How to deliver influential speeches

By Victor Ochieng’

In a book titled Talk like TED, Carmine Gallo identifies three components of an inspiring presentation:emotionality, novelty and memorability. Emotionality means that the speech touches the heart, not just the mind. Noveltyimplies that the talk teaches something new. Memorability means that the speaker presents the content in a way that the audience will never forget.

Richard Saul Wurman created the TED (Technology, Education and Design)conference in 1984 as a one-time event. It evolved to a 4-day conference in Monterey, California.

Largely, good communicators always have an edge over their peers. Great orators are movement makers. They are remembered by their last names: Jefferson, Malcolm, Roosevelt, Rawlings, Lincoln, Churchill, Kennedy, Luther, Reagan, Nkrumah, Obama, Mboya, Lumumba, et cetera.

Failure to communicate effectively in any sphere is a fast road to dismal failure. Poor communication skills means that projects will not thrive, products will not sell, ideas will not get backing, services will not soar, and careers will not get wings to fly. The ability to deliver a powerful presentation cuts the divide between acclaim and obscurity.

• Emotionality

Great communicators educate mortal minds and enrich hearts. However, most people who deliver speeches and sermons forget the ‘heart’ part. In the Art of Rhetoric, the Athenian thinker called Aristotle talked about Logos, Ethos and Pathos. Logos means that every speech must focus on truth, Ethos focuses on ethics and character of the presenter, while Pathos, the most important ambit, focuses on the emotional aspect.

Over and above, it behooves the orator or narrator to master the art of storytelling and know why stories help listeners to connect emotionally with the topic. Stories actually sync the presenter’s mind to the audience, allowing them to create a far deeper and more meaningful connection than they have ever experienced.

• Novelty

It is the single most effective way to capture a person’s attention. Only that which is truly unique, original, bizarre, and unexpected can stand out. The brain cannot ignore new things. Therefore, when presenters employ this technique, listeners will not be able to ignore them. Great speakers, engage their audiences with new information or a unique approach to an area of study. It has to be a jaw-dropping presentation. The presenter must carefully, consciously design and deliver the ‘wow’ moments that can woo and make the audience talk about the presentation later. There must be genuine humour. The speaker must decide how to use it to drive points home. Humour is unique to each presenter. Let it complement the presentation.

• Memorability

The presenter may unleash novel ideas, but if the audience cannot recall it, then those ideas do not matter. Therefore, ensure that you create lucid, multi-sensory experiences so that your audience can recall the content more successfully. Title your speeches carefully in close consideration of the power of three or four. For example: Believe, Behave, Become; Energy, Synergy, Strategy; Dream, Dare, Do. Borrow from phenomenal speeches that have remained indelible in people’s minds and hearts such as: Who Taught You? By Malcolm X, Yes We Can by Barrack Obama Jr., I Have a Dream by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., et cetera.

The writer rolls out training and tutorials in Public Speaking. 0704420232 

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