How Entrepreneurs Can Amplify Their Powerful Speeches?
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Just like most public speaking situations, Entrepreneurs too, face many circumstances in which they need to make convincing, inspiring speeches. These scenarios range from making pitches to investors, motivating teams, to making presentations to clients, sales personnel and so on. What is common between all these different speech-making platforms is that an entrepreneur MUST be able to make a strong IMPACT. And in order to make a tangible impact, there are certain tips and tricks that can be incorporated into one’s speech-making style & content that will make an already powerful speech, even more compelling.
Pause & Effect
A terribly underrated but vital tool; the power of ‘pause’ is invaluable in making an impactful speech. There is a tendency to go faster as speakers become more passionate and excited about the content of their speeches. This is only natural. If however, we can be conscious of this tendency and check it, we will morph into much more powerful speakers. So where exactly should these pauses be? Each part of one’s speech where any kind of an emphatic point is being made, an important opinion is being shared, a crucial statistic is being presented; points at which one really wants and needs the listeners to register and digest that part of the speech, a pause, also known as ‘taking a beat’, should be employed. Why? Because it will give the listeners/audience time and mind-space to really soak in that point, failing which, it might be missed entirely, and the whole point lost!
The Act of Drama
A speech is a speech is a speech. In most cases yes. But if you as an entrepreneur REALLY want your speech to rise above being a mundane report, inspire and move people, jolt them, there has to be some flair to it. A great way of achieving this is by Dramatizing the speech, at least certain portions of it. Think of yourself less as a speaker and more as a theatre artist. This way of thinking will automatically call on certain tricks being employed – varying the pace of your speech as if it were dialogues. Or, using the entire length and breadth of the stage rather than zeroing in on one position and sticking to it. Or, using hand and body gestures liberally to illustrate, demonstrate, and heighten the crucial points you are making. Treat it like an ‘enactment’. The funny parts of your speech should have you morph into that sentiment, with your tone and body language mirroring the emotion of that part of the speech. Similarly, if you are making an inspirational point, so should your body!
Human beings love ‘human’ stories. Elevate your speeches from being mundane selections of facts, figures and statistics, to anecdotal sharing of deeply personal experiences. Use personal incidents to exemplify your points. It is these ‘slices of your life’ that will generate empathy, inspiration and identifiability in your audience, not mere facts alone. If you are addressing say a bunch of potential investors, really dig deep and share the true story of WHY you decided to embark on this entrepreneurial adventure. Your passion and sincerity are bound to come through via these personal incidents, and THAT is when your speeches will become emotionally palpable!
Let Your Eyes Talk & Connect
Ditch the teleprompter, the computer, the screen and your presentation remote control. Look, connect, with your audience. Nothing spells confidence or generates a response more than human eye-contact. Often engrossed in our speeches and presentations, we forget entirely about this. Be conscious of it. Divide your audience into three directional quadrants and regularly make eye contact with each section. Then they will recognize your courage, conviction, and passion.
Do Not Lie
Last, and this is something that might have been dismissed by many other people and speech-experts; my strong advice is, NO LIES. Do not lie about facts and figures, do not lie about knowing something if and when you don’t, and certainly do not makeup stories about your own inspirations and motives. They will almost never seem sincere, coming across as contrived and banal, and will be caught by your audience in a flash. Be sincere. And this sincerity will reflect in your own tone, and be perceived as such, by your listeners.
At the end of the day, a speech ought to solicit a genuine human connection. These are being delivered by humans after all, not by some inanimate robots. The more entrepreneurs ‘humanize’ their speeches and presentations, the more powerful they will be. Simple as that!