The great thing about a conference speech is that usually, you get the freedom to do it your way.
The subject or theme of the conference will probably be set in stone. But it’ll still be up to you to decide the tone and feel of the speech. And that means you (or your speech write can play to your strengths).
Even if every other speech on the day is a serious-minded treatise on the subject and yours focuses on the lighter side, that’s okay. Yours will be more memorable.
Many people instinctively put the brakes on their own personality when they start writing. That’s a real shame. Because speeches don’t have to sound formal. In fact, I’d suggest that if your conference language sounds nothing at all like you, then it’s the wrong speech.
A really great conference speech will be as individual as the speaker. Yes, it will obey some formal rules, and it will need a good structure, but each and every line should sound authentic.
If you’re working with a speech writer, they’ll get a feel for the way you talk. The sort of language you use. The idioms and turns of phrase. Watch out! They’ll get a taste of your sense of humour too. So if you want a speech that really feels like it belongs to you, they’ll help you create it.
How to make your conference speech more interesting
Here are a few more ideas:
Make sure you write the right kind of conference speech
Talk to the conference organisers about the event. They may already have a subject they’d like you to cover. Or they might leave it up to you. Sometimes there’ll be an overarching theme which they’ll ask you to reflect on. You might find that if you talk your ideas through with the organisers in advance, you’ll come up with an interesting angle on the subject that’ll give your speech added audience appeal.
Use your knowledge, your insight and your tone of voice
Really can’t stress this enough. Audiences like listening to speeches that sound different and are easy to listen to. So (usually) the very best kind of speech is one that sounds like all your best thoughts on the subject, delivered in your normal tone of voice, using everyday language, just polished and structured for maximum impact.
Never underestimate the power of a surprising conference speech
If you can take a fresh angle on a familiar subject, do it. For example, most speakers will shy away from contentious material. But if you can find ways of making bad news seem good, it’ll make it a more surprising, more engaging speech.
Let me know if you’d like any help with your next conference speech. You can call me on 07960 459081 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.