The speech by Kevin Durant, a NBA star player for the Oklahoma City, went viral immediately following the press conference awarding him the MVP title for 2013-14. His speech unlike others given in the past will have a lasting impression in the NBA’s history. In fact, there are very few moments where many of us can remember what was said during a NBA’s MVP presentation. However, Kevin Durant gave us a reminder of how to give a memorable speech to an audience who has more than likely seen and heard it all.
Of course, over time as with any other event, the majority of what he stated will be forgotten. The exact thank you lines will be lost in the memory of our brains. In fact, we may only remember, he cried and thanked everyone including his mom. Sometimes if this is the only thing remembered, the effect of the speech was still impacting.
His speech was so well received immediately, it received a global boost. People who were fans, were sharing it with others who are not familiar with the player or his background. Word-of-mouth kicked in and kept his spotlight shining days afterwards.
There may be times in business and in your personal life when you will be asked to address a crowd.
Here are six things to keep in mind, besides content (ensuring your topic is appropriate for your audience) to help you make your speech memorable.
- Be humble. No one likes a speaker who needs to spend an enormous amount of time talking about their background and how they are qualified to be standing at the podium. Durant did not spend a lot of time explaining his record or background. In fact, you only know of his relevance to the team through stories he shared about his interactions with the various players.
- Be a good storyteller. If you are going to share a story, keep it brief and keep it relevant. Durant told numerous stories, but they all supported the fact he wanted everyone to know he did not reach that moment alone. Each of those stories could have easily gone on too long, but he kept to the point of them.
- Be honest. Do not try to make up a past or some false moment. Obviously, not everyone could be “like a brother” to him. He did not attempt to come off as having that type of relationship with all of them, but focused on the uniqueness and authentic parts of each player he liked.
- Share passion. Often times as a speaker you want to only show the winning moments, however, to be a winner you had to be passionate enough to push through the times when you were defeated. By sharing those times with the audience, you provide them with a way to connect to you and see how those moments of loss do not define nor prevent you from winning in the end.
- Share laughter. Certainly life is not about all of the serious times in our lives. It is always good to share a few laughs with the audience. Just think, they have to sit (possibly in uncomfortable seats or attire) through not only your presentation, but others as well. Breathe some life into them every now and then during your speech.
- Share gratitude. No one person can succeed alone. No matter how great Michael Jordan was as a player, he could not have made it to the top alone. If you do not have anyone personal to you in attendance during your speech, thank the staff or those who invited you and the audience. “Thanks” goes a long way in the minds of others.
Of course having a noted past of success always help you to get to the podium, but to keep receiving other invitations, you need to be prepared. Organize your speech and use these six points to help you give a memorable speech like Kevin Durant.
What did you think about his speech?
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Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation” which is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other stores and a contributor to various media outlets.