Inspirational speakers can be the spark that ignites the passion and devotion of employees. Poorly implemented speeches could leave your employees questioning your ability to lead. Due to the fruits that rousing speeches can inspire, business owners should ensure that their public speaking skills are up to par. Now is not the time to bumble and stutter through a speech. The best friend of inexperienced speakers is proper planning.
Set the Foundation
Don’t just dive into writing out an outline for a speech. At the foundation of every successful speech is a developed understanding of the vision they wish to convey. Vision, according to a 2003 study, “implies that the charismatic leader has a positive, general, and emotionally laden ideal related to strong values.” Vision in the case of a business speech will be heavily tied to the organizations cultural values and brand. Once you’ve identified what the company’s core values are, it will be easier for the narrative of the speech to take shape. (If you haven’t ironed out company values and brand, now might be the time to get that ball rolling.)
Related Article: How Speaking in Public Made Me a Better Entrepreneur
Planning the Speech
Don’t be afraid to sit down and write the speech you’ll use. It may seem a bit cold and stiff to write the entire speech word for word, but Richard Dowis, the author of The Lost Art of the Great Speech, “believe[s] strongly that every speech should begin with written text, even if the speaker prefers not to use it.”
Why write the speech? Stellar speeches are organized logically. Listeners should be able to go from one portion of the speech to another seamlessly without losing the core message. A written portion of the speech will increase the chances listeners will grasp the message on the first pass. If you don’t opt for a full-on written transcript, you might want to at least write an outline.
A speech is only inspirational if you manage to capture the audience’s attention. According to the public speaking experts at George Washington University’s political management program, you have mere minutes to draw the audience into the speech. Get right to the point. Don’t go off on unneeded tangents. Any outside anecdotes, statistics, or questions you might use to kick-start the speech should be tied to the vision and topic in some manner.
The Measure of a Charismatic Speech
A strong charismatic speech is a collection of right moves. In order to ensure you successfully give a rousing speech, you should attempt to adopt a few of these practices.
- Utilize active verbs and vivid nouns rather than passive verbs and generic nouns.
- Utilize anecdotes and human interest connections as metaphors and comparisons to leave a lasting impression on your audience, e.g., connecting work ethic to the first ever four minute mile.
- Don’t use industry jargon unless your employees are experienced and knowledgeable enough to understand it. Using their language “will help avoid objections and create chemistry.”
- Weave in elements that reassert the employees tie to you and the company. We’re all working toward a common goal. We did this.
- Reaffirm your belief in employees’ abilities. Celebrate individual and group achievements and call for employees to step up and take on more responsibilities.
Once you have the meat of the speech down, spend time running through the speech. Cut out portions if it runs too long. If you’re still a rookie to delivering an inspirational speech, you might want to pull a friend, manager, or family member into the room to give you feedback. Just make sure the person can give you constructive criticism rather than false platitudes. Honesty is the only way you’ll be able to hone your inspirational speech skills. If all else fails, you might want to sign up for a formal communications class.
Author: Samantha Stauf spends her free time writing about marketing, exploring twitter, and procrastinating writing the next great novel.