Although there are numerous elements to speaking, if you master the following key elements, it will make your next speech more effective. Employ these keys to make it easier for you to speak and easier for others to hear.
Three keys to sharing your message:
1. Be mindful
2. Be meaningful
3. Be memorable
Be mindful: Be mindful of the time constraints. If you are asked to give your speech and given twenty-five minutes, don’t use forty-five minutes. If you tend not to be a good judge of time, ask someone to signal you at the three or four minute mark so you know it’s time to wrap it up. Another option would be to have your phone (on silent) or other device such as a timer to, at least, keep you in the ballpark. The best way would be to practice using a timer until you get it down to the allotted time or a little less.
Be mindful of what you were asked to do. If you were asked to give the remarks only, that doesn’t mean ramble on with a ten-minute story about the good old days. It means give the remarks in a reasonable amount of time. Be mindful of what the program is about - most likely, it’s not about you. Don’t do yourself and others the disservice of trying to upstage the previous speaker.
Be meaningful: Be meaningful by having a point. Don’t wander. Think about what you are trying to say. Regardless of whether you are put on the spot or have ample time to practice, know what you are supposed to be talking about. It’s your speech, what is the one thing you want the audience to know? What is the main thing about your message that is going to have the greatest impact on the listener or what is the most meaningful lesson that you learned from your experience? Don’t try to tell everything that happened, share only one or two key points based on the amount of time you have to speak. Regardless of the circumstances through which you are speaking, make your time on stage meaningful.
Be memorable: Being memorable does not always mean that the audience is going to remember everything you said. I have to agree with Maya Angelou who said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That’s a key element to any type of speech. The minds in the audience are fickle at best. Although a trained speaker can up the odds of their words being remembered, most are not that well equipped because they lack proper training. However, you can pretty much guarantee that the way you made them feel will be remembered for a very long time.
If you spoke in a prideful manner or went on and on about your accomplishments, they will remember how small and insignificant you made them feel. If you spoke in a condemning way as though you were the only one who had it right, then they will remember being shamed and downtrodden. As time goes on, the only thing that will be remembered is how you made them feel.
Speak in a manner that shows the listener they matter to you. Speak in way that demonstrates a genuine interest in the listener. When they no longer remember your words, let them reminisce on the love and respect you showed them and the passionate way you added value to their lives. Rest assured; they will look forward to hearing you again if you are mindful, meaningful, and memorable.
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