– Tre` Conway
Some speakers are so skilled in their delivery of their talks, that their speeches are magical and inspiring. What elements do these speakers bring forth that makes them so memorable?
Some iconic figures from JFK to Martin Luther King Jr. are most widely remembered. Most school children can recite the most famous lines from their speeches. If we look at a current figure, such as Simon Sinek’s TED Talk on Inspiring Action, we can see the same passion and magical elements, which is primarily why his is the second most viewed TED talk ever. Now that is quite an accomplishment.
After studying these great speakers of our time, we can dissect a few tips from their speaking style.
- Open with a question. One way to get your audience into the right frame of mind for your message , is to ask a series of questions. The purpose is to use the questions as a method for opening them up to your overall idea. It’s an indirect way to frame your talking points and building the engagement.
For Example he asks “ how do you explain when others are able to achieve things that seem to defy all of the assumptions? For example: Why is Apple so innovative? … Why is it that they seem to have something different?”
- Change in your message. This change is subtle and looks more like a bend or curve in the tone and pitch of your voice, as well as the message. Then followed by a pause to let the audience ponder on your point. This should be used as a pivotal point in your speech. The game changer.
In Sinek’s talk, this change comes forth in an inflection point, where, after his series of questions he simply states “There is something else at play here. “
- Building the story. The goal of your speech and presentation is to motivate and inspire your listeners to action, or a cause. Like any great story, you need to build the excitement or suspense. You don’t need to rush through to the climax point. You want to build up the engagement by keep your audience in suspense of how important your main point is. Physically you can achieve this by slowing your speech, making more direct eye contact, slowing your pace and movements on stage. Verbally, you can create a cadence in your content. A rhythm or contrast to your message.
For example, in JFK’s famous line, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Using the word ask repetitively, creates a cadence. One that is memorable in our history and highly influential to the listeners.
Finally, remind yourself why you are delivering this message. Allow yourself to get caught up in the passion of your topic. That passion will exude out to the audience, and ultimately, that is what will keep them engaged in your speech or presentation.