Speech Styles

There are many different styles of speech and you could be forgiven for not realising that sometimes a speech is actually something else.

Let me explain. Whenever your parents told you off when you were little – that was a speech.
When your boss presented you with your leaving present – that was a speech.
And when great orators like Tony Robbins or Jeff Bezos stand in front of an audience selling their products – that is a speech.

A speech therefore can have many styles …

… It may be motivational. To build you up to do something (sometimes that you did at want to do!)
It may be informative. The climate change activist letting you know the latest statistics about global warming. It might be funny, humorous, entertaining, informative, instructional, in fact almost anything you hear on tv radio or live could be considered a type of speech.

Can speaking be learned? Yes of course. There are lots of great charismatic, motivational speakers. and the majority of them have learned the craft and art of public speaking. You can too.
There are very few people who are natural born speakers. but that’s the same with everything.

What makes a good speech? First of all, it must be interesting and relevant to the audience. When you consider delivering a speech you must use the
W I I F M approach. Think about it from the audience point of view. The audience member is thinking What’s In It For Me? In addition, they will consider a number of things.

Who is this person delivering the speech?
Do they have experience?
Why should I listen?

What style do you have?
Don’t try to be the next Tony Robbins or Martin Luther King you need to be yourself. Find your own style. We can therefore take this a step further. As well as the style of speech we also need to consider the style of the speaker.

What style(s) should you use?
My thoughts are that you must use your own style. Be yourself, after all, there is no one else in the world like you. You are unique and your stories are too. The key thing is to be authentic.

There are many different ways you can add to your style of speaking. You could add humour. That doesn’t mean you should be telling lots of jokes. The introduction didn’t include comedian so unless you are being billed as the comedy turn don’t do it. Rather, use gentle humour, preferably self-deprecating humour about you. Never, ever try to pick on the audience and make jokes about them this can lead to disaster.

Other styles you could use might be in your dress code. You might always speak wearing a tie or not. It might be you have a certain brand or colour – use that but be consistent. You might have a prop linked to you and your brand again use it every time so the audience can recognise you and become familiar. You might have catch phrase but again please don’t steal anyone else’s. It’s not you.

Where can you go to practice these different styles of speaking? Why not try Toastmasters International? There is bound to be a club near you where you can practice in a safe environment and get great feedback. You might also volunteer to do a showcase at one of the PSA events where you can get even more feedback.

Create your own style of speaking and get out there and in the words of NIKE – Just Do It!