Good preparation is half the battle
To make this happen, you can stick to the following tips. You can use these for ordinary speeches and speeches as well as for the digital version via video switching. Let's start with one of the most important points - preparation.
A speech that fits like a tailor-made suit must be well prepared. That is the first essential factor for an engaging speech. Although this point is almost self-evident, the preparation is often not given enough attention.
Plan your speech by answering the following questions yourself in writing:
- How can my speech or speech be described in two to three sentences?
- What do I want to achieve or trigger with the speech or the speech?
- How do I achieve these goals?
- Which (technical and stylistic) means do I use in my presentation? (e.g. PowerPoint, flipchart, but also which stories)
The structure has to be right: take your time
Then create a rough structure for your speech. Divide the speech into three parts: beginning, core topic / core message and finale.
If you take enough time to prepare and plan your speech based on these questions and structure, you will gain more self-confidence on the one hand and also ensure that the message and the way you address it suits your audience.
Another tip if you are preparing an event where several executives have their say: Write a short script for the event. Specify exactly who says what and when. And all executives should practice the speeches extensively, also among themselves. And that brings us to an important topic: exercise.
Practice, practice, practice
You should practice as much as possible beforehand so that you can reach your employees with your speech and also have the right effect. Here, too, it is about gaining self-confidence and honing your impact.
The best exercise takes place in front of people. For example, ask your partner or a colleague from the management level for support. And ask for open, constructive feedback.
How do I set up my speech?
If this is not possible, you can practice in front of a mirror yourself. Or you can record yourself with the smartphone. So you can see exactly where you can improve your speech.
1. An emotional start
Start with a short anecdote to match the occasion. For example, you can take a quick look back at the last year at the annual event. In times of crisis, you can thank the employees for their tireless commitment. It is good to take up a concrete example.
If possible, use interactive content such as images, videos and audios. This gives you security and structure yourself. In addition, your employees will be addressed and picked up emotionally.
2. Always highlight the positive
It is helpful here to emphasize the positive, i.e. the successes, if possible. When planning your address, ask yourself the following questions: Which change processes have been successfully designed? What wonderful moments did you have together?
Then move on to the topic of your speech.
3. The core message: visual language for more excitement
The following also applies to the core message: Always use visual and emotional language. Metaphors and comparisons from life ensure that your speech remains better in the mind of the listener.
Of course, jokes are also well received if they are appropriate. You have to be very sensitive here, because when speaking in difficult times, humor is a gradual change.
You are welcome to use tools such as a PowerPoint presentation. This helps you maintain structure during the speech. However, be careful not to overload your PowerPoint slides with text or graphics. My rule of thumb is: only one key message or message per slide.
4. Pay attention to the sharpness of speech
A very decisive rhetorical factor for inspiring speeches is the sharpness of speech. Avoid formulations that are as negative as possible (say “good” instead of “not bad”) and conjunctive (would, would, etc.).
If there are challenging situations in which you are currently or which can be predicted, address them openly. So talk plain text! And then show ways and possibilities from this situation.
You can always put a special focus on positive change processes. This includes potential and opportunities for that Company as a whole and the employees as individuals - for example through further training.
5. An inspiring finale
The closing words should go to the heart of the workforce. That means everyone feels picked up again.
For example, feel free to say another motivating and sincere thank you for the commitment of all team members.
For real enthusiasm, you can now conjure up a surprise from your hat, for example a small gift to match the topic of the speech or speech.
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