The next time you speak, how about deliberately being controversial? Audiences love controversy. It brings conflict into the room. It gets people thinking about big, fuzzy issues in personal ways.
Always be controversial on the issues -- never on personalities. Be the calm, rational, clearly-reasoned voice that upsets the apple cart.
Pick the biggest apple cart that matters to you and your audience -- and give it a good, strong shove.
You can challenge a conventional wisdom. Here's one from the headlines: raising taxes increases revenue. Wrong. Cutting taxes increases revenue because growth produces more taxpayers.
You can pick an important, slow-moving target and then strategically drop the banana peel. For instance, we pay tens of billions for public education. But when these young people come to us looking for a job, they can't read, write, or add. How does this make your organization better? How does it make our country stronger?
You can point out a glaring inconsistency. Ask your version of a question like, "Why do we need the Electoral College?" How about counting every vote in every state? The candidate with the most votes wins. Is this rocket science -- way beyond our capabilities? For the sake of the Republic, let's hope not.
The big idea is to get your audience riled up. Throw their self interests right into the middle of the mix. Show them how much skin they've got in the game.
Once you've pushed over your apple cart, jump in with a solution. Make it brisk, clean, and easy to understand. Show point-by-point how your ideas can help turn a problem into a solution.
As you develop your speech, watch out for the obsessively risk-averse voices in your own organization. There are lots of them. For them, a "good" speech is the rhetorical equivalent of a slice of white bread in a saucer of warm milk.
Controversy works. Instead of shying away from it, jump right in -- and bring your audience along for the ride.