Your speech may consist of tens of lines, hundreds of words, and thousands of letters. But the basis of your speech should be only one line.
World Champion Speaker Randy Harvey calls it the Legacy Line. World Champion Speaker and Trainer Craig Valentine calls it the Foundational Phrase. Doug Stevenson calls it The Phrase that Pays. Whatever you call it is irrelevant. Here is what it is. It is the line that you want to linger in your audience's mind, but it is also the line that YOU should start with to keep you focused on what to include in your speech.
I try to drink my coffee black, or with some natural Stevia in it at most. However, there is something about adding cream to coffee that makes it so much tastier. A creamy coffee, whether it be made at home or a Vanilla Latte from Starbucks, is so much more tasty. Well, just as cream makes your coffee more pleasing to the palate, there are words you can use (and an order to use them) that makes them more pleasing to the ear.
In James Humes' book “Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln”, he states that the greatest leaders are the greatest speakers. Humes goes on to say that by using certain strategies in your delivery, you can be come a “Lion” of speaking, and that when you deliver lines in your speeches using 5 specific elements, your words will linger in your listener's mind. For the purpose of your speeches, ensure that you add some of the following speech elements to your lines of delivery, or risk those lines being forgotten. Be deliberate with your delivery, and your lines will surely linger.
5 P's to Perfect Practice
My mother always taught me that "Practice makes Perfect".
I have since learned from speaker Les Brown that "Practice makes Improvement", because you can always strive to Improve as opposed to settling with your version of perfect.
I'm sure most people have heard that practice is important. From speakers to athletes to anyone who has done anything significant in life, practice was likely a part of their routine. Then why do some
people still ignore this when it comes to speaking and communicating?
Have you ever heard someone say, "I'll just speak on the fly.", or "I sound rehearsed when I practice."? Don't believe it. When you speak on the fly, sometimes it comes off great, yes. However there are a small group of speakers and communicators (myself NOT included), that can walk into a room and just speak and "kill it" as they say. (Eric Thomas comes to mind. Google "Eric the Hip hop Preacher"). However, practice makes you better, more polished, and can allow you to see how you can make your speaking more effective and impactful. And don't worry about sounding rehearsed. Even speakers that use notes rarely sound rehearsed. So let's get to 5 methods to apply when you practice to make your speeches more professional, polished, and (close to) perfect.
Are you stumped as to what your next speech should be about? Do you have trouble thinking of ideas to talk to audiences about? You are not alone! I believe most people join a speaking group such as Toastmasters because they DO want to speak – they just do not always know WHAT to speak about. So here is your roadmap to F.I.N.D.ing your next speech!
F. Make your “4Fs” list...
Kwesi Millington helps speakers, presenters and youth to connect with their audiences and master their messages using the power of storytelling in their speeches & presentations. He is a Certified Public Speaking Coach & Youth Mentor.