Not sure what to speak about? This is a common problem I get asked when it comes to storytelling. There are endless places to get your stories, but here are just a few:
Finding Speech Topics comes down to your 5Fs
“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” (George S. Patton)
Do you have courage? As a speaker, your answer is absolutely yes. Just standing up on stage as we know, is something that most people will never attempt to do. However, speaking is the start of courage – what you speak about is when it really turns to bravery.
There are still speakers that will not touch certain topics in their own lives. That is a shame because they are missing out on an opportunity for true connection with their audience. When you get personal, you can pull your audience in at a much greater level.
Here are 3 areas of courage to consider:
My friend Ron Tsang wrote a book on Public Speaking called “From Presentation to Standing Ovation.” I highly recommend the book as it is content rich, succinct and highly, instantly actionable for speakers and presenters.
In it, he references Aristotle and talks about persuasion. As Jim Rohn says, we must not confuse Presentation with Persuasion. Just because you are on stage, doesn't mean that people are going to follow what you have to say. Sure, they may listen, but the point of speaking should not be just to get others to listen. They should be driven to ACT upon what they hear.
Giving a Speech is Good; Causing Transformation is Golden.
In addition to the 3 methods mentioned by Ron Tsang, here are 2 more tips to comprise the 5 Paths to Persuasion that transform your advice to audience action.
What makes a speech outstanding?
It depends who you ask. Some might say storytelling. Some might say getting emotion out of an audience. Some still may say an outstanding speech must be informative. There is merit in all of this.
However, as a coach, I've seen speeches that have had stories, moments of emotion, and nuggets of information, that still needed a lot of work to make them outstanding.
Developing an outstanding speech is not something that many speakers bother to do. There may be many reasons for this. I believe the major one is that most speakers are better at the art of public speaking than those people that they speak to. The average audience member may be an expert in many areas, however the speaker is more often than not the #1 communication expert in the room.
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.