Wize Communications

How to deliver more powerful public speeches

Public speakers today are expected to leave an impression on their audience. Going are the days when you could shuffle on stage, have no understanding of your audience and deliver a half hearted speech- that was very easily forgotten. Today, if you want to stand out on the corporate or public stage and truly make an impact on your audience, you need to up your game to becoming a powerful public speaker in line with the demands of our current times. As a former BBC/ITV News anchor/reporter and TEDx speaker and seasoned public speaker, I’ll share a few top tips on how you can deliver more impactful public presentations.

To be an impactful public speaker in the modern age, knowing the purpose of your presentations and public speeches is the first step to making an impact. Many people start putting together a presentation without knowing what they really want to say to their audience. This is a grave mistake on many levels. Firstly, if you are vague about what you want to say to your audience they will be vague in what they hear from you. Clarity breeds clarity, By being clear about the message you wish to convey you will write and deliver a speech that is much more effective. When you are clear about your purpose and the message of your speech from the outset, it will be much easier to put together a speech that is more inspiring and impactful. So, before putting pen to paper and practicing your speech in front of the bathroom mirror, ask yourself, what do I truly want to say to my audience, what is the message that I want to leave them with when I have left the room?
Secondly, to be a more impactful speaker in our current times, it imperative to understand who our audience is. Preparing and delivering a speech without considering the very people we are speaking to and the very people we hope to make an impact on is emotionally unintelligent and will leave your audience uninspired. When you have understood your audience, your can put together a speech that is on their wavelength, communicates at their level and resonates with them more deeply. So before you start jotting down what you are going to say, ask yourself the following questions. Where are my audience from, what is their background, what do they do for work. To become even further, ask yourself, what your audience is likely to consume via the media, what their likes and dislikes are and what their mindset is likely to be. This will give you a crystal clear idea of where your audience is at, so you can put craft a speech that engages and resonates with them and speaks to their hearts.
The third step in the quest, to becoming a more powerful public speaker in our demanding times, is to make sure we use tried and tested techniques of persuasion to bring our arguments alive. Public speakers today can not get away with just waffling along for fifteen minutes and hoping that their audience just “gets the point”. The best public speakers past and present have always deployed an arsenal of tactics that they knew were potent in public speaking. These include telling great stories, sharing the latest facts and figures and using metaphor and analogies to add gravitas to their arguments. Great speakers also share personal examples and use quotes to inspire those sitting before them. Speakers on the TEDx stage today have mastered the art of the story telling as it is one of the greatest ways to conveys ones message and resonates deeply with us as human beings. The latest research is also a very powerful way to provide evidence to your audience about your argument and is more impactful than an argument alone. Inspiring quotes from historical and present day leaders also always serve as a great source of inspiration.
Last but not least, superficial or not, the way that we look is important on stage. The very first thing that people notice about us and form an impression of us on is by how we appear to them through our visual image. So, wearing bright colours, a style that is chic or trendy and wearing clothes that look presentable is a critical component of delivering a speech that is remembered for a long time to come.
Blog post by Aysha Iqbal. Aysha is the Director of Wize Communication, a Media and Communications coaching and training company. She spent much of her career as a BBC/ITV reporter and news anchor. She is also a TEDx Host 2023 and TEDx Speaker 2024 and a Sony Gold Award recipient.

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