Sir Winston Churchill, Britain’s wartime Prime Minister during the Second World War, was known for his speeches not only for their magnetism but for their effect on public morale. Despite his personal style for using vocabulary that was considered old-fashioned in 1940, he knew that it was necessary to deploy that to create maximum impact on his audience. Today, his speeches still serve as some of the finest examples of oratorical discourse.
Here are 3 tips for a great speech based on Churchill’s style to make yours impactful:
- Have a structure: Churchill’s speeches were based on clear structures. They had a path and a destination. Likewise, when preparing a speech, it is important to ensure that your audience know where you are going and why. This way, they are able to keep pace with you.
- Keep language precise: When presented with a draft of a speech, Churchill drew a line across the sentence and simply told his staff that the word he was looking for was ‘crushed’. By going straight to the point, you avoid losing your audience’s patience. Keeping your language precise will also deliver greater impact in your speech.
- Appeal to emotions: Churchill presented a picture of a powerless prostrate Europe should they fail to stand strong in resisting Nazi Germany. It instilled a sense of fear and doom. By appealing to your audience’s emotions, they will feel included and become more interested in what you have to say. This will compel the audience to even take action.
So remember the above tips for a great speech. But above all, you need to be yourself. To truly win the hearts and minds of your audience, adopt a style and structure that you are comfortable with. And keep your audience in mind!