To deliver a truly great speech, you must be 100 times more poignant and entertaining than you initially imagine, so its imperative that you have great critics at your side who aren’t afraid to be candid with feedback. One of HubSpot’s marketers gave me a D+ on my third run-through of my speech, and his concrete feedback allowed me to improve by leaps and bounds the next time around. Public speaking is one occasion in which you can never be too hard on yourself. Be open to feedback and eliminate tactics or techniques that simply aren’t working for you. A crowd can feel if something is forced or poorly executed, so invest your time in messaging and media that work for your storytelling style.
Great narratives aren’t characterized by glittery generalities or statistics. Instead, they are brought to life by people’s personal experiences. Scott Harrison of charity:water is a master at bringing his story of starting as a nightclub promoter to his presentation style. He is so compelling that the audience can almost feel the money, luxury, and glamor of his nightclub life, and then he perfectly contrasts the glitz (and emptiness) of that life with the incredible mission and reality of charity:water. Instead of using guilt to pressure people into caring about the world water crisis, he uses a personal narrative combined with beautiful creative execution to bring people to the edge of their seats. People come to see you, so show them who you are.