How to write effective speeches and deliver memorable presentations​


Ceem Haidar

Think about the most memorable speech you heard, or a presentation that stood out. What do you recall from them? Was it the person delivering it? Their tone and charisma? The spoken word? The visual graphics? Chances are, you answered yes to all.

So what constitutes an effective speech or presentation? And what makes it memorable?

The speech or presentation begins with your key messages. This is a crucial factor, before starting to draft or design it. Your key messages can cover any or all of the following criteria, with your audience in mind:

  • Relevant and relatable – it matters to your audience or is a subject of interest to them, and they can relate to it
  • Actionable – something can be done, a new habit, behavior or to sign up to a service for example, once they hear the speech or presentation
  • Repeatable – you share important information that people can remember and repeat to others. Think bite sized info or a story that stands out.
  • Lasting – your words last in the audiences’ memory after they have been heard

Think of your one main message. Then derive 2 to 3 statements that back up why your key message is important. Use facts and figures, stories or anecdotes, to make a more memorable. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What are your objectives? What are trying to accomplish? Are you trying to inform others, or encourage or trigger action? Do you want them to change their behaviors or habits? Or simply get them thinking differently? Do you want to raise awareness about a topic that is important to you and them?
  2. Next is who is your audience? What motivates them? What is their background or experience in relation to this topic?
  3. What is the one thing they absolutely need to know? That is your main message.

The audience you are delivering the speech or presentation to, is integral to how you go about it. What is important for them to hear and remember? What are their backgrounds and influences? What are their demographics and psychographics?

Perhaps your message needs to be adapted to suit your audience. You can opt to use simplified language for some audiences, and more technical jargon for others.

Based on this, is their key message clear to the end user? Across their communication material, they focus first on speed. Of course, as a newcomer to a very traditional market, they needed to instill trust in their App and the insurance coverage they provide. So they focus a lot in their communication on being backed by Commercial Insurance, which has a solid reputation in the market already.

  1. What are you trying to accomplish when communicating?
  2. Who is your audience and what matters to them?
  3. What is the one thing they absolutely need to know?

Get in touch for support on how to craft your key messages and effectively deliver them in a speech or visually engaging presentation.

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