On Tuesday I will be entering a speech contest… The ultimate winner of the competition is crowned the “World Champion of Public Speaking” at the finals in August. Now, there are many levels and competitions between now and then that will refine the 25,000 contestants into one final champion but one thing is for sure all the serious competitors will have been honing their message, writing their speeches, practising them, and looking to friends for feedback. It can be an arduous process, constantly refining and honing to achieve what they hope will be a winning speech ready to have it judged by their peers. Each competitor has seven minutes to deliver their speech which says something meaningful to the listening audience, a winning speech will have a defined structure, and the winning speaker will have delivered their speech in a manner which sells their message to the listening audience. I have been writing, refining, and practising my speech with the help of a colleague. My speech has gone through a number of revisions, but now, a little over twenty four hours from the contest I know it’s ready to go! I’m confident it has a valuable message and a solid structure. Tomorrow night I need to ensure my delivery is flawless. If I can do that then, fingers crossed, I can move onto the next level of the competition.
While the end goal for the competitors is the title of “World Champion” its probably not your goal! However the process used to write and deliver a winning speech in competition is the same one used to deliver a presentation in the office. Regardless of if you’re speaking to your employees, your clients, or presenting to the CEO you need to have a clear message, a defined structure, and the ability to deliver the message in a manner that will influence them. You won’t achieve this if you stand up to present your speech with no practice, no refinement, or no feedback. When you deliver your speeches how much practise are you doing? You might not be chasing the title of World Champion of Public Speaking but by taking the time to write and deliver a speech you’re chasing something. Whatever you are chasing isn’t it a little time spent refining and practising worth it?