How do I become a successful speaker

How to captivate your audience

When speaking, one observes again and again: After two or three minutes, the interest of the audience wanes. And secretly they ask themselves: When will the buffet finally open? The audience often looks forward to the speech with great anticipation - unless they are familiar with the lengthy "celebratory speeches" by the boss or association chairman from previous years. Accordingly, speakers could easily inspire their audience. Here are ten tips on how to do this.

Tip 1: be authentic.

The success of a speech mainly depends on whether the speaker wins the sympathy of his audience. Their structure and their dramaturgical design are also important. The content of the speech, on the other hand, has a rather minor influence on its evaluation. In simple terms, one could say: Above all, the speaker has to find a connection to the audience and package his content well. What he says is secondary.

But how does a speaker win the sympathy of the audience? Mainly because it looks authentic. The speech should therefore be tailored to his body. It doesn't seem very credible when a bean counter presents himself as a prankster. Or when a lone fighter verbally fraternizes with those present. That is and does not seem authentic. So the listeners keep their distance.

Tip 2: Take the audience on a "journey of thought".

A speaker is like a travel guide. He takes his audience on a journey of thought - for example through the past year. So he should think in advance: What is the reason for the trip? Where should she go And: who is taking part in the trip? Only then should he plan the travel program, i.e. the content and course of the speech.

A speech at a Christmas party, for example, should be designed differently from a New Year's speech. Because at a Christmas party, celebrating together is central, at a New Year's reception, on the other hand, the audience should often be attuned to the challenges of the new year. So the speech can contain more information. It can also have a more appellative character.

Tip 3: Think in advance: Who is sitting across from me?

When planning the speech, the speaker should know: who is sitting across from me? If the audience is predominantly employees who rarely see the boss, the speech should be designed differently than if the audience consists only of executives with whom the boss conferences almost every day. It is also important: What is the relationship between the listeners? Do you know each other well or do you only see each other once a year? Do they belong to the same organization or not? Because when those present work together day in and day out, they have shared experiences that the speaker can relate to. If, on the other hand, they only see each other once a year, he has to fall back on other elements in order to find their ear. For example, the development in the industry to which everyone belongs. Or the shared experiences with the poor payment behavior of the customers.


Tip 4: Communicate with the audience.

A good speaker communicates with his audience - even if he is only speaking. With his eyes, for example, by frequently seeking eye contact with the audience. Therefore, speeches should be delivered as freely as possible. Always address the audience personally. However, not by using the phrase "Ladies and Gentlemen" every two to three minutes, but by asking the audience rhetorical questions such as "Do you know the following situation ..." or "Maybe it works too You so ... "Include examples from the experience of the audience in your speech. A dash of humor and self-irony is also good for any speech.

Tip 5: The seasoning lies in the brief.

The shorter a speech is, the better it is usually. A festive speech at the Christmas party should not last longer than ten or a maximum of fifteen minutes. The Chancellor’s New Year’s address on television doesn’t last longer.

A speech should contain a maximum of three core messages. For example: the jobs are safe. Our company looks forward to a bright future. And: We owe it to the commitment of all employees that our company is doing so well.

Tip 6: plan the "journey of thought".

You can use the mind mapping method to plan the content of your speech. It works as follows: In the middle of a piece of paper, write the subject or reason for the speech. For example: "Christmas Party" or "Strategy 2014". Then, along lines emanating from that center, write down whatever you can think of on the subject. For example: "Development of earnings", "Thanks to employees", "New products". Then write down whatever you can think of along the side arms of these lines. This gives you a quick overview of the possible contents of the speech. What if you realize it's going to be too much? Then you can easily stroke some (side) arms.

Tip 7: start with a crisp, end up fiery.

Plan the beginning and the end of your speech especially carefully. How attentively the audience listens to you depends largely on where you start. Good starting points are anecdotes - sometimes a joke. An example: a French, a German and an Englishman are sentenced to death. Everyone has one last wish. First the French: "I want to hear the Marseillaise again." Then the German: "I want to give a speech." Finally the Englishman: "I want to be shot before the German starts his speech."

Build your speech dramatically. Everything should be aimed at a grand finale that will ensure that your speech will be remembered by the audience - similar to a fireworks display.