4 Ways to Improve ANY Speech
Just 4 ways to improve a speech? Hmmm .. actually more like 4,000+!!
I know, title was somewhat misleading.
But what I've done for you is reflect on which 4 of the 4,000+ ways will help you make your next speech most impactful and memorable - perhaps even referable! And they aren't difficult.
And these 4 ways, i.e. strategies, apply to any type of speech in any format, whether it's a:
short presentation to your company
workshop of any length
1/2 day or full day training program
high-stakes professional keynote
5-7 minute Toastmasters speech
These 4 strategies can be applied whether you are presenting virtually, in-person or to a hybrid audience. They also apply to any type of speaker and at any level--- whether you are more of a technical speaker, a thought leader, a coach who speaks, a trainer, facilitator or like me, a "motivational speaker."
And whether you are (a) brand new to speaking or (b) have some experience already or (c) are a seasoned pro, knowing and applying these strategies will drastically improve any speech in front of any type of audience. Now that we've got those caveats out of the way (finally!), let's jump in: 1. Know What Problem You're Solving Great speakers are great problem solvers. They have designed a speech that helps an audience solve a specific problem, or a series of problems. The speech is the product and they are the messenger.
I didn't realize this until several years into speaking - which is one reason why I was struggling at first. Most speakers talk "about" their topic rather than addressing the "problem" of the topic and how the audience can solve it.
WIIFT = What's In It For THEM!
When you know the problem, you know the pain point of the audience.
Address the problem at the beginning of your speech because the remaining portion of your speech needs to be the solution.
I've never been hired to speak; rather, I've been hired to help that organization solve a problem.
Again, my speaking struggled for years until I finally realized this.
So as you outline your next speech, ask yourself two questions: (1) What problem(s) am I helping my audience solve? (limit it to 3 if not just focus on 1!) (2) How does my speech specifically help them solve it? Knowing what problem you solve is one element of Module 1 inside my book, PAID to $PEAK. Review Module 1 to learn more about integrating the problem into your speech. 2. Integrate a Call to Action
Now that you know the problem you're helping an audience solve, what do you want them to do differently? What specific action(s) do you want to empower them to apply?
ACT = Action Changes Things!
From my experience, great speakers empower people to take action! Yet even watching seasoned professional speakers, most speakers do not incorporate a clear call to action.
Caution: your call to action is NOT them going to your website, buying your book or liking your Facebook page. That's a byproduct of you delivering a great speech.
I wrote an entire segment in my book that will help you identify what your call to action is. It's in Module 1 of PAID to $PEAK. 3 Storyboard An Outline of your Speech The best movies, songs and cartoons all have a storyboard outline. Same with speeches of any length and to any audience.
A storyboard is similar to a teacher's lesson plan for a class. That teacher knows each segment of their lesson plan for the class, it's objectives, application for the students and even timestamps for each portion.
Most speakers have a script of their speech or a scribbled outline, at best. This isn't enough. If you've never storyboarded your speech outline, this might be why you are struggling with your speech - or your speaking/training business is struggling.
I crafted my own Speaker Storyboard and integrated elements from Toastmasters, the National Speakers Association and my experience writing curriculum for numerous leadership organizations which was my background before professional speaking. I include a copy of my Speaker Storyboard inside Module 2 of PAID to $PEAK. When you get a copy of the book, you not only receive a completed Storyboard sample, but also a blank template to make it your own.
The best speeches are crafted, not outlined or scripted.
And moreover, they are crafted and curated to have what I call a "heartbeat."
If you're speaking to 10 different people, you're also talking to 10 different personality styles. If you're speaking to an audience of 100 people, 100 different personality styles. 1,000 people = 1,000 personality styles. You get the point, hopefully.
So how are you appealing to these different personality styles? How are you crafting your speech like a heartbeat to appeal to everyone? Most speakers don't which is why they lose 50% of their audience from the start.
And more importantly, where are you NOT talking in your speech? When is the audience writing something down, engaged with an activity, watching a short video clip, etc.? When are they moving? Laughing?
When you use my Speaker Storyboard to craft your speech like a heartbeat, your audience will have one too. Trust me. 4. Get The Right Type of Feedback When's the last time you practiced your speech and got helpful feedback?
The best speeches are not written, they are re-written. Over and over again, a great speech is practiced, refined and polished.
I've presented for over 1,150 audiences in all 50 states and several countries yet I still practice new segments of a speech and ask for feedback. Each year I hire a speech coach to watch my entire keynote presentation and provide feedback to me.
This is why I am involved with Speaking Professionally Toastmasters. I encourage you to check our club out - here's our website. We meet monthly and virtually. Our mission is to provide a safe place for speakers to practice a speech segment and receive invaluable feedback on how to improve their speech. We also provide a few thousand dollars in speaker resources!!
I'm also on the Board for the National Speakers Association - Carolinas Chapter. We started a Speaker Lab where our members can practice a speech segment and get feedback from other speakers. It's invaluable.
I'm also in two different Speaker Mastermind Groups - click here!
So if you aren't practicing your speech and receiving feedback, with all due respect, you aren't getting any better. You might think you are, but what you're really doing is further developing blind spots.
And it's these blind spots that will hurt you more in the long run.
You need feedback from others. And those "other people" need to be the right type of people as well.
You know the best way to develop a speech? You practice segments of it and get feedback.
*** I sincerely hope these 4 tips can help you improve your next speech!
I'm here to help ... if you'd like my 1:1 assistance with your speech development or your speaking business, I'm an email away --- Kevin@KevinCSnyder.com
I'm also happy to set up a 1:1 Strategy Session with you if you already recognize you need some coaching or mentorship help. I encourage you to explore one of my speaker coaching or mentorship programs.
Click here to view my calendar and set up a time to speak with me.
Onward and Upward ... I wish you speaking success!
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In addition to my own speaking business, I have a passion for helping and coaching speakers develop their own. Whether it's in crafting a speech, identifying target groups who can pay, and/or how to get the speaking gig itself, I can help. I've keynoted over 1,150 presentations in practically every industry you can imagine. My #1 book, PAID to SPEAK, outlines a proven model for speakers seeking to build a business in speaking. If you are serious about becoming a professional speaker, contact me for a free consultation to explore how I can help. I don't want you to flounder like I did and be frustrated.
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