Words are magic. There is no denying it. Words motivate us, inspire us, and influence us. For good or for bad, words change the way we look at the world. One evidence for this can be found in the greatest speeches in history. From Martin Luther King Jr. to Steve Jobs – the best speech in the world contains words. Not just words, these speeches contain a structure of words, a hierarchy of words, a combination of words that make a real difference to the ones who hear them. This structure, this hierarchy, this combination is the common factor in the greatest speeches of all times. Let us dig a little deeper about how the greatest speakers of all times use this common factor to deliver the best speech in the world.
The blast at the start makes the greatest speeches in history possible:
Anything well begun is considered as half done. But it is at the beginning where most of the speakers fail to create an impression. Then, no matter how great the content of the speech is, how important the message of the talk is – it doesn’t reach the right ears at the right time. All because the first line of the speech wasn’t intriguing enough.
Martin Luther King Jr. created history – in fact – he changed history with only the first four simple words of his speech – ‘I have a dream’. The secret behind why this speech was a benchmark in the world of good speeches is these four simple, yet curiosity awakening, thought provoking words. The beginning of one of the greatest speeches in the world was straight- forward and relevant for the audience – the African Americans – for whom even the most basic rights were just a dream.
The greatest speakers of all times begin their speech like a thundering bolt on a dry summer afternoon or a ray of sunshine on cold, harsh wintery morning. And that’s what makes all the difference.
Remember that the speech isn’t about you, but about your audience:
You are not standing on a podium or a platform to harp on and on about your personal issues. Even if your speech is about your life struggles and successes, find a way to make it relevant to your audience. Remember, your speech is like a puzzle. Putting all the vague parts together to complete the picture isn’t enough. Your audience must be able to recognize the picture. They must take the picture home with them. That is what will make your speech the best speech in the world.
Find a way to connect to your audience with your words and your story. Although it looks like a one-sided conversation, a speech is actually a two-way street. A great speech cannot thrive on its own. You can speak a million words on that podium tonight, but unless those words mean something to your audience, your speech is a lost cause. The common factor in the greatest speeches of all times is the connect that speakers establish with the audience. Be the speaker, but let the speech be about those who are listening to you.
Triads are the structure on which the greatest speech in the world is built
Triads are a structural grammatical concept, in which effective and impactful words are used in groups of three to deliver concrete statements. Use of triads is the common factor in the greatest speeches of all times. Triads work like magic in a speech. Phrases such as reduce, reuse, recycle or they came, they saw, they conquered are the best examples of triads used in a speech to invoke emotion and awe in the audience.
Barrack Obama and Winston Churchill are two of the greatest speakers of all times who have effectively and successfully used triads in their most important speeches. So, make sure to use triads in your speech wherever possible to deliver your message effectively and efficiently.
Confident words is the common factor in the greatest speeches of all times
The greatest speakers of all times – right from Napoleon to Barrack Obama – have colored their speeches with immense confidence. A speech is a promise, a declaration, or a ray of hope. Never forget that. Thus, ensure that your speech is filled with hopeful, positive, and confident words. Words such as believe, no doubt, eventually, and many more fill your speech with the required confidence and makes your audience think that you know what you are saying.
Moreover, no one will want to listen to speakers who stutter and stammer, mix up their words, and end their speech on an inconclusive note. Consciously fill the gaps in your speech with confident and promising words or phrases. This will definitely turn your speech into one of the greatest speeches in history.
Humor is the secret ingredient of all the greatest speeches in history
Gone are the days when a speech was delivered with a grim face and even more grim words. Today, the attention span of listeners have reduced to 10 seconds at the most. So, as a speaker, you have a window of 10 seconds to grab your audience’s attention every time you start another sentence of your speech. To not lose the interest of those who lend you an ear, lend some humor to those ears.
Humor is like honey to the ears of a listener who is slowly losing his/her interest in your words. The moment you begin dripping some good old humor in your speech, you begin to grab your audience’s attention back. To use humor in your speech without involving injuries due to tomatoes being thrown at you later on, sprinkle some metaphor and irony in your speech. The best speech in the world is the one that has just the right balance of humor and sincerity in its content.
The greatest speeches of all times have the smartest voice modulations and hand gestures
Giving a speech is just like enacting a scene. If you allow your speech to be monotonous, your speech is already a flop show! To avoid this, listen to the greatest speakers in history. Study how they modulate their voice and tone according to the change in the content of their speech. Follow that and give your speech.
The common factor in the greatest speeches of all times is the combination of voice and gesture – done right. The best speakers don’t stand their smiling with each hand straight at either side while saying something serious. They don’t break the best or the worst news in a flat tone. Observe the variations in the voice pitch and notice how they move their hands, lips, and eyes to deliver exactly what they want. And copy that.
The common factor in the greatest speeches of all times is the construction of the speech itself. If done right, it can yield acclaim and fame. So follow these tips and give a great speech the next time you are on that stage!