Archive for January 9, 2008

How To Make Your Speeches Inspirational? The Key Lessons From The Art Of Inspirational Speaking

January 9, 2008

It has been years since I visited Cheng San Toastmasters Club. This is one of the first few Toastmasters Clubs that I visited when I became a Toastmaster more than a decade ago. The meeting venue has changed; the conference room has been shifted and it now holds a much larger meeting table. But the people’s warmth and friendliness has remained.

Coincidentally, a few senior Toastmasters from the Club have also returned tonight to actively attend the meeting after months and years of absence. They are the friends I’ve made during my very first visit to the Club. What a wonderful rendezvous!

As an invited Evaluator, I got to listen and evaluate the speech projects, especially the inspirational speech. In addition, I’ve also managed to share some of my recommendations with the speakers personally during the chit-chatting after the meeting regarding “The Art of Inspirational Speaking”.

Here are some of the key lessons:

1. If you have to refer to the audience, always leave a better after-taste. At the beginning of your speech, avoid putting the audience down as a strategy, especially if your speaking time is short. It will only serve as an uphill battle to uplift their spirit later on.

2. Critically understand the differences between an informative talk and an inspirational speech. A speech that is intended to inspire usually does not center on mere technical details or a series of steps or bullet points. It has to focus on tugging at the heartstrings of the audience and establish an emotional appeal towards greater goals. Study the differences, this will critically affect the way you design your speeches.

3. Focus a lot on your rapport and connection with the audience more than anything. Rapport makes the audience trust you and connection leads the audience to want more of you. You must have rapport and connection (R and C) always if you truly want to be an inspirational speaker.

4. Ensure that your speech has a simple structure and is easy to follow. The simplicity criteria holds true here. You must be able to let your audience make sense of what you are saying, instead of confusing them. If they can follow your speech, then they can get your message.

It’s always a joy and pride to share. It’s even grander and gracious to inspire. Go ahead to make that difference.

Go forth to Excel Beyond Excellence!