Five ways to prepare yourself for a big speech to colleagues | Moorepay
March 27, 2024

Five ways to prepare yourself for a big speech to colleagues

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Presenting can be a daunting prospect for anyone, regardless of their experience or confidence level. But we don’t think it has to be so scary! In this blog, we’re going to list five steps to help you prepare for that speech and deliver with confidence and ease. You know, the one you really don’t want to give…

1. Remind yourself of the purpose whilst considering the audience

Reminding yourself of the reason for presenting is the perfect place to start. To get your head in gear, think about why they need to hear from you:

  • Who will be in the room?
  • Is it good or bad news?
  • How will it impact them?
  • Will it have a significant impact on their working lives, or is it a simple company update?

Keep thinking about the purpose throughout your planning – it’ll help frame the talk and ensure you deliver it in the most appropriate manner.

It’s also good to remember that when giving a speech to colleagues, you have a brilliant advantage; you know them. And, while you may not know them all inside out, you will at least know of those who are likely to be either problematic or particularly engaged. With an understanding of individual personalities and the responsibilities of the people in your audience, knowledge is power – use it to your advantage.

2. Gather and prepare all evidence and facts

Regardless of what it is you need to say, there will be one or two key facts or pieces of evidence that you’ll need within your arsenal. A number that backs up a particular claim, or the real-life results of a specific project are vital assets you can call on to give your speech credibility.

Chances are, you will get the odd tricky question. Make sure you have plenty of additional statistics on hand too in case you encounter questioning that will benefit from their presence. With that knowledge in hand, note down a few answers, again turning to your facts and figures. Then, come the day, if that person does speak up, all you’ll need to do is flick to the page in question (although you’ll likely find such answers reside in your memory, enabling you to supply a super-fast response).

3. Write a story – not a speech

If you follow the A-Z guide of speech writing, you’ll end up with something incredibly dull. This is why the best public speakers tell stories. Why? Because we all love a story.

Create a beginning, middle and end, and, even if you’re recounting the latest financial results, tell it with passion and verve. That being said, chances are you won’t read your speech verbatim – it’ll be a recap of the most important sections. To avoid being distracted by countless paragraphs, write instead in bullet point form and highlight the key points you absolutely don’t want to leave out.

4. Create an impactful opening and go to Hollywood with the conclusion

Go big or go home! By now, you’ll have outlined the story, so it’s time to focus on the most important part – the opening. You have limited time to engage everyone in the room, so you need to ensure the first few seconds of your speech have real impact. Start with a startling statistic, or a quote from a customer. Surprise them with a question. Do something – anything – to make sure they sit up straight away and take notice. Do this, and you’ll be assured of an attentive audience for the duration.

Second only to the opening in terms of importance is the conclusion. Finish with a bang – a big number, a cliff-hanger or try a Steve Jobs ‘one more thing’ before revealing something no one will have been expecting. Make a big impression at the end, and your speech will live long in the memory, just as it should.

5. Practice (but don’t over do it)

As uncomfortable as it may feel, it does make sense to practice your speech in front of both the mirror and a colleague or family member. The latter will tell you honestly where you need to improve, while the former will give you a fist-hand indication of whether you’re coming over relaxed and calm or awkwardly stiff.

A word of warning: don’t overdo the practicing. While practice makes perfect, too much will have the opposite effect. When you feel you’re happy with the flow, style and approach – stop, even if the speech itself won’t be carried out for a day or two.

Wrapping up

The above preparation won’t guarantee a perfect speech, but it will put you in the right mindset, ensure you have every piece of supporting evidence to hand and enable you to prepare for the inevitable moments that would derail the unprepared.

Most importantly, enjoy yourself. Remember – these are your colleagues, and you’re the one who’s brave enough to stand in front of them all and talk openly and confidently about the business. Few people get that chance.

Whilst you’re here, why not check out some more of our content? | Five reasons the world needs more women in leadership | Holiday entitlement calculations made easy | Paternity leave entitlement in the UK |

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About the author

Rob Woodward

Originally a performer with a background in screen and playwriting, Rob has transferred his creative writing skills into the content marketing domain. Rob is responsible for the creation of our HR & payroll content, as well as the delivery of our customer communications.

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