“I tell my story, not because it is unique, but because it is not. It is the story of many girls… Though I appear as one girl, one person, who is 5ft 2in tall, if you include my high heels, I am not a lone voice, I am many. I am Shazia. I am Kainat Riaz. I am Kainat Somro. I am Mezon. I am Amina. I am those 66 million girls who are out of school.”
The youngest-ever Nobel Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, then 17, uttered these evocative words at her acceptance speech in 2014.
A good speech such as this one is provocative, inspiring and personal. It is structured to present a clearly defined message and convey the speaker’s ideas and thoughts.
At work, you may be asked to speak at meetings, seminars and conferences. These are important events in your professional career that will help you establish your credibility, and build your personal brand and professional network.
Learning how to deliver a good speech will equip you for career success. Let’s look at the characteristics of a good speech to push you in the right direction.
Characteristics Of A Good Speech
If you want to make a good speech that leaves a lasting impression, focus on what you’re going to speak and how. A good speech isn’t only about your words but also how you present yourself. Body language and gestures play a critical role in transforming an average speech into a memorable one.
If you’re wondering what a good speech is, here are some of its qualities:
Clear Message And Key Ideas
A good speech always starts with a key idea and a well-defined message. Many people make the mistake of burying their ideas in the middle or at the end. That’s a mistake. The audience may get distracted halfway into your speech, and leave without even knowing what you’re talking about. If you want people to understand your big idea, present it right at the start. That will set the context for the rest of the speech.
Impactful Oral Delivery
Remember to consider every aspect of the speech. Your oral delivery—pitch, pause and pace—also influences the audience’s response. Modulate your voice and pace to keep your listeners interested in your words. You should be also prepared to make impromptu adjustments to your delivery if you sense the audience drifting away. For instance, if you’re talking about statistical data, make it interesting by asking questions or engaging in a dialogue with the audience. This way, you keep them involved.
Sprinkled With Personal Anecdotes
Don’t rely only on facts and figures. If you can support your claims with personal experiences, it’ll make it more interesting. Start with a personal anecdote that’s linked to your big idea and that your audience can relate to. Humor is also a fun way to break the ice and put everyone at ease.
Informative, But Not Repetitive
Your speech needs to be informative and packed with fresh and new information to have an impact. Be careful not to recycle old ideas packaged in fancy words. . Being original and sharing relevant, critical and helpful information will make your speech memorable. Edit your speech carefully to ensure there are no repetitions or data gaps. You can also add inspiring quotes for a good speech.
Powerful Nonverbal Cues
One of the most important qualities of a good speech is nonverbal communication. You may believe that your words do all the work. But your posture, facial expressions and gestures are equally, if not more, important. Imagine someone making a speech with a blank expression on their face or just reading their words off a page without emotion. That doesn’t make for a good speech. It’s about building tension, asking provoking questions and engaging with the audience. There’s power in using nonverbal cues, like making eye contact with someone in the audience. Using these cues well can greatly improve the quality of your speech.
There are many more characteristics of a good speech that you can incorporate. Harappa Education’s Speaking Effectively course is designed for professionals who want to improve their communication skills. You can use these skills for public speaking or formal workplace conversations, to connect and empathize with others. Build meaningful connections, share ideas effectively, and deliver memorable speeches with our high-impact online course.
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