Good speech titles helps add mystery, interest or a roadmap to any speech. However a good title must always have great speech content as the basis.
Content is what the audience is ultimately is going to judge your speech and their overall experience. If your content is weak, the audience will remember your speech as weak. By the same reasoning, if your content is powerful, your speech will be remembered for a long time and the audience will want to hear more.
Now the follow-up question is; “How do I make my content the best it can be?” Spending time doing pre-planning and thinking on the quality and strength of your content will be of great benefit. You should always be asking yourself, “What do I want my audience to take away from hearing me speak?”
Once you have determined the audience’s take away, you can now plan how the best way you can accomplish this. It may mean particular facts, figures, emotion or personal stories that will provide the fuel to accomplish your goals.
Remember, great content leads to a good title and a good title must have great content as a start.
Have you ever sat in an audience and hoped the presenter would fail? Of course you haven’t. As a speaker, most members of an audience want you to succeed. They look forward to being inspired, educated or influenced. A speaker should consider the audience as a friend and not the enemy.
As a professional you have some thing of value to say. Your being in front of the room is no accident. The audience is looking forward to what you have to communicate. It is important that you spend the time needed in preparation so you give the audience what they came for.
Most audiences generally do not noticed when a speaker is nervous. For many inexperienced speakers the severity of their nervousness is more of an issue that resides in their own mind. If an audience does notice your nervousness, the value of the content they are receiving is what they are most interested in acquiring. Keep in mind that sincerity trumps style every time. As long as you give solid information, much will be overlooked. Realizing this, there may not be any reason to apologize for your nervousness. When you apologize you are bringing the audience attention where it need not be. Practice not to offer an apology when nervous.
The great orator, Winston Churchill, would purposely add a bit of nervousness and mistakes to appear more ordinary.
The audience is your friend. Treat them as such.
Everyone has butterflies in their stomach. The only difference between a professional and an amateur is the professional has the butterflies in formation-Zig Ziglar
Life is a series of speeches. Whether it is standing up at a meeting giving a progress report or simply answering the question, ‘So, what do you do for a living?” we are always giving a type of speech.
Once we understand that every time we speak, whether to others or even to ourselves, we can accept that a speech is being delivered. This acceptance starts to put those butterflies in formation and helps us work towards the outcome that is best for us.
When speaking at a business meeting, what outcome do you want? Do you want to appear knowledgeable? Do you want others to come to you for advice? Or do you want not to look like a nervous babbling fool? Looking knowledgeable versus not looking nervous may mean different types of practice or speaking styles, such as persuasive, entertaining or conversational, may be used.
If you are at a party and are asked, “What do you do?” What is the end result you want? Is it simply to answer the question? Or is it to extend the conversation?
To better control those initial butterflies and put them in formation, spend time reflecting, planning and practicing what you need to be saying. It makes it easier.
There are 3 possible audience reactions to any speech, whether you speaking to 1000 people or just one person. On one end of the speaking spectrum, your audience craves more of you speaking. The other end of the spectrum, people feel that their time was wasted. Between these two ends of the spectrum is the middle ground where everyone considers your speech just average and ordinary.
The hard fact of life is that you are responsible. If your speech is successful or less than successful, it is your fault. This is a difficult concept for many speakers to deal with.
However, once you have accepted this premise, it makes being a better speaker easier. You begin to search out the tools to make you better. You might decide that recording all your speeches is the best way to learn. Seeking mentors or mastermind groups to evaluate you maybe another tool that is used. However if you enlist a mentor and that person suggests changes that you are not comfortable with or you feel is not the best, remember, ultimately your audience’s reaction is on your shoulders.
Remember, concentrate on being the best, not who to blame.
During most speeches, there is an agenda between the speaker and the audience. Speakers may want to have the audience ‘do something’ or ‘take some sort of action.’ They are going to present facts, figures and anecdotes to convince the audience on why they should. If done correctly, there will be action on the part of the audience.
On the other hand, the audience is making a decision on whether not this is something they want to do. They will take the information given and decide if this is valuable to them and their time will not be wasted. During the final second if the speaker did everything correct, the audience will say; “This speaker is absolutely correct and I need to do this!”
Some presentations have no impact on their audiences because this idea is not taken into consideration. To be successful in a presentation think of your ideas as sharp arrows shot by a bow to the bull’s eye, rather a scatter gun approach.
One potential problem for some speakers is keeping track of where they are going in their presentation. One method is using notes. These notes provide a roadmap of where to go. Of course if you accidently shuffle your notes, you may put them out of order. If the font is small, they may be hard to read. Notes have advantages and dis-advantages.
Another simple method is to use a written outline. Then memorize this outline and turn it into a mind map. As you speak you can visualize this mind map to see where you are going in your speech. Of course, making the mind map overly complex defeats your original purpose. As you speak you can mentally see your major points and pretend there is a bouncing ball going from one point to another. Your minor points can be simply just words and your bouncing ball can go from one point to another as if you were watching subtitles on a movie screen.
The key is having a simple and effective method to lead your audience.
Previously in another nugget, we wrote about doing an audience analysis on a new group of listeners. What about doing this same analysis on your monthly business meeting which you always speak at? Now analyzing your audience is always good. However if you know your audience, or more importantly an audience already knows you, you have different problems.
For example, what are you going to do or say differently to keep your audience excited and interested in hearing what you have to say? Many of us fall into a rut with how we say something. That is alright with brand new audiences but not with a group that hears you every month. We also tend to present the same basic way every time. What new techniques can we learn to have our audience look at our material from a different perspective?
Analyzing your audience whether known or unknown, is always good. It just has to be thought of differently