There is a great deal that goes into creating and delivering a speech. We do research on our topic, we do research on our audience, we practice, etc. One of the big questions that all too often we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about is why are we doing all of this? Sure, we understand the importance of public speaking and want to wow and amaze our audience and leave them thinking that the time that they spend listening to us was well spent. However, often times there’s another, bigger reason that we’re doing this – we’d like to be asked back to present again!
It’s All About Original Content
In order to listen to your speech, your audience has to give something up. Clearly they are giving up their time; however, they are also giving up something else. They could be using the time that they spend listening to you to be accomplishing something else. The question that you need to answer as a speaker is “will listening to my speech be worth it for my audience?”
The key to getting your audience to answer this question with a “yes” is to make sure that your speech contains original content. The one thing that you don’t want to do is to start to use a story or an example that they’ve heard countless other speakers talk about.
Instead, you’ll want to be sure to create your own content. The trick to making sure that your audience has not heard it before is to make it topical – use current events that are in the news or that your audience is currently dealing with. You’ll be able to grab their attention and they’ll become convinced that listening to you was a good decision.
Good Stories Lead To Invitations
Since the days in which our ancestors were living in caves and drawing on walls, mankind has been communicating using stories. In our era of iPhones and HDTV it turns out that this is still true. As a speaker who wants to be asked back, you’re going to need to come up with some compelling stories for your audience.
What you’re going to want to do is to stay away from telling bad stories – this is almost worse than telling no stories at all. A bad story is one-dimensional and boring. What makes this kind of story exceptionally bad is that once you are done telling it, your audience will start to forget it!
A much better strategy is to come up with compelling stories. These are the kinds of stories that will grab your audience’s attention and hold on to it. What you want to do is to make your audience laugh, cry, and really connect with you while you are telling your story. If you can make this happen, then you will have connected with your audience and they will want you to come back.
Audience Reflections Are Good
I must confess that this is something that all too often I don’t take enough time to do well. In each of our speeches, we have a lot of information that we want to share with our audience. What this means is that more often than not, our speeches are fully loaded.
What we (I) forget to do is to give our audience’s time to reflect on what we’ve just told them. We may be sharing information with them that will change their world or at least change how they behave. We owe it to them to allow them to digest what we’ve just told them.
There are a lot of different ways to go about doing this. The simplest is to just repeat what you’ve already told them. By going over your information again, you provide your audience with a chance to fully comprehend it. By allowing it to all sink in, you’ll have connected with your audience and they’ll be much more willing to take action based on what you’ve told them. Oh, and they’ll also want to ask you back so that they can hear more about what you talk about.
What Does All Of This Mean For You?
The amount of time that we are given to address an audience never seems to be enough (except for beginning speakers: then it seems to be too much!) to make the most of the benefits of public speaking. In order to really connect with them and perhaps get them to take some action based on what we have to say, we’d really like to get asked back to present to them once again. The way that we deliver our current speech will determine if that is going to happen.
The reason that the audience that is sitting before you today came to hear you speak was because they hoped that you would have original content. Stuff that they had not heard before. If you are going to include stories in your speech, you are going to have to make sure that they connect with your audience. Your stories need to make your audience laugh, cry, and truly feel emotions. Finally, an audience needs to be able to take the time to reflect on what you’ve told them. How do your words impact their lives?
I personally believe that a standing ovation is great, but being asked to come back again and present to an audience is an even bigger complement. You can make this happen if you take the time to create a speech that will make your audience want to invite you back. Follow these three tips and then clear your calendar – you’re going to get another speaking date once your done!
Question For You: Do you think that you should tell the organizer that you are open to coming back and speaking again?
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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
If there is anything that we would like to happen during our next speech then it is to be remembered. How to go about making that happen is something that we spend a great deal of time trying to figure out. We know about the importance of public speaking and so we use fancy words, we bring interesting props, we do all sorts of things that we think will help both us and our message to stick in our audience’s mind after we are done speaking. However, it turns out that there is one thing that if we were to do it correctly would get us what we are looking for: make our audience laugh.