Friday, October 2, 2015

Do you have a Signature Speech?

I'm honored that a colleague at a recent presentation of mine had these great take-aways and wanted to share them in writing. Here's what Whitney had to say:
I went to a networking event recently where the speaker addressed an important topic, “creating your signature speech”.  The event was aimed at women entrepreneurs so it made sense since many of them speak as part of their work or would like to speak more in order to build a bigger following.  I fall into the category of exploring speaking as part of building my business following and would love to be paid to speak so learning about writing that signature speech is a great start.

The speaker was Robyn Hatcher, who is passionate about teaching individuals how to transform their process of communication so that they can express themselves effectively and powerfully.  She is an author and communication skills expert and Founder of SpeakEtc., a boutique communication and presentation-skills training company.

Robyn walked us through what it would take to write a signature speech and I found the information clear-cut and direct.  The outline was easy to follow and it made sense since everything can essentially be broken down into steps if you have a clear objective. At the end, we left with enough information about the hows and whys that I felt excited to give it a try.

The next day, I was sitting in the library and decided to take a crack using the outline to get a draft of my signature speech done.  Within an hour or so, I had a rough draft and I felt pretty good.  Of course, it needs to be flushed out, but it’s a start and that’s exciting.  It was easy to have the steps to follow to show me how to get started.

Many of us may have much more than one signature speech in our repertoire but it felt good to use the outline and try to write that first one.  One of the biggest take aways from the talk was to have something clear to teach – you want to leave people with the idea that at the end of your talk they will walk away changed or with new information. 

While I don’t have immediate plans to speak, it is a goal of mine for a number of reasons.  One, I think it’s good to do something that has a teaching component.  I taught for a few years in the NYC public school system and I think teaching is so important.  I am often inspired by information gleaned from a talk.  I feel if you have been lucky enough to receive an education, it is best to share the information not squander it.

Two, I think it’s good to challenge yourself to speak in front of groups. It helps you improve your communication skills as well as your courage.  It’s not easy to be yourself with many eyeballs on you at once but it’s a very worthy goal and one I have worked on for many years.  And Three, the more you speak in front of people, the more potential customers you are reaching. If done correctly, your speech will give them an understanding of who you are and what you can do for them.  That’s a big win.  In my case, I am a writer and entrepreneur so can see how speaking would support both of these endeavors.

So I’d like to encourage you to learn more about writing your own signature speech. It will help you think about what you have to say and teach you how to say it clearly.  In my case, using Robyn’s guidelines proved easier than I had thought.  So go ahead, give it a try.  What do you have to say?  Inquiring minds want to know.