What is the most important word in a presentation? Listen to most speeches, and that word is I, me, or a derivation of those 2 words is the most frequent word you will hear. Most speakers have learned the bad habit of talking all about themselves. When this happens, he is not creating an experience. He’s just giving a speech. His presentation is an I-Sore™.
What is an I-Sore™? A speech that is all about the speaker, with little or no thought about the audience. Consider the following speech opening…. “Good afternoon. I want to tell you about my trip to the Western United States. I had an amazing experience, as I saw incredible places like Mt Rushmore in South Dakota, I experienced the Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, and I saw the incredible Grand Canyon in Arizona.”
The information in this speech may be interesting, but, notice how many times the word ‘I’ or ‘my’’ was used – 6 times. Do you feel like you a part of the speaker’s experience, or are you just a distant observer?
If you haven’t figured out the most important word in a speech yet, it’s… YOU. When you focus on the audience, and not yourself, you increase the odds of people being emotionally involved. Consider this alternate version of the speech opening you just read… “You’re about to go on the most amazing vacation of your life. During the next 45 minutes, you will gaze upon one of the greatest man-made creations in the world – Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota; you will feel the power of Mother Nature as you stand near the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park, and you will experience the grandeur of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Can you see the difference in those two openings? Can you feel the difference? Each opening essentially said the same thing, but they had a very different emotional impact, didn’t they? In the second example, the word ‘you’ or a version of you was used 6 times. Sameinformation… one simple change from ‘I/me’ to ‘you’… different impact.
To avoid making your speech an I-Sore™, review your presentations and determine how you can replace ‘I’ or ‘me’ with ‘you’ or ‘your’. By doing so, your audience will be more likely to enter your world and you you will have created an experience they will not soon forget.
© 2011, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.