The Five Elements of a Perfect Speech

A few months ago, I ran a workshop called “The Five Elements of a Perfect Speech”.

Before the workshop began I asked the participants what they expected the five elements would be, I had expected that we would share similar ideas but instead I gathered a long list of elements that make a speech great:

1. Structure

2. Preparation

3. Creativity

4. Body Language

5. A “Call To Action”

6. An attention grabbing opening

7. Brevity

8. Not a speech but more a conversation with the audience

9. Personal Stories

10. Props & Imagery

11. Performance

12. Impeccable grammer

13. Your speech must have a message

14. Impact

15. Engaging the audience

16. Humour

17. Inspiration

18. Conviction

19. Relevance

20. Credibility

And while these are great ideas, some of these don’t have to be present for a speech to be great. We can have an amazing speech where the speaker captures the imaginations of the audience with only their voice, never needing body language or props. Some of the most moving orations have never been prepared and not every speech needs a call to action.

For a perfect speech we need to find the elements that are always present, elements that feel logical and natural, elements that will ensure that your message is heard and understood. Taking all this into account, the five elements of a perfect speech are:

  1. Clarity – your message must be clear and simple
  2. Passion – if you’re not excited by your topic, then why should your audience be?
  3. Relevance – If it’s not relevant, then why I should listen to you? Always make sure that you can make your topic relevant and interesting for your audience.
  4. Interaction – we know from school that no-one really hears anything by sitting passively listening to a voice at the front of the room, we need interaction, we need it to be two-way communication, we need to be engaged.
  5. Memorability – you could give a great presentation but if your audience can’t remember your message then you’ve wasted your time, you need to make your message stick.

2 Comments

  • Pretty sure humour needs to be on the list… but I guess it could be part of 4 or 5

  • geekspeaker wrote:

    Humour can’t always be used, it would depend on the situation but for the right setting, humour could definitely be used effectively for 4 and/or 5