5 Tips to Make Your Speech Memorable
I don’t know for you, but for me I always want to make any speech that I deliver be remembered by the audience members. I just try to become excellent in what I do because a great speech to me is the one that people can remember for a long period of time. For instance, I still remember ‘I have a dream’ speech by Martin Luther team bonding Singapore King Jr. even though I listened to it a long time ago. In fact, ‘I have a dream’ is just one of the many speeches that I can remember in my head.
To a public speaker like me, making my audience participants remember my speech is an honorable and big achievement. That’s the reason I have almost always thrived to find keys to make my speech outstanding and memorable especially when I am supposed to deliver it before or after many other speeches given by other speakers. Throughout the years, I have found some key elements leading to making a public speaking speech memorable. Your speech can be remembered with one, many or all of the following elements.
- Word or phrases
“Better late than never” is a phrase from a speech made by a friend of mine in Toastmasters Club maybe around three years ago. While he was delivering his speech, he kept repeating the phrase, making almost all the 30-people-plus audience remember the phrase.
Using word or phrase is one of the clever and simple ways to make any speech memorable. Generally speaking, people do not have strong memory power, and most of them do not care much what you say either. So, as a public speaker, it’s your job to find something easy for them to remember. For example, I do not remember any speech of the US President Barack Obama, but I do remember the phrase “Yes, we can”. I do not remember the whole speech of “I have a dream”, but I do remember the phrase “I have a dream”.
So, use or coin some clever words or phrases for your speech. Repeat the words or phrases often enough so that your audience participants can remember. If possible, the words or phrases should not be too difficult to pronounce. Make them as easy and simple as possible. People in general don’t like something complicated, and neither does their brain.
- Example or story
Besides words or phrases, example, story or anecdote is another powerful tool to make people remember your speech. Genuinely good and real story can make the audience fall in love with the speech quickly and wholeheartedly. How many of you still remember the story you were told by your parents or grandparents when you were young?
Before you can provide what your audience members want, you first have to find out what they want. In my understanding and experience, there are reasons that the audience participants listen to your speech. First, they want to get educated, and/or second, they want to get entertained. If you combine the two, you can get a newly coined word “edutainment”. A great speaker, to me, is someone who can get their audience to laugh and learn at the same time. And, one of best ways to do that is to tell story.
Personally, I am not a good story teller. So, I rarely if not never tell story for I believe I will ruin rather than improve my speech. Instead of telling story, I would prefer to raise real example of myself or other people. Example works better for me as a speaker. It works because I used to talk to a stranger and he asked me what the update my status quo is. He based his question on my real-life example that I included in a speech long time before that moment that I met him.
Next time you design a speech, you may want to include anecdote or story in your speech because it helps make it memorable. The audience participants might not remember your whole speech, but they are most likely to remember your story.
- Sensory-related actions
A general person has five senses including touch, smell, sight, sound and taste. All of these senses are linked to memory. I’m not a biologist or physician, but I know this because I remember clearly the taste of a delicious food I ate two or three years ago. My saliva still comes out in my mouth each time I think of the taste of the food. When you hear your national anthem, what do you think of? If you are like most people and me, you will think of your country flag. The picture of the flag just pops up in your head automatically. To me, this is how memory is linked to the sense.