Grabbing Their Attention

Three Elements of a Powerful Speech


In my previous life of child welfare, I was fortunate enough to have become a certified trainer and worked for recruitment and retention committees for foster/adoptive parents, staff, and volunteers. I’ve done a substantial number of speeches and presentations over the years. I think, near the end of my former career, the most difficult speech of all I had to deliver, was the tribute to my beautiful friend, confidante, and colleague we tragically lost in a horrific car accident. If you were to ask what types of speeches I’m comfortable with writing and delivering and can do with confidence, I would say, most of them, except for just that one. I enjoy infusing humour, participation and often storytelling elements to captivate my audience.

So, the topic of this blog assignment, is what are three elements of a powerful speech? Depending on the topic, audience, and purpose, in my own personal experience, I would surmise as follows:

  • Connecting with the audience
  • Content / message
  • Effective delivery

To elaborate further: connecting with the audience, for me, has to do with interaction, engagement and sparking their curiosity or interest with the topic at hand. Content or message has to be meaningful, impactful and something that resonates with them long after your three-to-five minutes of presenting has finished. Effective delivery has everything to do with tone, cadence, projection and the level of enthusiasm you infuse into your delivery. Your body language has to denote confidence, knowledge, and comfort in the spotlight. Perhaps that’s why I’m not a scientific, mathematic or some other technical industry person. It would profoundly limit my entertaining and storytelling speech style.

That’s all for today. Since I uploaded this on election night, and the fate of the USA is at hand, I felt compelled to leave you with an uplifting speech from the Independence Day movie! Now, I’m off to write my speech for next week’s executive bio presentation!


Karen Minnis


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