10 Rules for Creating a Strong Impact During a Speech
Those who express themselves with precision and eloquence in a few words have real power of influence. Although this is an art that can be practised, where should you start?
1. Keep your head straight and make eye contact. Also, avoid gestures that demonstrate a closed attitude (e.g. hands in the back, arms crossed). Your body language and facial expressions can have a significant impact on the success of your oral communication.
2. Choose calmness. Talking slowly (but not too much) and staying calm demonstrate good self-control.
3. Synchronize your breathing and your speech.
4. Vary your intonations to punctuate your presentation. Playing with variations in the flow and pitch of the voice brings life to our words and helps capture the attention.
5. Stay relatively serious. Being too friendly reduces the strength of the message.
6. Be logical. Prepare statistics or facts that you can use in a timely manner. List arguments that will make the difference.
7. Be brief. People have very limited attention and prefer to talk than to listen in general. Minimize your remarks and structure your presentation; a well-placed word, a shock sentence, an introduction, a development and a conclusion will ensure fluidity in your speech.
8. Use “we” to be inclusive.
9. Consider others and be diplomatic. To encourage maximum adherence, we must think about the impact of our remarks and maximize positive interventions.
If you use technical terms, simplify them to make sure people understand. Often, metaphors can help you illustrate what you are saying. Above all, do not assume that your interlocutor knows everything!
10. Involve your audience. You can ask an open question to the people in attendance or mention your interlocutor in your intervention (e.g. “as Isabelle mentioned earlier, her team acted this way to…”).
At a time when people’s attention is getting shorter and shorter, it’s beneficial to master the art of oral communication.
Let’s continue practising this art to become better influencers!