Many organizations and businesses hold meetings that include a dinner or some other type of meal. These types of meeting can be very popular. The idea of getting good free food and being able to have conversations with others is very appealing. The person that organizes these meetings will have different goals that they are trying to achieve. They may be looking to motivate employees or they may want to introduce a new product.
No matter what the reason is, having a great meal is only part of what will make this type of meeting successful. A good after dinner speaker is also essential to having a successful meeting. Not everyone will make a good after dinner speaker. It takes time to learn how to give a speech that will be well received. It also takes time to learn how to deliver the speech that is given after a meal.
The problems a speaker faces
After dinner speakers may have to deal with several problems that can make it hard for them to deliver an effective speech. Many of these things are out of the speaker’s control. It is important that a speaker is aware of the pitfalls so that they can come up with a plan to overcome them. Here are the problems after dinner speakers face:
- People are full. If the guests at the meeting have eaten a big meal, they may be full. A full stomach will cause people to get drowsy and to feel tired. A boring after dinner speaker will make this worse and people will fall asleep.
- People want to get out. Once a person has eaten their free meal, they may have a desire to get going. This is a bigger problem if the meeting is held later and people have been there a long time.
- People are still having conversations. The guests may have been having great conversations that they do not want to stop just because the speaker is ready to go.
- People have been drinking. If alcohol has been served, some of the people may have drunk more than they should have.
What to do about it
A good speaker cannot always control the things listed above that can happen. They may not have had a say in the time the meeting is held or the food and drink that was served. The after dinner speaker does have to find a way to deal with these problems. To avoid these problems you can head over to the JLA UK speakers bureau for more inspiration or you can use these 7 tips that can help you overcome the problems that may be faced.
- Know who is at the meeting. The speaker should not only know the type of people that are at the meeting, they also need to know what has occurred before their speech. If they are aware of the mood of their audience, they can adjust their speech to make it more effective.
- Start out big. The first step to a great speech is to capture your audience. Make sure that you have a very strong start to overcome tired, drunk or satiated listeners.
- Don’t get stressed. You cannot control everything in the meeting and you should not try. Do not stress the problems that you may face. Work through them as best you can. Staying relaxed will make it easier for you to give the speech that you planed.
- Be ready to change. If you can tell your speech is not going over well, have a plan to change it. You need to have alternatives prepared ahead of time.
- Have a point. It is important that your speech has a beginning, middle and an end. It should not be a bunch of pointless words strung together.
- Practice. It is important to practice your speech before you try to give it. It is also important not to over rehearse the speech either. Try to find a place where you are comfortable with what you are saying without being too rehearsed.
- Don’t go on too long. A good after dinner speech will last between 20 to 45 minutes. If it is too long, all of the problems that can be faced will get worse. Keep your speech concise to capture your audience.
It takes time to become a good after dinner speaker. Every time that you give an after dinner speech, you should take some time to review what happened and look for ways to improve your speech the next time you are called upon. It is not always possible to give the perfect after dinner speech. If you use the tips above and take the time to learn from the work that you do, you can always get a little closer to the perfection that you want.
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