How To Not Give A Boring Speech
Date: October 27, 2015
Giving a boring speech is just as bad – if not worse – than giving one that’s full of complicated ideas. If you’ve ever been in the audience of a disengaging speech, you’re constantly clock watching and trying to fight the urge to yawn.
But, there are ways to improve your speech so that you don’t have this effect on your audience. With just a few techniques, you can transform your speech to leave your audience in awe.
All good speeches start with a problem and not a long introduction talking about what you’re going to be talking about. Imagine if people were watching you on TV – would they turn the channel over?
As soon as you’re in their presence, bring energy and charisma. You want to draw people in right from the start which is why you have to avoid long introductions about who you are, your past and why you’re so grateful to be here today.
Make Your Speech Emotional
An emotionless speech is a boring one. If you don’t have any heart to your story, how can you expect anyone to feel anything? The last thing you want is for people to be watching you, expressionless. If you haven’t made them laugh, smile, cry or intrigued, you haven’t done your job.
Don’t worry, you don’t always have to make people feel good. They don’t have to be smiling all the way through, or laughing at your jokes – not every part of your speech has to be positive and uplifting, because honesty and rawness are interesting.
You certainly should evoke people to feel something when they’re listening to you.
Think about when someone tells you some bad news – you’re shocked, you want to know more and you physically react. It should be the same in your speech; create characters in your story that the audience will feel like they know, and talk about things that not everyone addresses.
You want the audience’s attention, don’t you? Then, talk about things that spark controversy, or matters that are close to your heart and not the easiest to express.
The thing is, you don’t have to make your presentation 100 percent positive; that isn’t the core of a powerful one. Titanic, arguably one of the saddest films ever made, leaves you with tears down your cheek because there are stories created within in. We get to know people’s lives – their wishes and desires, and from just a short amount of time, we feel like we know everything about them.
If we didn’t see how Rose was unhappy in her relationship, we wouldn’t be in so much anticipation for her to be with Jack.
Now, you’re not making a film – you’re writing a speech, but you still have to create characters – or if you’re talking about yourself – let the audience in on how you honestly felt at that moment in your life.
If you talk about things that bring a tear to your eye – that’s a good thing. Of course, nobody wants to see you sad, but it’s certainly not boring to be brought into a personal moment with you. As long as you don’t make the speech all about you, and you put a twist on it to relate to the audience’s life, you’ve got their attention.
Be truthful about elements in you’re life. Let’s say you’re speech is about having the confidence to build your career once you’ve lost your job, and this happened to you, don’t give the facts about why you lost your job, and what your responsibilities were. Instead, express how you were feeling. How you felt hopeless and worthless.
Draw the audience in by opening up about your darkest moments. People are fascinated by others who’ve been through hell and back.
Letting the audience in on your personal feelings, makes them more resilient to feeling how you felt. To influence means to change people’s thoughts, so you must find an emotional connection with them. If they can relate to what you’re talking about, then they’ll care and pay attention to you.
But that personal aspect of you having been through it, makes them respect and like you.
Be Enthusiastic About Your Speech
Enthusiasm can’t be faked, and an audience can easily tell if you don’t really care about what you’re talking about. You can always improve the quality of your speech by creating content you’re completely happy with.
If you’re unconfident that people won’t like you’re presentation, you’ll be nervous and be afraid of giving your all in case people don’t like it/you.
Does what you’re saying really matter to you? And how do you think it will matter to listeners?
Demonstrate your enthusiasm in body language, the words you choose, gestures and facial expressions. If you look bored, your audience will be too.
Your body language represents what you’re feeling. That’s why you can tell if someone is feeling sad or confident – by the way they physically express themselves.
Don’t stand on stage shuffling your feet and looking down. Be confident. Take a deep breath before you hit the stage and know that this moment is yours. Use your body, facial expressions and gestures to express how you feel and how you want to make others feel.
Eye contact and open body language connects you to the audience and breaks down that invisible wall that is in between you.
Don’t smile whilst you’re talking about something sad, but don’t stand there emotionless the whole time, or you’ll bore everyone.
Utilise the full room on the stage and bring props and presentation slides to emphasise your main points.
The words and phrases you use are highly important to making your speech exciting. You can’t expect people to be interested if what you’re saying isn’t interesting. Talk about new ideas, make it personal, and don’t repeat yourself.
Talk in a language that is conversational and people will understand. You’re on the audience’s side, so be approachable and likeable. Make them laugh and smile, and educate them along the way.
I’m always entertained when people show me how they feel rather than telling me how they feel. People don’t want to know how you ‘felt happy’, because they can’t do anything with that. If you dig deeper and talk the truth about what being happy means to you, the audience will appreciate you bringing them into your life.
If their mindset hasn’t changed by the time you’ve finished, you haven’t made a difference to their lives – and that’s what you should try to do every time. Give them scenarios and information they can do something with, so on their drive home, they think about what you’ve said and can’t get you out of their mind.
It’s so important that you believe in yourself and never bring yourself down. So often, we are our worst critique, but not reassuring yourself of how good you are will only tear you down. Be lively, inspirational and most of all… different.