Speak Up

If you don't have to give a speech periodically, then your managers do. Either way, public speaking is a delicate art.

In a digital age, spontaneity rules. Social messages that are unscripted and on the fly help to humanize the brand. But messages that seem overly packaged are about as popular as the measles. It’s a different situation when giving a speech (or commenting) on behalf of the brand. There’s a difference between staying loose (but keeping to the text) and winging it.

When planning a speech relevance is the heart of the matter, according to the London Speaker Bureau. That’s a highfalutin way of saying that you need to answer the key questions that most people in the audience are asking: ‘What’s in it for me?’ and ‘Why do I care?’

Knowing how to answer those questions is part of a process that starts at least one day before you take the stage and ends, we can hope, with a welcome round of applause and follow-up questions.

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This article originally appeared in the February 2, 2015 issue of PR News. Read more subscriber-only content by becoming a PR News subscriber today.