3 Ways To Stand Out From The Crowd

Ok, maybe wearing a zebra-patterned outfit like balloon-launch coordinators do is too much to ask. But if you deliver speeches or presentations - or write for someone who does - face the facts: it takes some effort to stand out from the crowd. Every day thousands of people step on to the podium to speak. Yet, only a fraction of the talks they give are memorable or move audiences to action. Follow the tips below to raise the chances that you’ll engage your listeners and get them onside.

• Want to get people to pay attention to what you have to say? Then pay attention to them. Establish and maintain eye contact throughout your talk. One way to do that is to rehearse your speech until you only need to skim your script. If you write for a speaker, make sentences easy to deliver: keep them simple, active and on the short side.

• If you illustrate your talk with slides, be sure people can read the text on the screen. Generally, slide text should be 30 point or higher. Can't cram everything in? Then cut words before resorting to a too-small font size. Otherwise, you risk losing both attention and credibility.

• Anchor your ideas in the minds of your listeners by throwing them a hook. The President of the Canadian Medical Association did that recently when he painted a picture of the crisis of overfilled Canadian hospitals by describing “Code Gridlock”. His listeners won't soon forget what “Code Gridlock” means, or what action the CMA proposes to reduce it.

Let the colour & drama of a balloon launch inspire you to take your speechwriting skills to new heights. Get lift off by watching the 1-minute long Speechwriting Skills video here.