Speech writing is a refined skill, and communications professionals with the ability to write strong speeches are a hot commodity in the financial services industry. Here are four tips that will help improve your next speech.
1. Start strong
Professional speakers – and authorities in their field – have the experience to start their speeches any way they want. People are often there to see them as much as to hear what these speakers have to say.
Everyone else should take one of the following approaches when writing the start of a speech: humour (but not a “joke” per se), a quote, a challenging question or an engaging story.
2. Appeal to emotions, not logic
It’s tempting to try to appeal to people’s sense of logic when speaking because you want to show them that you are right. But that approach doesn’t always work.
Appealing to people’s emotions, however, will. We’ve never heard of an audience “getting caught up in the logical nature of the argument.” It’s the emotional pull of an argument that works because it appeals to something that’s deeper than reason.
In a way, financial services marketers have it easier than marketers in other industries because people generally have a strong interest in those issues that impact their finances.
3. Focus on one idea
Choose a topic and stick with it.
If your speech is too short, resist the temptation to switch topics. The last thing you want to do is confuse your audience or muddle your argument. So keep it simple and straightforward – focus on one idea and one idea only.
4. Refine your transitions
Transitioning between proof points is the no-man’s land of speeches.
If you’re stuck on a creative way to move from point A to point B, you can at least summarize what you’ve said. That approach will keep people focused, while also giving them a little break.
The best approach, however, is to treat transitions the same way you did your introduction – with another little story or some humour.
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