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The Best Technical and Rhetorical Tricks to Give a Good Speech

The first words you pronounce will determine the success of your speech. If you start badly, you will not get the attention or sympathy of the attendees.

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The tactics of the experts to initiate an oral intervention could be summarized in the words of Guy de Maupassant:

“Make me dream. Make me laugh. Make me get excited Make me cry. Make me think.”

1. Question

The question challenges the audience, links it immediately with the speech and stimulates their attention. If there are few people, you can ask individually or vote by show of hands. With this, you imply that you care about the ideas and experiences of the audience, the discourse changes rhythm and you get additional information that can help you focus the rest of the dissertation.

Helpful tips. The question must directly affect the interests of the audience (“How many of you have a mortgage?”) Or arouse your curiosity (“Do you know how many hired assassins offer their services in Spain?”). The rhetorical question is also very effective (“How many more small business owners will we have to close so that the government can change its fiscal policy?”).

2. Appointment

An ingenious quote on the subject to be treated is a safe and widely used resource. To choose the right appointment we must take into account the public and choose an author that connects with him, that arouses his sympathy or admiration. Therefore, the appointment does not have to be extracted from a classic. The appointment of a contemporary character or someone simply famous is more effective in certain audiences. A saying or popular saying can also be effective.

Helpful tips. Do not resort to hackneyed dates, there must be a certain element of surprise. Experts recommend buying a dating dictionary ordered by subject or resort to dating sites and Internet anecdotes.

3. Statistics and data

The statistics usually offer surprising data capable of extracting from its lethargy the most conformist of the listeners. In addition, statistics are always strong, unquestionable. He speaks statistics and it is as if God himself solemnly pronounced.

Helpful tips. The data that surprises, disturbs or excites the curiosity of the public is more effective (“45% of children see violent scenes on television daily”). We must also help interpret the data (“Last year we invoiced 50 million euros.” Is it a lot or a little? Is growth adequate ?, etc.). To find statistics compile press clippings and official documents.

4. Object

When he takes a thing in his hand and stands up so that everyone can observe it, everyone, absolutely everyone, watches. It is highly recommended when our audience knows us (we speak to employees or colleagues with whom we eat every day) and, therefore, is less prone to surprise.

Helpful tips. The more impressive the object, the more successful you will be among the public. If you talk about deforestation, you can show a photo of the Amazon, but it will be more effective if you hold a chainsaw in your hands.

5. Anecdote

We can start the speech with a story in the first person that tells something that we have lived or witnessed. This strengthens the connection with the audience, who will remember similar experiences. Also, personalize the dissertation, since you add something that nobody but you can add. The goal is to use your own experience as an example of a general experience. The best anecdotes are brief and closely related to the speaker, the audience and the subject. And, if possible, with a touch of emotion.

Helpful tips. Ask yourself to what extent the topic you are going to speak about affects you and how you can relate that topic to your daily life. If you talk about banking products, maybe you can tell what happened to you that time at the ATM. But remember that the speech is not about you. Be brief, be modest and reject stories that do not help you achieve your goals.

6. Story

You can start with a story, a legend, a story of suspense or humor. From small, we pay attention to the story that begins with an “Once Upon a Time …” and to all, without a doubt, we like good fiction stories. To serve as an introduction the story must have a moral or interpretation that is useful for your speech.

Helpful tips. It is advisable brevity. The longer the story, the greater the emotional shock or grace must be. Use humor with caution and not ironices about beliefs, races, ideologies or any issue that you intuit could annoy your audience.

7. Images

Use expressive resources such as metaphors, hyperboles or comparisons. With an image that symbolizes the object of your talk, you will achieve three objectives: stimulate the imagination of the audience and help them remember what you want to say. It is more effective to say that “there are senior managers who behave like the African wasp. They enter the victim’s body and devour it from within “, that” corporate corruption is a very serious problem “.

Helpful tips. The listener will make a mental image of what you intend to convey. You must ensure that this image is accurate, surprising, ingenious and linked to the object of your exhibition. Do not hesitate to exaggerate but do not be pedantic.

The first impression is the one that remains

The first visual impression must be as strong and lasting as the first words. We only have one opportunity to make a good first impression. The golden rule to achieve it is naturalness. In addition, consistency is required between words and gestures:

  • Look. Before you start talking, come into visual contact with the audience, look in the eyes of the audience. If you do not do it, they will not listen to you and interpret that you do not have confidence in yourself or that you hide something. If the audience is small, look at everyone. If this is not possible, divide the gaze, establishing six points of reference, three in the front rows and three in the back rows.
  • Gestures. Use your own gestures naturally. Do not exaggerate, or you will distract the attention of the public. Avoid putting your hands in your pockets, playing with the keys, crossing your arms or resting on your hips. But if you do it unintentionally, calm down. Naturalness comes first.
  • Movements. The lectern has gone out of style. It is better to move freely on the stage and to the audience with a wireless microphone. If, in spite of this, you want lectern, do not entrench yourself behind it. Go out from time to time and get close to the public. Experts recommend that the lectern be installed on the right side of the stage: the allied public sits on the right and the terrorist on the left.
  • Locker room. More formal interventions need a classic wardrobe. For more relaxed occasions you can opt for a more casual look although you should always respect some external minimums connected with the classic way of dressing. Give a touch of color with the accessories: ties, handkerchiefs. For example, the executives of a major Spanish bank often play with the color red in their complements because it is identified with the image of the financial institution for which they work.
  • Voice. The first words should be pronounced in a clear and strong tone. Do not speed up Begin the speech slowly and emphasize what you think is important.
  • Smile. If you present a relaxed and relaxed look, the audience will react in the same way. The smile causes a sympathy effect, use it often.
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