Influence is the ability to bring about some change in people’s thoughts, feelings, attitudes, perceptions, values, actions, or behavior.
Whenever you give a speech you are, essentially, trying to influence your audience.
The purpose of a speech is, after all, to change how your audience feels, thinks, or acts. (If you’re happy with the way they are and what they’re doing, for God’s sake don’t give them a speech. Leave them alone.)
How to Make Yourself More Influential when Giving a Speech
First, be the kind of person who inspires trust.
Who you are as a person — your character, experience, reputation, values — is, in large measure, the message you communicate.
Put yourself and your vision, your hopes and dreams on the line. Make yourself vulnerable. Invite, rather than command compliance.
Second, align yourself and the change you’re proposing with their deepest held values.
You’re not going to change what people care about most, and you shouldn’t try. Instead, show them how what you want them to feel, think, or do affirms, protects, or advances their loves, values, dreams.
Third, challenge them to be more or better than they are.
Making people feel guilty or inadequate or wrong won’t incline them to change their ways. If anything, it will make them resent and resist you.
But at the same time you don’t want them to remain complacent, satisfied with their status quo. Not if you want them to change. So ask them to go beyond, to grow bigger than, to love better than who or where they are already are.