What makes a speech effective?

Here’s a summary of my thoughts responding to a reporter’s question about what makes an effective speech:

  • Audience-centered focus – it’s all about them and the reason they’re in the room and not about the presenter.
  • Effective, Efficient and Engaging – saying the right things in the right way that makes it easy and enjoyable to listen to.
  • Speaker support slides that are purposeful, visually effective … and very few of them.
  • Clear focus, organization and support. The audience knows why they should listen to you, why your message is important and why they should take action.
  • Giving the audience a big KISS – keeping it Short and Simple.

How important is delivery?

  • Delivery is important, but content still rules.
  • The audience – and the speech’s objectives –  are better off with an ‘A’ message delivered by a ‘B’ speaker than by a ‘B’ message delivered by an ‘A’ speaker.
  • The audience always expects … and deserves … an ‘A’ message delivered by an ‘A’ speaker.
  • Speakers must project credibility, competence and confidence … or at least create that illusion. Perception is reality.

You know when a speech is great when …

  • The audience takes the action the presenter intended.
  • Feedback is positive about the content, message and delivery.
  • No one falls asleep, uses their phones, throws stuff at the speaker or walks out.

So, go create and deliver effective speeches every time. No need to thank me – it’s my job … and my pleasure.