You may think you’re an orator just because you need to speak with a few people every now and then with hip hop dancer quotes, but in reality there’s a lot more to it. For example, have you been the target of that too-cool-for-school vibe from someone who doesn’t seem interested in what you’re saying? You should know that delivering a speech is nothing like talking to your friends. You can’t use the same crutches or tricks.
1. The audience is different.
People are not all the same; they don’t all have the same filter and world views. You need to know what your audience wants, what will make them the most receptive, and how you can best appeal to them without going over their heads.
2. You’re not in a hurry.
Everyone wants to pick apart every word that you say, but don’t let them because they’re not being sincere. They’re just being mean and you need to stick with your script like glue because it’s the only thing that will keep you from sounding canned and robotic as hell (or so unappealing that people generally won’t listen).
3. You can’t blurt it out.
Your speech should be a conversation and not a monologue, and you can’t just wing it and hope to pull off the perfect oration. If you’re nervous about what people will think of you, then your speech is going to be terrible no matter how many times you practice in front of the mirror. You need to be confident, but calm which means that everything has to go right for you. And then you have to have good energy; a fabulous speaker always gives off a positive vibe so that people are compelled to listen. You can’t just waltz into the audience and say “Hi… I’m so sorry.”
4. It doesn’t just happen.
Speaking to an audience is not something that’s just going to happen for you. You have to prepare, practice and get it right so that you don’t sound like a fool in front of everyone you know. An orator should know what he or she wants to say and how they’re going to say it because you can’t just wing it when it comes to speaking in public.
5. You have more control over the crowd than you think.
You may not be a politician who’s used to getting the whole crowd on their feet, but if there’s one thing that counts for anything when giving a speech, it’s learning how to read people (or seeming like you’re reading them). It’s actually quite simple, you just have to know what your audience wants and how to give it to them without looking like a sore thumb.
6. You’ve got the right person at the helm (the entire time).
An orator needs a master of ceremonies, and that’s why they hire him or her in the first place (and sometimes you need to be that person as well). The MC is responsible for making sure that everything is going according to plan, just like a politician counting on his or her chief of staff for help.
7. You’re not speaking about anything personal.
You may be worried about what people will think of you, but it’s not like you’re going to spill your deepest secrets to them. Heck, you may even know that there are things that you don’t want the public to know about. So make sure that your speech is for the greater good, something with which your audience can agree on.
8. You won’t just wing it with a speech.
This applies to acting as well; actors who choose to go out on their own without a coach and actor/director need to realize that they’re not going to just wing it (unless they have a lot of experience). It’s a matter of knowing what you’re doing, where you want to go, and why you’re going there. An orator shouldn’t just have an outline that they can fly through; they have to have a sense of reality because nobody thinks the same way.
9. You need to be passionate about what you’re saying
This doesn’t mean that the speech has to be about something that you really care about (although it will help if it is). The main thing here is to care even more so than you would if it were something that you didn’t care so much about. This means that you have to really dig into your subject matter and come up with some really amazing ideas. There should be no doubt that you’re passionate about what you’re doing so don’t try to hide it behind a veneer of insincerity.
10. You should know how to give a proper introduction and exit
When someone gives a speech, either in person or over the phone, he or she needs to introduce themselves by name, the name of their company, the topic that they’ll be talking about, and how long it will take.
In summation, delivering a speech means that you’re passionate about the topic and that you care whether or not people will listen to you. You need to do your research, rehearse your script, and know what you’re doing because it’s not just about convincing people that your work is worth something; it’s about winning others over with the way that you carry yourself. You don’t have to be a politician, but if there are things that you believe in then don’t go saying them simply because it sounds good on paper.