Are you often called to speak in front of others? If yes, then the art of making your speech unique, memorable, and inspiring is something you should be able to do with little or no effort.
This is important because listening to a yawn-inducing and lifeless speech is one of the worst things your audience would want to waste their precious time doing.
So, for this reason, your goal for every speech should be to ensure that your speech leaves your audience inspired, hopeful, and enlightened.
Well, in case creating a mind-captivating speech has been a challenge for you, here are 15 ideas for making your next speech unique, memorable, and inspiring.
- Know your Audience: Audience Analysis
- Use Attention Grabbers in your Speech
- Be Authentic or Real during your Speech
- Keep the Speech SIMPLE
- Practice and Deliver the Speech with Confidence
- Short and Concise Presentation
- Be Creative and use Killer Visual Aids in your Speech
- Build Credibility: Show that You’re The ONE
- Break the Ice and Keep the Audience Engaged
- Structure and Organize your Speech for Better Impact
- Use Effective Signposts and Transition Statements
- Build Upon concepts that your Audience can Understand
- Avoid READING your Speech
- Review and Recap Main Points at the End of the Speech
- END the speech with a Call To Action or Powerful Quote
15 Ideas To Make A Speech Unique, Memorable & Inspiring
- Know who your target audiences are
Understanding the class and group of your target audience is the first step towards making your speech unique and memorable.
To be a great speaker, you must possess a great tact that will help you to understand that your speech is partially about yourself and wholly about your audience as well as the occasion that gives rise to your speech.
With a good understanding of whom your audience is, you will be able to use the right jargon, acronyms, illustrations, examples, and possibly ask questions that will help you to address issues relating to your audience in your speech.
With that, you would have been able to get their interest and possibly proffer solutions to their challenges through your speech.
Related Article: 10 Steps to an Effective Audience Analysis
- Grab your audiences’ attention
Sadly, humans are among the various creatures with a very short attention span. So, while delivering a speech, one of your core responsibilities is to ensure that you grab and hook your audience’s attention before they tune out.
In doing this, you may have to engage strategies such as telling a story, bringing in some humorous lines, asking questions, or even keeping them in suspense with some rhetoric.
Frankly speaking, starting your speech with the usual boring lines such as “my name is….” or “I am here to talk to you about…” is a sure way to let the attention of your audience to stray.
- Be real during your speech
Another great idea to help your speech resonate in the minds of your audience is being open, real, and authentic during your speech.
By this, your audience will be able to relate better with you, especially when you look relaxed without giving the impression that you are delivering a speech that you have thoroughly rehearsed.
Also, as part of being real to your audience, you may adopt some self-deprecating humor whenever the time is right to keep your audience alive.
One of the most recent unique, powerful and inspiring speeches to be found on Youtube now is that of the 2016 Harvard Graduate, Donovan Livingston, where he WOW’ed the audience and still impresses many people to this day. Watch it below:
- Keep your speech simple
Top among the core qualities of great speakers is the ability to deliver speeches that are understandable, straightforward, and reproducible.
By this, outstanding speakers try their hardest to ensure that their idea and point are strong, convincing, and yet clear and understandable. Besides ensuring that your points are strong and convincing, always ensure that every bit of your speech addresses and reinforces your main point or idea.
Always avoid too many facts, figures, and charts because these may complicate your speech and even get your audience confused at the end.
- Give adequate time for practice and deliver your speech with confidence.
It is usually understandable in the first instance if you stumble on your speech delivery. Yes, it is a common thing, and we’ve all been there one time or the other.
However, it becomes bad and unprofessional when that occurs more often in a speech, and that might lead to loss of focus, which may affect the quality of your delivery.
Consequently, it then becomes very easy for listeners to quickly forget about you as well as your speech if you are a speaker who lacks confidence during a speech.
To avoid this, you can prepare adequately for your speech by going over it over and over again. While this might help, it is mostly advisable to rehearse your speech without notes or trying to get everything in it verbatim.
