Create a Foundation for a Memorable Speech
Our History as Story Tellers
Since the earliest days of human existence, people have been story tellers. They shared accounts of the hunt around campfires. They passed down legends of great heroes. They told fables and parables to teach morality. Religious books like the Bible, the Koran and the Talmud are filled with memorable narratives that teach important life lessons.
Story telling is as old as humanity itself. And stories are the core of speaking.
Avoid This Common Speech Mistake
Many public speaking books offer the advice to ‘tell a story, make a point.’ On the surface, this is excellent advice. However, many speakers make the mistake of telling stories simply to tell them. They don’t connect them to a main point. Worse, they often don’t have a main message to wrap their stories around.
Audiences are more likely to remember your story if it is relevant to your main idea. As you develop your presentations, remember that your main message is the foundation of your speech. Every story, every fact every example must relate to that message, or your talk will quickly be forgotten, or worse, will irritate your audience.
Create a Speech Like You’d Build a House
Think of it this way: If you were to build a house, would you start by putting up some walls, then a roof, then lay the foundation? Probably not, unless the idea of living in a pile of rubble appeals to you. The foundation is obviously the first step to build a solid house. The same is true of your speech.
Build your foundational concept before you construct any other part of your speech. This will be the measuring stick you use to determine what stays in your talk. Each statistic, data point, and story should be tested to to see if supports the foundational idea.
How Do You ‘Pour Your Foundation’
Creating your foundation isn’t a quick and easy task. Your goal should be to craft a phrase that is fewer than 10 words. Consider one of the most memorable tag lines of the past two decades:
‘Just Do It!’
When you see those three words, what immediately comes to mind?
You’re probably not creating a marketing tagline, but the concept is the same. Create a short phrase that conveys the benefit of what your speech is about. Use emotional words if possible.
If you want people to remember your speeches, center them around a foundational phrase. It will help you develop a message that is concise and clear. This will increase the odds of your leaving a lasting impact of others.