If you are booked to speak at a seminar or a conference, undoubtedly you are in a position that many of your contemporaries would kill to get to. When it comes to making an impact at a seminar as a speaker, this is where the pressure inevitably starts piling up.

If you want to make an impact and boost your business, you’ve got to get used to the idea of knowing how to deliver a great speech in all of its forms. When it comes to a conference, there are so many other business owners and those who are full to the brim with ambition that you’ve got to hit the ground running. So, what do you need to consider when it comes to giving a speech at a seminar that makes a massive impact?

Use Supplementary Materials Wisely

Many people opt for slides to make the speech stronger but there’s also other supplementary materials like customised booklets, however, you shouldn’t let these take over the speech but use them sparingly. Adding visuals in the form of slides will make your talk stronger. It’s about making sure that you are using visuals that support what you are talking about while also making them entertaining and eye-catching. 

This also plays into the fact that when we communicate, only 7% of the meanings are communicated through the spoken word, with 38% through the tone of voice, and 55% through body language or imagery. Supplementary materials can be invaluable if you feel like there is a part of your speech that is lacking or you’ve worked hard at it but have not been able to get it perfect.

Learn About the Audience

The first time you give a speech, you can easily become overwhelmed with nerves and anxieties that you’ve not done enough, but one of the most important ways to reduce these feelings is to understand who your audience is. If you want to connect with them, you will need to understand what they want to hear and how they think, and therefore you can start tailoring your words to appeal to them. 

When you are speaking at a conference with other like-minded business people, you can make the general assumption that they have already been through the mill when it comes to business, and therefore this can influence what you wish to talk about. If you are going somewhere and you don’t necessarily understand the demographics, getting as much information as you can before the big day will alleviate a lot of your concerns because you will start to identify their pain points and what they want to achieve.

Crafting the Script to Deliver a Great Speech

Lots of people hate sitting down and creating a script, but public speaking is not just about sitting down and agonizing over every single word, but it’s about making sure that the script works with your natural delivery.

There are two key areas to your script, and that is the subject and what you’re going to communicate, but also how you’re going to come across. The script itself needs to be engaging and has to be structured, which makes things easier for you to follow. You need to draw in the audience, and engaging them is about giving yourself enough time to come up with numerous ideas, but also craft the outline and numerous drafts as well as rehearsing the script. 

One of the reasons a speech is so effective is because the person delivering it elicits some form of empathy from the audience. This is why the best stand-up comedians and performers instantly connect with their audience because they are making it human. If you’ve ever seen any Shakespeare and have not understood a single word of what is being said, this is the fault of the performer because they didn’t work hard at making it relatable despite being, in effect, a foreign language.

When you humanize the script and absorb it, you will get a far better reaction from the audience because you’re not literally reading something parrot fashion. Great talks take a long time to create, and therefore knowing what you’re going to say, making sure you say it succinctly, but also making it human and relatable, will ensure you keep people hooked.

Do Not Underestimate Your Delivery

The script is the foundation, and when you’ve got this perfectly fine-tuned, you then need to start thinking about making it more natural. During the script-writing process, you can benefit from dictating it into your phone, which can help to type the words, of course, but recording the speech also allows you to start picking apart the bits that aren’t so engaging or don’t sound natural. The delivery is all about diction. 

I have a dream,” “Ich bin ein Berliner,” and all of those great speeches stem from their delivery. Remember, it’s predominantly how you look when you deliver it, and making yourself as relaxed as possible is one thing, but you also need to practice the speech and allow for opportunities to breathe. Delivering long-winded sentences will make you run out of puff, and when you start to look at how you can deliver the speech beyond something that’s incredibly monotonous, you can invariably take advantage of those peaks and troughs. 

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are delivering speeches is that they’re trying to remember the words. Let the words become you, and while this may be a bit more work, actually memorizing these things and absorbing the material ensures that while you may have worked hard at defining the target audience and working on the script itself, ultimately what people will remember is how you looked and how you said it.

They can learn about the facts later, especially if you’ve provided them with supplementary materials. But don’t forget, much like in sales, it’s about how you made these people feel. So if you want to make an impact with your speech, even if you don’t think you have what it takes, it is a skill that anybody can learn and can excel in.