Once you are perfect with the main points in your speech, you will be able to speak fluently, understandably without unnecessary or abrupt pauses, which are known to be an indication of unsuccessful speech delivery.
A typical illustration to describe a failed speech is by not creating adequate time to prepare your speech and then ending up improvising your speech. Contrary to this, if you prepare adequately with some sessions of rehearsals on the content of your speech, you will be to envisage and anticipate possible questions that your audience may ask, either during or after your speech.
- Keep your speech short and concise
Another amazing way to leave your audience inspired by a memorable and unique speech is to ensure that your speech is as brief as possible.
Trying to fill your speech with unnecessary information may end up getting your audience bored with your ideas.
Going straight to the major points of your speech and nailing each point and then moving on to the next point until you finally wrap up your speech is a good way to keep your audience alive and inspired about your speech.
Remember, no one will ever complain if your speech is short and concise instead of a long and boring sermon.
- Be creative when using visuals in your speech
No doubt, visuals such as photos, graphics, charts, and other visual elements can help you to pass your message across to your audience, and also help your audience to remember your message with ease.
However, irrespective of how visuals can boost the effective transmission of your idea across to your audience, you should apply moderation, and only use visuals that helps to buttress your points where text may seem too lengthy.
- Convince your audience that you are in the best position to deliver the speech
In public speaking, this concept is referred to as “ethos”, and it serves as your credibility statement.
By making it clear to your audience the position in which you occupy that allows you to deliver the speech, is a good way to show your audience that you know your onions and that the speech you are delivering to them is not a product of guesses.
Take for instance, if you are a chef, and you are giving a speech about the causes of alopecia, especially in a situation where you have never worked as a trichologist all your life. It will be very easy for your audience to doubt what you are saying to them about alopecia.
- Create an interactive session for your audience
When it comes to interacting with your audience, this is a part of your speech you must make sure to incorporate into your speech to keep your audience alive and active.
Take, for instance, you are most likely to have 70% of your listeners doze off when sharing a monologue that is not exceptionally exciting with them.
And if this is the case, your audience will have no option but to passively absorb your speech, and after which, they forget what you have spoken almost immediately.
To avoid this sad situation, it is best to engage your audience by way of asking them questions related to the points in your speech and then offering some little incentives for the participating audience.
Frankly speaking, the easiest way to have your listeners remember the content of your speech for a long time with ripples of inspiration is by activating your audience as much as possible.
A typical example to illustrate this is when delivering a motivational speech to a group of an audience about self-discipline in the form of a monologue.
In this case, it is way easier for your audience to forget the main points in your speech compared to when such a speech is delivered with interactive triggers following each point in your speech.
Once such a platform is created, it then becomes very easy for your listeners to share their personal experiences based on the points shared in your speech.
- Structure and organize your speech
Failure to organize your speech with a coherent structure is a cheat sheet to a speech that will end up as a ramble.
The reason for this is because the main points in your speech will be scattered all over your speech, and you may end up with your audience wondering to themselves “what is he even saying?”, “What is the main idea of the speech?”, or “what is the topic of the speech?”
To avoid this pitfall, it is, therefore, very important to organize your speech into a well-defined structure so that your points will flow, and the entire speech will go as though there is a road map guiding it.
Highly Recommended Article: How to Structure your Keynote Speech GUIDE
- Create appropriate connections between the major points in your speech
A seamless transition between the major points in your speech a great way to make your speech unique, memorable, and inspiring.
To achieve this, you will need to use appropriate linking words such as; “in addition to the first point”, “more so”, “going forward” or even “now that we have taken a critical look at the major challenges, let’s us focus on some possible solutions.”
With some transitory words and phrases such as these, you will be sure that your audience doesn’t lose track of the previous points in an attempt to take in news points or ideas.
Similarly, using conclusive phrases such as “in conclusion”, “finally,” “to summarize the major points”, signals to your audience that you have come to the end of your speech.
