The holy cow experience, or the majestic moment is when the audience is brought to that place where they're either floored and amazed, or left in disbelieving wonder at something you've just said or done.
Now if this sounds melodramatic then remember that it doesn't have to be. You should never create these majestic moments simply to captivate an audience - instead you should create or use a story, object, statistic or fact that will wow your spectators, and then use the majestic moment to unveil it...
Spot the difference? We don't employ these tools in persuasive speech writing, as the MEANS for keeping our audience from daydreaming, they merely serve as the vehicles to powerfully, and with maximum impact, deliver the real good stuff, our carefully prepared relevant material.
For example: A shocking statistic on the true effectiveness of vitamins might be the ideal piece of information to drive home your point that vitamins are overrated (I love vitamins, I'm just using a crazy hypothetical example here...)
During my speech I'd build up expectation by letting the audience know that most of what they've been led to believe about vitamins are probably wrong, and that behind-the-scenes statistics, that many people never see, reveal a different story.
And guess what?! Some of these statistics, that's probably going to change the way most people approach supplements, are going to be unveiled in just a minute.
Tension is a powerful tool and creating anticipation with an audience, by making it clear that in the next few minutes something big is coming, is bound to keep nearly everyone interested. It's a key for ensuring persuasive speech writing and delivery.
The worst thing you can do is to build up tension and then fail to deliver with whatever is supposed to wow the audience. Don't be afraid to be dramatic, uses pauses in your sentences and then raise the curtain. This is the ideal time to use and introduce a great headline to compliment your moment.
For our lalaland-example above, something like "85% of vitamins are useless" fits the criteria. It's short, precise and interesting to the hearer since it directly related to them.
So a majestic moment can be the climax (or one of many climaxes) of your speech. Most people crave beautiful and inspiring moments and it's also probably going to be the single moment of your speech that most of them is going to remember, when you bump into them a week later.
Majestic moments can take many forms, but here are three simple ones that come to mind:
- Making a bold and assertive statement.
Creating these kinds of majestic moments takes guts, and is a lot more challenging then presenting a safe and neutral speech. And yet, the speakers throughout history that we remember are more often than not, those with the strongest convictions. Those who firmly held to clear ideas and fostered strong points.
It's a fact that outstanding people STAND OUT, so be willing to have an interesting opinion and use your majestic moment to unveil it.
- Using a relevant story.
Stories, especially those that compliment your ideas, are incredibly effective in driving your points home and completing the picture for your audience.
Stories are often underutilized by speechwriters or public speakers, but have, since ancient times, been used by the world's best teachers. For me, stories are especially great to start or end your speech with. See this full article on stories and speechwriting.
- Unveiling a new idea.
This one won't be relevant to everyone, since not all of us are creative and inventive in this sense. Steve Jobs' keynote speeches are still most memorable today for their majestic moments when he, with perfect tension-release action, unveiled the little miracles (the Macbook, iPhone, iPad, etc.) that he brought with him on stage.
So remember the power of the climax and utilize it in you persuasive speech writing, and eventual delivery. For more tips on persuasive speech writing see the article on speechwriting goals or head back to the main speechwriting section.
Every great speech should have a holy cow moment... And any kind of persuasive speech writing will understand and use the power of tension to keep an audience on the edge of their seats, eagerly awaiting the climax of your talk.