What Is the Audience Getting From Your Speech?

Posted on 13Apr

What Is the Audience Getting From Your Speech?

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{4 minutes to read}  One of the first things I ask my clients to do is list five things that the audience will take away when they leave after the speech. What is the one tool that they are going to be able to implement immediately in their lives that is actually going to make sense and work for them? 

Along these lines, I’ve had a challenge with a client, let’s call him “Fred.” He was able to describe himself, list his credentials, where he’s been and what he’s done. He talked about his experiences and said he would like to share with audiences about overcoming little challenges on an everyday basis so that they can achieve more and not get caught up in their own drama. That was all well and good, but he wasn’t able to formulate five things in his talk for the audience.

The reason he wasn’t able to do that is because he wasn’t able to humble himself and think about his audience. He was more concerned with the question of why the audience would listen to him, what he should be doing, or saying. His attitude was — I’m going to teach them — but actually no, he was not going to teach them — rather, they were going to learn from him. What he needed to do was to stop worrying about what he was going to do and say and define what they were going to learn that would help them immediately. 

Fred replied, “I was flustered about a situation and then something happened this morning that was really frustrating. I was thinking about all of this and I got all riled up and was already formulating in my mind how I was going to address this. Why would these people listen to me? Who am I?” He then took a moment and said, “Okay, Fred, breathe. Let’s look at this from another perspective.

At that point, I stopped him and said, “That’s it. You took a moment and you took a deep breath. That was the first step of the formula on how to get out of a situation where you’re stuck. You need to get out of your own way. It’s not about you, it’s about them.”

Does a flower need to say that she’s pretty? You don’t always have to talk about yourself. Don’t always give examples of yourself — give an example of someone else who inspired you to think about how to solve a problem — a good friend, a parent, a teacher, a coach, anybody.

It goes back to the quote, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” You’ve got to show you care. What I wanted Fred to get to was his heart because he was very cerebral, questioning why the audience would want to hear from him rather than determining what the audience needed to hear from him. 

The truth is everybody wants to listen to you, but only certain people will get what they need out of your speech, whether it’s inspiration or a tool or whatever. If you are passionate about your subject/topic, you will connect with your audience and your speech will resonate with every single listener.


Orly Amor

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