7 Keys to a Good Speech

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If you’re pursuing a degree in public relations, learning the art of writing and delivering a great speech is important. A good speech isn’t just about great rhetoric. You need the right timing, a good message, structure and other essential components. Master your public speaking skills with these seven keys to a good speech.

Group of employees listening to a company announcement

Key #1 – Ensure Your Speech Has a Point

Your audience is giving you their time, so make sure you’re not wasting it with a speech that has no point. Nearly everyone has heard a speech and walked away wondering what it was really about. Don’t make this mistake. Make sure you have a point, but avoid having too many points, since too many messages can be problematic as well.

Key #2 – Connect with Your Audience

Although you’re the one giving the speech, you have to think of your speech as a conversation. You must connect with your audience. This can be done through eye contact, but use language your audience feels comfortable with, and avoid talking down to your audience.

Key #3 – Have the Right Tone for Your Message

Having the right tone for your message is so important when you’re delivering a speech. Think about who your audience is and why they’re listening to you. What does your audience want? According to Forbes, whether your goal is to challenge, entertain, motivate, or inform, you must have the right tone.

Key #4 – Focus on Good Structure

A great speech needs a good structure, which means your speech should have a beginning, a middle, and an ending. Audiences often react best when you tell them in the beginning what you plan to share, and then you can offer mileposts throughout the speech. Don’t just dive into the topic. Start by giving your main points and letting the audience know how you’ll arrange your speech.

Key #5 – Capture People with a Story

People react to stories. Stories grab attention. Use stories within your speeches to capture your audience. Stories not only offer a great way to start a speech, but they can be woven into your speech to illustrate points and appeal to the emotions of your audience.

Key #6 – Practice and Revise

Spend plenty of time practicing your speech and revising as necessary. Practicing gives you the chance to find areas of your speech that need work so you can revise them to make a better connection.

Key #7 – Leave Your Audience Wanting More

Too many speakers talk for too long. You want to leave your audience wanting more, so keep your speech a bit on the shorter side.

Learn more about delivering great speeches and other key public relations skills by pursuing your online public relations degree. The George Washington University’s online Master’s in Strategic Public Relations program offers the education you need to be well equipped for a great career in public relations.

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