For more on that and tons of examples, please check out our guide on how to use transition statements and make your speech more fluid and interesting to your audience. You will also find transition phrases examples. Please check it out Here.
- Build upon concepts that your audience can understand
Just like other handy ideas shared so far, when you leverage on concepts that your audience can easily understand, you create an avenue for an inspiring and memorable moment among your listeners.
Although this may not always come very easy to do, when you can spot a common ground between your audience and yourself, it then becomes very easy to transform even a weird and complex argument into a speech that can easily be understood by your listeners.
On the flip side, using concepts and illustrations that your audience can barely relate to or do not have an idea about, you have then created a problem for both yourself as well as your audience, since they are most likely to forget your words right after you have finished speaking them.
A very simple analogy to explain this is using illustrations about music notes and terms to explain your ideas and points to an audience with little or no music background.
If this is the case, it will be very easy for the listeners to forget your points compared to using the same illustrations for music students or professionals, who can easily understand and memorize your ideas and points.
- Avoid reading your speech
No one wants to listen to a speaker that reads a speech as though it is a prepared speech they are just seeing for the first time. Not even you!
To avoid making your speech boring and time-wasting for your audience, avoid burying your head in the script and reading out every line in it.
Although there are some exceptions, as in the case of a graduation speech, a speaker should as a matter of necessity maintain adequate eye contact with his audience.
Irrespective of what kind of speech you may be delivering and the occasion, ignoring your audience and fixing your eyes and attention on your script is an easy way to turn your audience off from your speech. Unless you are delivering a Manuscript Speech.
Ideally, the best way to give a speech without having your audience burned out, even when you are practically reading the whole content, is to ensure that you have some of your key points and major ideas offhand.
With this, you’ll only go back to your script to pick one or two points to guide you on what next to say. And by so doing, you must have succeeded in delivering a speech that is memorable in the minds of your audience.
- Always review and recap your main points at the end of your speech
Sadly, many listeners are not too good at remembering a piece of information once heard. For this reason, a brief repetition from the speaker can boost the level of remembrance of the major points by the audience.
In most cases, expert speakers think that a speech should be delivered starting from a preview (where a brief outline of the main ideas is given), the main message in detail, and a review (a recap of the main points of the speech).
Well, you may quickly cut in that this feels more like a waste of time going over the same ideas and points in different ways. Be that as it may, the fact remains that doing so will help your listeners to be fully absorbed in your speech and also creating the room for your speech to resonate in their memory even after you’ve long gone.
- End a speech with a call-to-action or a powerful quote
Just like other parts of a speech, the end of a speech has so much to contribute to its uniqueness as well as how inspirational it will be to the audience. And as it is commonly said, a speech that is lacking a good and concrete finality and a conclusion is as good as a speech that is sloppy and also very easy to forget.
Ending a speech with a powerful and relevant quote that keeps resonating in the minds of the audience is a good way to end a speech in a grand style. Similarly, even in addition to a quote, a speech should as a matter of necessity end with a call-to-action that keeps the listeners on their toes about implementing the major ideas and points that are contained in the speech a speaker has just shared.
With a persuasive call-to-action, the audience will try their hardest to ensure that they memorize the content of a speech since there are still some actions to be taken even after the speech has been delivered.
A typical example of speech that wouldn’t make any meaning to the audience is one in which the major points were based mainly on volunteerism or some volunteer service.
In such instance, if as the speaker, you finish your speech without a powerful quote about voluntary service or a call to action for members of your audience to volunteer themselves to the cause of your speech, it will end up as a total waste of time since the content of the speech has not been put to practice.
For such a speech, the words of Muhammad Ali about voluntary service
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”
will make the perfect quote to usher in a call-to-action that will help your audience to subscribe to the content of your speech.
References & Further Reading
Elisa Abbott. 9 Tips to Make Your Speech Memorable.
Craig Ballantyne. 10 Ways to Make Your Speeches more Powerful, Persuasive, and Profitable.