An entertaining and interesting after dinner speech can make an already great evening spectacular. Taking note from some of the world’s best after dinner speakers, Champions Speakers have assembled the five crucial rules for nailing the speech and capturing an audience’s enthusiasm for what you have to say.
Know Your Audience
If you really want to connect with your audience, you have to have done your homework. By understanding the market sector of the firm you are speaking to, or the group of individuals that are attending the event, the better you speech will resonate with their viewpoint. Winning over the audience is half the battle. Audience members to after dinner speeches often tend to be quite sophisticated, so it is wise to not assume anything but.
Entertain your audience, not yourself
An after dinner speaker is solely at an event to provide pleasure to their audience. The need to be politically correct and in keeping with the ambience of the event is crucial. If you decide to be playful with the crowd, check beforehand to ensure no unfortunate reactions are created.
Don’t focus solely on a set text
Build your speech into what suits the occasion. The best after dinner speakers use notes with headings. The ability to connect with your audience and interpret what they want to hear is of paramount importance. Not relying on tools such as Autocue also allow you to keep an eye on the audience, giving you a good measure of where to go next in your speech.
Don’t lose your cool
If nerves get to you when giving your after dinner speech, it can become difficult to keep your audience’s attention. The first two minutes of a speech are elemental to its success. Have good posture, make sure your audience is quiet before you start speaking and always speak with clarity and conviction at a pace everyone can follow.
Don’t outstay your welcome
As mentioned before, the primary concern of an after dinner speaker is to keep your audience happy. Some of the best speeches last just ten minutes, however the majority ten to last longer. Great speeches have a combination of content, humanity and humour and often resemble the best theatre, keeping an audience on the edge of the seats with a mixture of surprise and suspense.