Less Talking, More Storytelling

Amy Phillips

Ditch Long Boring Speeches

We learn a lot from each and every event we plan and attend. One of the things we feel sets Marquam Auction Agency apart from the pack is our commitment to the post-event debrief. We carefully take note of what went well… and not so well. We also make a point of talking to donors on event night about what they liked and didn’t like.

Likely the most common complaint we hear from your donors is that speeches were too long and too boring. This is generally the first or second thing donors remark on and they do so CONSISTENTLY.

If you’re going to have a speaker, choose each one wisely.  It is essential (s)he is passionate, energetic and engaging while delivering succinct, eloquent and impactful information to your audience. Here are our best tips.

Why are We Here?

Immediately impart value about what services – or good – your org is doing in the community. Teach the crowd about how you are different from anyone else doing similar work. Tell the crowd your why by using succinct, emotional storytelling. Hook them from the word go!

What Can We Do Together?

Remind the room we’re here to raise money to help folks who need it. Tell an emotional but SHORT story about someone who struggled and through the aid of your org, has benefitted and flourished despite their difficulties. Reinforce our collective goal by outlining what good you will do or begin doing with their support. They’ll be more likely to feel involved, which in turn makes them more likely to give big.

Make Donors Feel Something

Whatever the story, take your donors on a meaningful journey. Make them laugh. Make them cry. Present the challenges and a touch of fear. Instill hope. Position your org as the change maker in the story and the hero in your service recipients’ lives. People love to help others and do so only when compelled by emotion of some sort. Give them the emotion and they’ll respond accordingly.

Keep it Short!

The average person’s attention span is only eight seconds long. That’s right. 8 seconds. That is MUCH shorter than you might think. You will lose people very quickly if you’re not careful! Choose every word of your live program wisely; if you even BEGIN to ramble, you’ve lost your audience permanently. Every event-night speech should be no more than 2-3 minutes long and tightly scripted – unless it’s a keynote speaker (and we typically recommend limiting these as well!). It is no exaggeration, donors do not want to be bored – even for a moment.  

Make Stories Relatable & Personal

People have a much easier time paying attention when they feel you’re talking directly to them. Be personal! Stories about people are more memorable especially when it’s a topic your audience can relate to. Perhaps they too have struggled with similar circumstances or known someone close to them who has. Either way, by putting the donor in the front seat, you’re giving them an insider’s view into what your service recipients experience. Allow them to empathize with someone in need.

Make ’em Laugh

Humor is almost always your friend when giving speeches. People remember things that make them laugh. And humor, when carefully crafted, can take even the darkest of topics and frame them in a way that allows donors to more deeply understand and in return, help.

We can help craft fabulous event night speeches for your next big event. In fact, we can’t wait to. Ask us about our DO BETTER! Comprehensive fundraising program.  Contact us today. 

 

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