG Message). This means clearly identifying takeaways, and concluding with a checklist to help them take action on your approach.
Here are three tips to make your speech more interesting:
- Use material that you find interesting
It is important that you find the material you use interesting AND is relatable. You need to be able to talk passionately about it and it needs to be something your audience may find interesting. Finding the marriage between “interesting” and “relatable” is key.
Avoid cliches and overly used material that clearly has someone else’s stamp on. Stick to a topic that you feel confident about and that you are passionate about.
- Try to dramatize in your own words
Write down some interesting anecdotes about your topic. Which parts can be made into a story? What characters can you bring into it to bring it to life?
As you write these down, try to dramatize them in your own words using descriptive language to help your audience visualize your story.
Craft sentences within your speech that are not only memorable but help point to your topic. People are more likely to remember punchy, powerful sentences with adequate pauses. This allows listeners to receive and reflect upon what was said.
When you make a point, find different ways of saying it. This will form part of your ‘One BIG Message’ so by sharing it at key stages throughout your presentation you will allow your audience to easily remember it.
- Speak from your own experience
If you can, let yourself be one of the characters in the story, using “I” as the pronoun.
It becomes even more powerful if you “transport” your audience into that scene, by using a “you-focused” language.
“I was greeted by a lady…” is more powerful than
“There was this lady in the lobby…”
but it’s even more powerful if you say
“Imagine, you are standing beside me when I was greeted by a very animated lady in the lobby.”
Speak from your own experience AND transport your audience into that scene.
Tell your story of failure
It’s more favorable to talk about your own personal failures. That way, you can draw upon humor and make light of times when you’ve fallen short and learned from mistakes. Your audience will warm to you quicker and relate to your experiences.
Remember that it’s easy to turn a seemingly boring topic into something interesting by using storytelling.
You might find my 6 Cs of Effective Storytelling useful to help you craft your chosen topic into an interesting and engaging story that your audience will remember long after the event.