Many memorable speeches in history have touched and motivated people in ways that are immeasurable. Two examples are: Ronald Reagan’s address to the country on the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy and Lou Gehrig’s retirement speech.
“The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them… We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, as they prepared their journey, waved goodbye and slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God”.
“Fans, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you. I might have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”
Without the authentic nature of these two gentlemen, these speeches would not have had the same power and impact as they still have today! To resonate with and motivate people, your words and ideas must contain similar authenticity, and instinctive passion.
Here are 5 keys to delivering a presentation:
1. Establish credibility: Your expertise, skills, and validity as a speaker will influence how you are perceived and how your message is heard. People need a reason to believe in you, if they are to take action. Establish your trustworthiness up front by striking a balance between humility and trust-building facts.
2. Integrate stories: The best authors, speakers, and teachers weave real-life stories into their presentations to convey a point. Stories humanize concepts, making them a hundred times more memorable to the audience. If you’re trying to illustrate a complex concept or theory, use a creative narrative about your great aunt Connie instead of relying on facts, definitions and jargon.
3. Engage your audience: Back in college, I remember attending a motivational speech where the speaker randomly called me up to the front of the auditorium to dance in front of the student body. This experience not only got the audience buzzing, it engrained a memory I’ll never forget. Inviting audience participation is essential to inspiring action. Ask questions, conduct polls with your audience, and invite members to come up and be part of the presentation!
4. Illustrate a Problem and Solution: Would you feel motivated to purchase a product or service if there wasn’t a problem you were trying to solve? In order for people to feel motivated, a problem needs to be presented that offers tangible, doable solutions.
5. Passion and Intensity: Have you ever watched the motivational speaker Tony Robbins? Regardless of his words, you know he completely believes in what he is saying. His stage presence and energy is larger-than-life. He completely inhabits the stage; uses voice inflections, laughs, yells, and moves. Animation, passion, and intensity are the ingredients that separate good speakers from influential speakers.
People are keen detectors of the fake and disingenuous. Above all, make sure you are passionate and speak with conviction. This, in addition to the points above, will show your conviction, contribute to your credibility and ensure your confidence when you step up to speak.
What famous speeches have moved you? Please share them with us!