What is Your Main Goal When Speaking?
After you are done speaking, what is the reaction you want to receive from your audience:
A. Polite applause, and then they rush out the door?
B. Enthusiastic applause, and then they stay around after to tell you the impact of your talk on them?
C. A standing ovation, and then they walk out the door?
Before you respond, keep in mind there is no right answer. This question will help you determine the best outcome for each presentation.
When I speak, my preference is always ‘B.’
Why You Shouldn’t Care About Standing Ovations When Speaking
Not choosing ‘A’ should be obvious. You never want people to walk out with no response, feeling like you made no impact.
I don’t choose ‘C’ because standing ovations are one of the most overrated aspects of speaking. It feels as if they’ve become obligatory, no matter the quality of the speech.
Standing ovations serve one purpose more than any other – to feed the ego of the speaker. I write this as someone who has received more than one standing ovation.
When you receive a standing ovation, you often don’t know why. If the audience walks out immediately after, the good feeling may quickly fade. Were they being polite, or feel obligated to stand? What part of your speech — if any — resonated at a deep level?
I’ve experienced ‘B’ much more often than ‘C.’ It is a more insightful and rewarding experience.
One of my coaches — Craig Valentine — has great insight into this topic. Hesays, “You should always speak for standing invitations, not standing ovations.”
What does he mean?
When you speak, one of your goals should be an invitation to speak again in the future. You have one best opportunity to make this happen — provide value to the group.
Whenever I speak, I’m usually approached by several attendees afterwards. They often have something nice to say. I appreciate these kind words, yet, they typically don’t give insight. They don’t tell me the specific benefit I’ve provided. Phrases like “Nice job!” or “That was great!“ or “That was a good speech” are niceties.
Please don’t misunderstand, kindness is always appreciated. But if I don’t dig deeper, I don’t know the value of my talks. And I can’t improve. I miss an opportunity to better understand how to repeat the best parts of my message for future audiences.
The Secret To Capturing Your Best Feedback
If you want to capture the ‘gold’ in your message, use this simple technique every time you speak. After you conclude, don’t turn off your recorder. (I know you record EVERY speech, don’t you?)
The recorder will capture your conversations with audience members. When they say “I really like your speech” — or some variation — ask them a question:
“What part in particular helped you the most?” Or, “What part did you hear that you can immediately put to use?”
This requires the other person to think about what they’ve just heard and how it applies to her. She’ll then tell you what was most valuable. Now, you have specific feedback about what part of your speech most resonates.
This is how your audience helps you adjust the material in your speech. They tell you which parts are most important and meaningful.
This will increase your impact with future audiences.
The great speaker Patricia Fripp says “It’s not what we say, it’s what they hear.” There is no better proof of this than the post-speech conversation with your audience.
As you prepare your next speech, and envision your impact on the audience, don’t focus on receiving an ovation that makes you feel good. Focus on crafting a message that provides value and benefit to them. That will greatly enhance your talk, and increase your odds of being invited back.
‘Improve Your Speeches with Secrets from World Class Speakers’
Have you ever sat in awe of a speaker who held an audience in rapt attention, keeping them on the edge of their seats?
Have you ever wished you could do that when speaking?
You can! Contrary to popular belief, great speakers are not born, they are made.
Since 2001, Michael has studied and worked with World Champion and Hall of Fame speakers, individuals who now serve as his mentors. They have taught him how to create and deliver world class caliber speeches.
Michael has packaged the lessons he’s learned into a series of audio lessons and books that can save you years of trial-and-error and thousands upon thousands of dollars.
Invest in this program, and you’ll quickly develop the skills that make you:
- Feel more confident
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- and much more!
To immediately begin diving into these world class ideas, click here.