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How To: Deliver a winning speech

Idealog publisher and general troublemaker Vincent Heeringa is an experienced impromptu speaker, even when he's prepared. Here's how he makes it look easy. Go on, kids. Try this one at home.

Idealog publisher and general troublemaker Vincent Heeringa is an experienced impromptu speaker, even when he's prepared. Here's how he makes it look easy. Go on, kids. Try this one at home.

Here are my three rules to speech making. They work every time, so long as you take your magic potion before you start.

1. Realise that everyone wants you to succeed.

They really do. They want you to smile, relax, be happy. When you’re happy, they’re happy. So relax, they want you. (Got that?)

2. Choose two anecdotes and three facts.

If the speech is longer, increase the volume but not the ratio. People love stories, especially funny ones. But they also need content to feel fulfilled. It’s heart and head, meat and three vege. (You choose which is the vege.)

3. End with a bang.

People remember what they experience last. To end with a bang do one of two things – or better, both things:

a. Summarise everything you’ve said using a song, anecdote or joke.

b. Say something direct, heartfelt, passionate and revealing. Nothing resonates deeper than a heartstring.

And if you’re really stuck email David Slack, the speech writer at speeches.com. Don’t say we sent you, though. Shhhh.

Vincent Heeringa is the publisher of Idealog, and tells really bad ‘Dad’ jokes, which make his staff groan and beat their heads on their desks.