Executives can be called on to deliver engaging speeches in various situations, ranging from industry events to private gatherings. While you might have a lot of addresses to give as an executive, the quality shouldn’t suffer because of the quantity. Speeches should engage the audience and make them think and consider new possibilities.
But how does an executive consistently deliver rousing speeches time and again? How do they engage an audience that might have heard it all before? Fourteen professionals from Forbes Agency Council share valuable tips executives should consider when crafting speeches to make them stand out in the audience’s memory long after the address is over.
1. Provide Value, Be Charismatic
If you use Charlie Munger’s Theory of Inversion, ways by which one would forget your message would be if it provides no value, there is no enthusiasm in delivery or the thesis is convoluted. In order to have a memorable message, I’d argue, do the opposite. So, provide value, be charismatic and be concise. Your message will not be forgotten. There is no need to speak otherwise. – Phillip Hui-Bon-Hoa, Abacus Growth
2. Find One Central Message
To make your speech memorable, find one central message you want to get across. Use the three Cs to hone your message: concise, compelling and consistent. Next, use the three Ss to bring that message to life: stories to illustrate your message, statistics to emphasize your argument and soundbites to leave your audience with a power sentence they’ll never forget. – Nathan Miller, Miller Ink, Inc.
3. Tell Stories That Matter To Them
Tell stories that matter to them. Don’t just state facts, because as valuable as information is, it won’t impact anyone without context. Share the relevance of your words and give engaging examples. Explain what your message has meant for others and what it should mean to your audience. People won’t just listen; they’ll share what you have to say. – Fran Biderman-Gross, Advantages
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4. Strive To Be Relatable
Be relatable. If at an industry event, tell a story that you know every person there has faced. Talk about triumph. Internally, thank your team for their wins and successes. Relating back to others evokes emotion and likens the chance that they will never forget your speech. – Nick Brucker, Sparq Designs
5. Always Be Honest
Honesty is key. I believe that as an executive, you’re always trying hard to say the “right things” to the team. And in the process, you sometimes forget to speak “your truth.” How do you feel? Speak the truth, regardless of how it will be perceived. This will give rise to a culture that’s real and will help team members to connect with you and the rest with real, honest conversations. – Osama Khabab, MotionCue
6. Make It Interactive
Invite the audience to share their opinions and questions throughout the meeting. If your audience feels like they are being “talked to” rather than having a meaningful interaction, your message might get lost, and they may even tune you out. Actively engage your team so they remain focused. – Hannah Trivette, NUVEW Web Solutions
7. Focus On The Human Connection
No matter how important your position or the precise speech that must be delivered, you cannot leave out one element — a moment of human connection. Standing up on a stage won’t get the audience to pay attention. It doesn’t even matter if your message is critical. You need a human connection to make your speech matter, to make it memorable. – Dmitrii Kustov, Regex SEO
8. Bring The Right Energy
The most important thing to make a speech memorable, aside from a clear, concise message, is energy. The energy you exude while giving a speech transfers to the audience. If you bring high, passionate energy while delivering your speech, it shows your conviction behind your message. When delivering a speech, you want the audience to feel your energy; and they’ll leave saying, “Wow, what a speech.” – Tony Pec, Y Not You Media
9. Make It Personal
The personal factor is definitely a big element to create rapport with an audience and a brand. Today, we care more about personal stories than general business advice. We learn and remember a lesson or a particular event when we add a personal view and experience. So, even if we represent a business, we always need to show ourselves as a person with weaknesses and strengths. – Stefano Mongardi, TheWebMate
10. Use Humor
Humor is a crucial element. You don’t have to be a pro stand-up, but you do have to offer something to the people listening that isn’t dry. The truth is that many of the funniest moments speaking aren’t a prepared joke; they’re a human, even vulnerable moment the audience isn’t expecting. Stating something that’s happening “right now” and “in the moment” can enliven and elevate any talk. – Danny Star, Website Depot
11. Establish A Shared World View
I have found “Resonate” by Nancy Duarte to be an invaluable resource when preparing executive presentations. She counsels presenters to begin by establishing a shared view of the world with the audience. This allows you to establish an immediate connection so that you can then build a bridge to the “new idea” you want to introduce. – Jenni Smith, EGR International
12. Push The Envelope
Push the envelope. Challenge the status quo. Share opinions that nobody else has. Be brutally honest. Authenticity is the key to engagement. If you’re regurgitating the same info everyone else does, you’ll lose interest fast. If you’re 20% crazier than everyone else that speaks to your audience, they’ll pay attention — regardless of whether they agree or not. – Josh Sample, Drive Social Media Saint Louis
13. Use The Basics Of Storytelling
Giving a speech just describes the format and set-up. It is not an excuse to ignore the basics of storytelling — develop a conflict that gets resolved after going through some trouble. It sounds trivial, but the biggest impact comes from stories people remember as they can relate to them emotionally. – Lars Voedisch, PRecious Communications
14. Make Sure You’re Making An Impact
One thing that is very important is making sure that you are making an impact. The impact needs to be something that is memorable, as well as something that is going to help others. Knowing that you are going to make an impact and saying something meaningful is very important. – Jon James, Ignited Results
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Author: Expert Panel®, Forbes Councils Member