As a leading authority in leadership communication I spend hours every week pouring over ‘canned’ corporate keynote speeches with my clients and finding ways to bring them back to life. It’s part of my executive speech coaching service. I know you may not have access to someone like me, so here’s a quick and easy guide to what you can do on your own the next time someone gives you a ‘canned’ speech to delivery:
Be part of the creative process. ‘Canned’ material is very common in the corporate world – it might be a keynote speech at a luncheon with the media present or a six-figure sales presentation you have to give many times over. Either way it’s ‘canned’ for consistency and accuracy, usually the Communications or Human Resources Department. Usually they put together the PowerPoint presentation too (see tip below). Then they just hand it off to the executive or manager to deliver. As a leader or emerging leader you must be part of the creative process and help edit the speech (if you can). You are the one delivering it after all.
Prepare thoroughly. Get really comfortable with the material. It’s going to help you have a more natural and authentic delivery, so you don’t sound forced or awkward. Practice it out-loud, standing up just as if you were delivering it in front of an audience. Make sure you understand what the numbers, graphs, charts and stats mean. Learn how to pronounce all the names of companies and people correctly.
Raise your speaking game. You must take it upon yourself to improve your public speaking and presentation skills to point where even if you were reading a telephone book out loud (remember telephone books – I’m showing my age now!) you would be enthralling! Learn how to use your voice, improve your body language and wow the audience with your powerful executive presence. Ready to raise your game? Contact me here.
Edit down the PowerPoint. Almost every ‘canned’ speech I’ve seen comes with an equally uninspiring PowerPoint presentation. If you can go through the deck of slides and delete all unnecessary words and sentences. Make sure that the remaining content speaks to you and see how it connects to your speech. Review the two together – giving the speech out-loud and changing the PowerPoint slides as you go through them.
It might surprise you to learn that the higher up you get on the corporate food chain, the more often someone else (or a group of people) will write your speeches, because there’s so much on the line. So get used to it now, make the best of it and learn how to work it to your benefit.
If you’re an executive and need help with your speech or you’re in the media and want to interview me as an expert contact me here.
Called ‘The Secret Weapon’ by one journalist, Narges Nirumvala is a world renowned leadership communication expert and international speaker. She is the CEO of ExecutiveSpeak Coaching International and author of the bestselling book “Capture the Spotlight”. Narges works with executives and leadership teams to help them find their authentic voice and speak the language of leadership. Narges has received numerous accolades; most recently she was nominated for the 2016 Wendy McDonald Awards as Community Catalyst.