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Design Your Speech For Impact

Excerpt from Speaker, Leader, Champion, by Jeremey Donovan and Ryan Avery.

Public Speaking Tip #4: Design your speech to have an impact.

Knowing your purpose and your core message is necessary but not sufficient. In addition, speeches must also have a compelling reason to exist. The message must motivate the members of your audience by illuminating why they should think, feel, or act differently. A win-ning speech can be summarized in a succinct, confident assertion that reads, “I will (purpose) my audience to (core message) so that (impact).” The digested version of Lance Miller’s speech is, “I will inspire my fellow Toastmasters to validate the goodness in others so that the world becomes a safer and more loving place.” As you can see, the impact is an audience-centric benefit.

This principle applies as strongly in business as it does to Toastmasters. Let’s illustrate this with four examples—some as lofty as Lance’s, others more mundane—one for each of the four purposes:

  • I will inform my boss about the status of my project so that she feels comfortable with the progress we are making.
  • I will persuade our sales force to use the new customer rela-tionship management system so that they win more business.
  • I will inspire my front-line service team to delight our cus-tomers so that they can build trust-based, value-added relationships.
  • I will entertain my fellow employees and their guests so they can relax and enjoy themselves.

Meet one of the youngest Toastmaster’s International World Champion and co-author of Speaker, Leader, Champion, Ryan Avery.

Jeremey Donovan is a Distinguished Toastmaster and TEDx organizer. He is the bestselling author of How to Deliver a TED Talk.
Ryan Avery is the 2012 World Champion of Public Speaking and an Emmy Award–winning journalist.

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