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BK Blog Post
So your big business speech is coming up. It’s your chance to impress the company higher-ups, cement your status as a valuable asset, and quite possibly get yourself a nice promotion.
The only problem is that you’re not the best writer and you haven’t written anything yet.
Well, have no fear. Here are 5 tips on writing the perfect business speech.
1) Focus on Structure
Great content is meaningless if it’s trapped in lousy structure. If you don’t stay on a logical, clear path your audience will get frustrated and lose interest fast.
Simply put, the key to a great business speech is making it easy for your audience to see the points you’re making and why you’re making them. So right off the bat, let them in on what the focus of the speech is. Then concentrate on incorporating a structure that makes sense and eliminating and contradictory, extraneous or confusing elements.
A good rule of thumb: If there’s something in your speech that doesn’t help drive your message home, get rid of it.
2) Use the Opening Wisely
It’s amazing how many speeches completely blow the opening. This is when an audience is fresh and most intrigued by what you have to say. Unfortunately, a lot of speakers squander this precious first-impression time by thanking a bunch of people, getting over their nervousness, or just not really doing an opening and disorienting the audience by going into a bunch of facts or ideas without any proper setup for them.
And by this point they’ve most likely already lost their audience.
So you want to make a strong impression right off the bat. Throw out a fascinating quick story related to the core theme of your speech, offer a startling statistic or fact. Get your audience immediately engaged by opening up with a question.
But most importantly, keep the opening short. Every minute you go on to long for brinks the risk of audience members tuning you out. So take advantage of the momentum you built with your killer opening and without wasting time, ride it into the next part of your speech.
3) Get the Proper Tone Down
To get the tone right, you’ve got to understand the audience. So ask yourself as you write, who exactly are these people? Why are they taking the time to listed to me? What information are they looking get out of this?
Remember, your speech is about giving your audience what it wants. So whether it’s meant to motivate, inform, challenge or entertain, to keep your audience’s attention, it’s crucial to hit the correct tone.
For example, if the setting of your speech is to provide the company with an outlook for the coming year, go for an inspiring and upbeat tone. People are more struck by how you make them feel than what you actually say. And if you make them feel uplifted and excited for what’s around the corner, they’ll not only appreciate you for it, but will make your speech more memorable to them as well.
4) Make Yourself Accessible
The audience is just judging your speech, they’re examining you too. And the truth is that both you and your speech are intertwined. If the audience doesn’t like you, they’ll probably end up not liking the speech as well.
Of course, you delivery and body language is highly important, but you can also use your speech itself to get the audience to buy into you.
The key is to humanize yourself. Don’t try to be perfect or even expect that’s what the audience wants or demands either. Make a joke about how you’ve got goosebumps on your arms; unless there’s a robot or two in the audience, everyone will relate and most likely appreciate your openness and connect with your better for it. Offer a personal story that is either directly relevant to your speech, or works as an appropriate segue way to what you want to talk about. Toss in a few reference to your friends or family. And most importantly, write in a way that lets you have a friendly conversation with your audience.
Just be you and don’t worry about how the audience might or might not react.
That’s how you’ll come across as real, likable, and memorable.
5) Include Transitions
An important part of any business speech is to make sure your audience realizes what’s important. Transitional phrases allow you to signal when you’re about to reveal a key point and grab you audience’s attention or lets them know something big is coming up.
One great type of transitional phrase is the rhetorical question. Ask your audience something like “So what’s really going on here?” and then pause for a few seconds. Silence speaks volumes, and the anticipation it creates will get the audience to perk up and lock in to what you’re going to say next. Another type of transition phrase is a revealing statement. For example, “So here’s what you have remember” gets ahold of your audience by alerting them that you’re about to reveal a vital piece of information.
6) End Strong
Regardless of how the rest of your speech goes, how it ends will be the final and strongest your audience takes away with them. So tie up the big points of your speech. Tell a relevant uplifting story. Share a profound quote. Whatever it is, don’t hold back. Make it so your audience is thinking and talking about you for days and weeks to come.
Writing the perfect business speech is no walk in the park. As I’ve talked about above, you not only have to include the right content, but also need to create a compelling tone and draw the audience to you. But just relax, follow the tips I’ve laid out, and you’ll create the perfect business speech.
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