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Speech vs Presentation
 There's a big difference between a speech and a presentation. We listen to speeches; we watch a presentation. These days, presentations are visual. A speech tends to be formal and for ears only. If you're giving a speech, you're naked.  No PPT, no props. A  speech is often just you at a podium with your compelling ideas. Think Martin Luther King Jr; think formal; think words only.

Speaker and Ideas
If you've ever heard a great speech, you know it's going to be good within a minute or so. It grabs you by the power of language and ideas. Steve Jobs broke out of presenter mode and became a master speech giver in his Stanford graduation speech. And  Harry Potter's creator, J K Rowling wowed the graduation crowd at Harvard with her commencement address. Both used ideas alone to grab the crowd. It was the power of their words that won hearts and minds.

Speech "Must Haves"
So, what goes into a great speech? If you have to give a speech, think of three critical "must haves":

1. Create a Compelling Story. Speeches are not just informative, they tend to pull the audience in around a story or theme.
2. Touch Audience Emotions.  Very often, a speech will charge us up, get us involved, pull at our hearts, make us think.
3. Use Language that Grabs Listeners. A speech tends to use language that is memorable--phrases that jump out and stick in our heads: "Ask not What Your Country Can Do For You.." or "We Have Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself" or  "I Have a Dream."
4. Use Imagery. Create mental pictures that pull your listeners in. 
5. Focus on One Main Idea.  A really good speech zeroes in on one main point. You can explain it with a number of sub-points, but it's not about 3 or 4 ideas.

Next post: How presentations are different from speeches

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Loraine Antrim is co-founder of Core Ideas Communication, a communications consulting agency focused on presentation development and media training for C-suite executives. Core Ideas enables executives to package and communicate relevant and compelling messages in their presentations and interviews. Loraine's expertise is killing butterflies. You know, butterflies: the feeling in your stomach before you have to present or speak in public. Loraine works with executives to create a powerful story, memorable messages and an authentic delivery style. Confidence kicks in, and butterflies scatter. Nice work killing butterflies! You can contact Loraine at: manager at coreideas.com