Hey, it’s summer. Time to lighten up and add a little sizzle to your next speech.
Here are some light-hearted suggestions:
The 7 “S’s” of Spicy Speech Writing
Even if you don’t like surprises your audience will. How can you surprise them as they sit there listening to you patiently? It can even be something simple like giving away a prize. You could even conduct a mini game show where you ask a question and the first person to answer wins a prize. Use props, sound effects or movements that are wacky and unexpected, but still fit in with the “theme” of your speech.
How can you engage all the senses of your audience? A friend of mine does this by taking her audience on a visualized journey in which she describes a certain scene in vivid detail, including the sounds, smells, textures and sights. Another way is to actually have something they can touch or even smell. Kind of like show and tell. Their sense of hearing and sight are engaged by listening and looking at you, but can you spice it up by including props, photos, or by wearing an elaborate costume? Use music. If you’re telling them about your trip to Brazil, can you cue up some Brazilian music?
3. Simile & Southern Sayings
You know what a simile is, don’t you? It’s a figure of speech in which two very different things are compared in order to describe something. For instance, “her hair was like silk” or “the news hit me like a bucket of cold water.” The use of simile can spice up your speech because it adds imagery and the unexpected. Another form of simile shows up in southern expressions, like, “He was dumber than a sack of hammers” or “I was a sober as a preacher on Sunday,” or “she was two fries short of a Happy Meal.” These add a little humor and fun.
Being a singer myself, I love to just throw in a song or a phrase of a song if it is relevant to what I am saying. People love it because it breaks up the monotony of talk, talk, talk and audiences appreciate anyone who has enough guts to sing a little, even if they can’t sing in tune. In fact, the worse you are, the more entertaining it can be for your audience. Just be sure to give it your all.
5. Self-Effacing Humor
My friend Jim always starts his speeches by making fun of himself in some way. It could be about how he’s dressed or some embarrassing thing that happened to him that day. He does this because it breaks that initial tension he feels when first gets up there and starts talking, and it gets the audience laughing right away. Besides, audiences tend to engage with someone who is not afraid to laugh at himself in public.
6. Significant Moment
Can you share a moment in your life that holds a lot of significance for you? Something that woke you up or changed your life? By sharing these moments or stories, you create an atmosphere of intimacy and trust, and people love to feel inspired by the experiences of others.
7. Story, Story and More Story
Stories are like salt and pepper. They should be your most dependable and highly used spices when it comes to creating your speeches. People love hearing stories. It must be in our DNA because we have been fascinated with story forever. Use stories to illustrate your points and your audience will be enraptured.
Let the 7 S’s of spicy speech writing zip up your speech this summer.