Everyone has heard this phrase before, “Let us make it the right time with the right topic for the right people.” This same phrase needs to be part of the pre-planning on your speech. Think of this phrase as a triangle with time, content and people as the three sides. In order for the triangle to be strong, all sides have to balance.
Now it maybe that your boss is just asking you to make this speech to your co-workers about a current problem. Or an association is having a conference and they are asking you to speak about your expertise. The question of time, audience or content may not even be an issue.
The more you can look at the sides of the triangle and determine the relationships to each other: the easier you can decide if every aspect is balanced. . Knowing this bit of information may help craft a better speech.
To all speakers and trainers, I have a question.
What is the purpose of the first sentence of your speech or training session? In today’s supercharged environment of distractions, the answer is to give a reason for your audience to listen to your second sentence.
Just because someone is looking at you does not mean they are paying attention. That is why it is important for a speaker to make their opening as powerful as possible. You want to give your audience a reason to listen to you.
So don’t start your speech thanking your master of ceremonies or saying you are glad to be there. Once an audience hears an average or boring opening, they immediately place you in a box that is hard to get out of.
So start with a bold statement or a question. Or start with a short powerful story. You need to give a reason for your audience to listen to you.
In the planning phase of a speech, one question speakers need to ask of themselves is; “Why this topic?”
If your answer is that you like the topic, well that doesn’t mean the audience likes your topic. If your answer is because you are an expert and the audience needs to hear what you have to say, then I say, “what makes you an expert?’ Also, why does the audience want to hear what you have to say? The fact is the more reasons you can give to the simple question of “why this topic?” the easier it is to organize your speech.
The more reasons you can list will allow you to approach the audience from many directions. The audience may need and want to listen to your topic but you need to frame your presentation to give the audience the desire to spend their valuable time listening to you speak.
So, why this topic?