Speech Tip: Get Loud (Record Your Speech)
I record my speeches. My phone and laptop do the job. Then I listen. I’m looking for issues of language, but also issues of groove. I don’t read the speech; I perform it in character. I try to sound the way I imagine the client delivering the speech.
This little technique can raise the quality of your writing and your delivery. Here’s why.
The boogie is either there or not. Granted, in many internal business speeches, the boogie will be on the downbeat. And, for inspirational speeches, I might get loud.
The Fab Four: Speech Coaches
Along the way, I’m looking for language irregularities. Imagine if the Beatles classic, “Hey Jude” began
Hi there, Jude, don’t make it awkward
Find a really sad pop song and improve it
Don’t forget to let her down deep into your gut
Then you can begin to see things in a happier light
Thankfully, Sir Paul thought better of it and went with the song we know (listen on Amazon):
Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better
I’m also looking for tongue twisters. Not real tongue twisters. I know to avoid writing the Peter Piper picked a peck of pickles twisters. I’m talking about those tricky juxtaposed words that seem like they’d be alliterative wonders. They aren’t.
In fact, for me, a one-word twister is regular. It doesn’t roll off my tongue in a sentence. It could be my Southside of Chicago roots showing up. It feels natural to say re-ga-ler. That might work at a reunion of my old high school friends, but not in a formal speech.
As I listen, I look for the overall theme. Is there one? After hearing it played back, can I give the speech a title? A subtitle? If not, even with a wedding speech, I need to keep at it.
How about the opening and closing? Do they carry the power I envision? Are they balanced?
This audio feedback will deliver, and help you deliver. Give it a go.