Why do you want to speak? There are many reasons to present before an audience. To educate. Entertain. Inspire. Persuade. Each of these is a good reason, but none hit on the core issue. THE most important reason to speak before any group is to change the way an audience Thinks, Feels, or Acts [or a combination of the three]. If you are not changing the way people Think, Feel, or Act, then why are you speaking?
Far too many speakers create presentations with no clear purpose. The speech may feed their egos, or give them the recognition that they crave, but if it doesn’t provide tangible benefit, you will not connect with your audience. People are too busy in our fast-paced society to spend their valuable time listening to speakers who do not offer value.
These benefits don’t have to be major, life altering changes, by the way. For example, you could share a humorous story that helps an audience member who is struggling with work or a family crisis, thus providing welcome relief, if only for a few hours; you may provide a message that inspires someone to take action on a new career; or, you could present a workshop that persuades people to think differently about their financial situation, feel compelled to change, and take action to meet with a financial planner.
As you prepare your next presentation, turn off the computer and the PowerPoint, set your stories aside, and think about how you want others to Think, Feel, or Act. Take this first step to creating a meaningful and memorable message, and you will have taken a HUGE step toward creating a presentation that resonates long after you speak .
© 2011, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.