Speeches are not limited only to solemn ceremonies, but in any circumstance you can find yourself in the position of having to say a few words in public. In the business environment it is normally a function performed by senior managers, but sometimes they delegate this function to their communication department.
Facing a speech is not an easy task, especially if you do not do it with a certain frequency, you know: experience is a degree. Staying blank during the intervention or becoming boring are two walls that we have to learn to overcome.
What is a speech
Before addressing the techniques for book editors effective speeches, you must know how to correctly distinguish what a speech is. The speech can be defined as the presentation of organized ideas, which are intended to inform or convince the audience.
The essence of the speech lies in its brevity, especially in protocol speeches, which should not exceed 5 minutes, as indicated by the political communication expert Luis Arroyo, in his book (highly recommended, by the way) The Hundred Errors in the communication of organizations.
Furthermore, it must be a clear and understandable speech for the audience to which it is directed.
Lincoln’s speech, the shortest and most famous
We cannot talk about speeches without bringing to the fore the most famous and brief one (it barely reached 300 words): The Gettysburg Address, delivered by President Abraham Lincoln on November 19, 1863, just four and a half months after put an end to the bloodiest contest of the American Civil War. Before 15,000 people, Lincoln went to Gettysburg to inaugurate the National Military Cemetery and commemorate all those who fought for freedom and, above all, foster unity. The most curious thing about the event was that Lincoln on this occasion participated as a supporting actor, since the initial protagonist was Eduard Everett with a two-hour speech. After him came four more speeches, until they reached Lincoln, who was in charge of making a dedication.
Eighty-seven years ago our fathers created a new nation on this continent, conceived under the sign of freedom and dedicated to the premise that all men are born equal.
Today we find ourselves engaged in a vast civil war that tests the ability of this nation, or any other so conceived and so dedicated, to survive for a long time. We have gathered at the scene where one of the great battles of this war was fought. We came to consecrate part of this battlefield to the final rest of those who have given their lives for the nation. It is entirely appropriate and fair that we do so.
However, in a broader sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot glorify this soil. The brave men who fought here, living and dead, have consecrated it far beyond our limited power to add or subtract merits. The world will hardly notice, and will not remember for long what is said here, but it will never forget what they have done.
It is up to those of us who are alive, however, to complete the unfinished work that those who fought here have so nobly advanced.
It is up to us to take care of the great task that awaits us: to be inspired by these venerated dead to increase our devotion to the cause to which they offered all their fervor; here solemnly declare that those who have perished have not done so in vain; May this nation, under the guidance of God, see freedom reborn, and may the government of the people, by the people and for the people not disappear from the face of the earth.
Skills of a speech writer
Sometimes—many more than you imagine—speeches are not written by the person who delivers them. The main risk is that the style used does not fit the speaker’s personality at all. For this reason, the speeches are made by the so-called speechwriters, who know the personality and style of the speaker inside out; as well as the topic that will be discussed in the speech.
These speech writers have to have a number of skills:
- Obviously they have to have a great ability to write speeches of all kinds and aimed at all audiences.
- Understand perfectly with the speaker, to know what their way of being and expressing themselves is like.
- You must have general knowledge because you will receive speeches of all kinds, and normally the time available for writing them is not usually very long.
- Quick response capacity to be able to make last minute changes, motivated by unforeseen events.
- You must have the capacity to assume your anonymity and to accept the comments or criticisms that the speaker makes.
- Having knowledge of emotional intelligence is essential, since every speech carries a part of emotion.
What is the audience we are targeting?
For the speech to be effective, we must know the setting beforehand, to know how we are going to move, and the audience we are going to address. In this way we can adapt both verbal and non-verbal language.
The VAK Model
Perhaps you have heard of the VAK model—visual, auditory and kinesthetic— on some occasion. It is a learning based on the visual (audience that learns through the visual stimulus), auditory (audience that learns through the auditory stimulus) and kinesthetic (audience that learns through the senses, touch, taste and smell, since through experiences and emotions). We all have one learning model more developed than another, and if we know how to detect it we will get the recipient’s attention.
To understand it better, we give an example: in an auditorium where auditory speakers predominate, the tone in which words are pronounced is essential in language (these people like to listen); preverbal (speak in a harmonious way, respecting silences); relaxed posture and hands barely move; tastes and customs (playing an instrument)
In an audience where visuals predominate, it is recommended to include visual metaphors in the language; preverbal (high and fast tone); The posture is straight and the movement of the hand is constant, in a circular manner. Tastes and customs are related to instruments.
Finally, if kinesthetic predominate in the audience, language focuses on transmitting emotions and sensations; preverbal (the tone of voice is low and slow); The posture is represented with the shoulders forward and relaxed. As for the movements of the hand, it is taken to the heart. Sport is part of the tastes and customs of kinesthetic.
Steps to make a speech
To make a speech you have to take into account a series of aspects. The first and most important thing is that you know perfectly the memoir ghostwriting services who will give the speech. It is important to get under their skin to know their way of expressing themselves. If a speech is not tailored, the audience will notice.
- Clearly define what you mean.
- Define the public that will be present at the intervention.
- Know the setting, day and time when the speech will be given.
- Investigate where the information will be obtained from: experiences, internet, media, etc.
The correct use of data in speeches
In speeches it is common to accompany the language with statistical data, quotes, anecdotes…; but it is important to use them correctly:
- Use of data: do not make the mistake of filling the speech with economic data, it is preferable to use understandable statistics. You have to select the most important figures, round them and make them visual, for example, depending on what type of audience, instead of talking about five hectares, indicate that it is equivalent to five football fields.
- Use of famous quotes and phrases: you must use quotes from several people (not all from the same person), shorten them if they are long and use names that are well pronounced.
- Use of definitions: when defining a concept, you must use simple words.
- Use of anecdotes: stories and anecdotes are a good tool to capture attention and get the audience to retain the message.
Last but not least, it is essential that once the speech is written, it must be reread aloud several times to control the intonation. Remember that the success of a speech depends largely on the person who delivers it.