Maybe you’ve been asked to give a speech at an upcoming company event, or maybe you’re applying for a leadership position and need to give a speech as part of the interview process. Regardless of the situation, if you’re asked to write and deliver a speech for work, it’s important that you take the time to prepare properly. Otherwise, delivering a subpar speech can have consequences like making you look unprofessional or losing out on a job opportunity.

Here are a few tips to help you write a great speech for work.

Know Your Audience

The first step in writing any kind of speech is understanding who your audience is. What do they want to hear? What information is beneficial to them?

For instance, if you’re writing a speech targeted at people in agribusiness, it makes more sense to talk about new irrigation practices than the latest Tiktok challenge.

How do you identify your audience when you’re not sure who will be in the room? If it’s an internal company event, ask your boss or colleagues for information on who will be attending. If it’s an industry conference, look at the list of attendees and research their backgrounds.

Keep It Short and Sweet

Nobody wants to listen to a long, rambling speech. In fact, in most cases, you’ll be given a time limit for your speech, and it’s important to stick to it. This doesn’t mean that you should cut corners on content, but rather that you should focus on delivering the most important points in the shortest amount of time possible.

If you’re really worried about going over time, practice timing yourself before the big day. That way, you can make adjustments so that you stay within the allotted time.

Tell a Story

One of the best ways to engage your audience and keep them interested is to tell a story. Stories are powerful because they let listeners connect with you on an emotional level. When people feel connected to you, they’re more likely to pay attention to what you’re saying and remember your message long after the speech is over.

To incorporate stories into your speech, think about personal experiences that illustrate the points you’re trying to make. You can also use stories from history or the news as long as the story is relevant to your audience and ties into the overall theme of your speech.

Use Powerful Language

The words you use in your speech can have a big impact on how well it’s received so it’s advisable to use powerful, emotion-packed language.

For example, instead of saying “I’m going to talk about the importance of teamwork,” say “Today, I’m going to share why working together is essential for success.” 

Of course, you also shouldn’t go overboard with the language. Using too many big words or flowery phrases can make you sound pretentious or hard to understand. 

So remember to focus on your audience, keep it short and sweet, tell a story, and use powerful language. Do all of this, and you’re sure to give a speech that will impress and get you the results you want.