A big fundraising event is coming up, and you are planning to speak. As the executive director, you represent your nonprofit organization, and in order for your fundraiser to be successful, you need to inspire people to act on behalf of your cause. A well-written speech can have a powerful effect on people.
To make your nonprofit event speech as effective as possible, include the following elements.
- A preliminary story or joke: Starting off with a quick anecdote is a great way to grab people’s attention. It should be relevant to your cause, but it can be humorous as well. Personal stories will help you further connect with your audience.
- How you got involved: Give a brief background about how you joined your organization and why. This is a great way to introduce your organization as well.
- Tell what you do: Avoid spouting your mission statement at your audience. Instead, show them what your organization does, perhaps with a story from a project you recently completed. Make it real and personable.
- Basic information on your nonprofit: Share a few basic statistics on your organization, such as the amount you have spent on certain projects, your staff size, or your current budget.
- Show the need for action: Outline your opposition. Use shocking statistics to draw people’s attention to the need to act. This should clearly imprint on your audience the reason why they need to join with you.
- Solutions: As you iterate the opposition to your cause, describe a solution you are currently implementing. Explain how this will work toward solving specific problems at hand.
- Even pacing: As you write it and as you present it, keep your pacing consistent. Don’t rush through information or drag it out too long. A good way to test this is to divide your speech’s content into paragraphs based on topic. A well-balanced speech should have consistent sizing for most of the paragraphs. If you have wide differences in length, some content may need to be removed or expanded.
- Powerful wording: Use clear, everyday language in your speech, but don’t be generic. Above all, banish catch phrases from your vocabulary. Your speech’s wording should be bold and precise in order to create a strong impact.
- Thinking questions: A relevant rhetorical question will get your audience thinking. This is a great way to direct their ideas and feelings toward a particular call to action.
- Specific call to action: Your speech is pointless if you do not extend an invitation to act. This needs to be specific in order to be meaningful. Otherwise, you leave your audience without any idea of what to do.
Simply put, your speech has three goals: first, grab people’s attention; second, inform them; and third, get them to act. The above steps will help you accomplish that.