Speech delivery tips: The first words out of your mouth should intrigue, captivate and engage your audience.
For maximum impact in speech delivery write out and memorise your opening and closing lines, word for word, practice your gestures and facial expressions, and practice where to pause. Captivating your audience with a great opening will engage your audience for a moment whilst a weak opening will lose your audience’s attention and dilute your message.
Ensure the middle portion of your speech is aligned with your clear audience take-away. The middle should support your ideas with stories and analogies. We only have one opportunity to capture our audience’s attention and “Ladies and gentlemen” does not intrigue, engage and captivate the audience. If you need to do the formal greeting and acknowledgements there are two ways to achieve this and not bore your audience:
- Open with a “wow” statement … pause … do the protocol greetings and acknowledgments and then pause again t ogive your audience the cue you are ready to begin.
- Do the protocol greetings … pause …. then begin with a powerful opening.
A great quote, question or statement which intrigues and alludes to the message you want to leave the audience with are great ways to begin. Be careful not to give away your entire message. In speech delivery a little anticipation (about what is to come) and surprise can be very effective.
Sometimes the audience may wander off mentally; a powerful close is a great way to ensure you leave them with something memorable. A powerful close can rescue your message if you have stumbled or gotten a little lost along the way. End with a call to action, next steps, and what the listener should do with your message.
The last words should leave them with your core message, and what they should do with that message.
Speech delivery tips to create a wow opening
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