Public Speakers Need To Find Ways To Make Their Words Stick!

by drjim on September 27, 2011

Getting The Ideas In Your Speech To Stick Will Take Some Work

Getting The Ideas In Your Speech To Stick Will Take Some Work

You’ve got great ideas trapped in you. You know the importance of public speaking and you want to use your speaking skills to make your audience’s lives better. The problem is that if you aren’t careful, what you say during your speech will just go in one ear and out the next. How can you make your next speech more “sticky”?

Everyone Loves A Good Picture

Considering how hard we speakers work to get our words right, you’d think that our audiences would have the common courtesy to develop the listening skills that will allow them to remember what we tell them, right?

Unfortunately, remembering words that we’ve been told is very hard for any audience to do. In fact, trying to remember a particular set of words when we’ve been hit with a bunch of different ideas during a speech can almost be impossible.

The good news here is that there is something else that works: pictures. Call it a fluke of evolution or whatever, but we humans do a much better job of remembering images than we do words. What this means for us as speakers is that we need to get better at creating mental images in our audience’s minds.

You might be thinking that all you have to do is to find the right image to put on a PowerPoint slide and then you’d be home free. Well yes and no. Doing this can certainly help make your message more memorable; however, it’s not where the real power comes from.

Instead, it’s the images that your audience create in their own minds that will stick for the longest time. These are the images that they build upon hearing the words that you say. What this means for you is that you need to start to use words that will describe the image that you want your audience to be imagining. Talk about how things look, what they would feel like if you could touch them, what color they are, how big they are, and of course what makes them unique or memorable when you look at them.

If You Can Tell A Story, You Can Make An Idea Stick

Painting images in your audience’s mind is a great way to start to make what you are telling them stick. However, you can take this one step further if you are willing to tell stories.

This is one area where you do need to be careful. Just telling any old story isn’t going to be enough. Instead, you need to tell stories that are going to connect with your audience and you need to make sure that those stories relate to the points that you are trying to make in your speech.

The stories that you tell need to be memorable. In order for this to happen, you need to make them be both emotional and unexpected.

The reason that you want to make your stories emotional is because if you can appeal to your audience’s emotions, then you will have found a way to make your story “sticky”. Long after you are done telling your story, your audience will remember what you said.

The worst kind of story that you can tell is a boring story. This means that you need to make sure that your story contains unexpected elements. By doing this you don’t allow your audience to become complacent and start to think that they know how your story is going to turn out. Keep showing them that they haven’t heard this story before!

What All Of This Means For You

All too often when we give a speech, our speeches which appear to us to be fantastic are loaded with too much information for our audiences to absorb. What we say goes in one ear and out the other. Clearly something has to change here.

As speakers, we are always looking for presentation tips that will allow us to share the benefits of public speaking. Getting our ideas to stick requires us to use two presentation tips: creating mental images and telling stories. The images that we can build in our audience’s minds are what will cause our key points to stick. We can enhance the “stickiness” of our message by adding stories to our speech. Long after the speech is over, the stories will be remembered and retold by our audience.

In today’s busy, busy world, it is no longer enough for us to give a good speech. We need to take the time to add presentation tips such as mental image building and the telling of stories to our speeches in order to make them stick. Doing so will transform your next speech from forgettable to life changing!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: How many stories do you think that you can reasonably fit into a 30-minute speech?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

You’ve got great ideas trapped in you. You know the importance of public speaking and you want to use your speaking skills to make your audience’s lives better. The problem is that if you aren’t careful, what you say during your speech will just go in one ear and out the next. How can you make your next speech more “sticky”?

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