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”?
Make Your Audience Work For Your Information
When you get asked to deliver a speech, what do you think the person who is making the request is really asking you to do? I’d be willing to bet that what flashed into your mind was a mental image of you standing up in front of a bunch of people talking at them.
It turns out that that mental image, although very common among speakers, is dead wrong. The person who is asking you to give a speech is really asking you to change the audience that you’ll be speaking to. How you make that happen is up to you and more often than not we do stand up and talk to them in order to make a change happen.
In fact, most of the presentation tips that we talk about deal with how to do a good job of this standing-and-talking stuff. The problem with doing this is that the ability of your message to make an impact now depends solely on your audience’s listening skills.
I’ve got a suggestion for you: make your audience work for the information that you’re going to share with them. One of the benefits of public speaking is that there’s nothing that says that our audience can’t use words or movement in addition to their ears in order to learn what we have to teach them.
Think about the next speech that you are going to give. What could you do that would get your audience to think about what you are telling them, answer questions that you ask them, or even get up and move in order to demonstrate that they understand what you are saying? All of these are powerful ways to get your message to stick.
Make It All New
The worst thing that you can do as a speaker is to be boring – your audience will never remember what you said if you bore them. The ultimate presentation tip is to never tell your audience something that they’ve already heard.
A good example of this came from a speech I gave awhile ago. I was talking about emails and when I was researching email statistics, I ran across one that said that there are over 100 million emails sent every day. That’s an ok statistic, but we all have heard that one before – lots of email gets sent every day.
The next statistic that I ran across said that 35% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone. Now that was something that I didn’t know (and it explains why that spam stuff works!)
If you find new and different things to share with your audiences, then you’ll be able to keep their attention because they will always be learning as you are talking. This is another way to make sure that your message sticks!
What All Of This Means For You
As long as you are going to go to the effort to both prepare and give a speech, you may as well make sure that what you say sticks with your audience long after you’re done speaking. In order to make this happen, you are going to have to adjust the way that you deliver your speech.
One way to do this is to involve your audience in your speech. Don’t allow them to just sit there and listen to you. Instead, make them answer questions that you ask them, make them stand up and take actions based on what you are saying. All of these things will help to make your message stick.
In addition, as you are putting your speech together, take the time to locate and include new information. If you use the same tired facts and stats that your audience has heard before, then what you say will go in one ear and out the other. Instead, present new and interesting information that your audience has never heard before and then what you say will stick with them long after your speech is done.
Question For You: How many times do you think that you could make your audience stand up during a 60 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
When you go to see a movie, what’s the first thing that you always see? The answer is, of course, trailers! I must confess that there have been movies that I’ve gone to in the past in which the trailers were the best part of the whole movie viewing experience! What’s interesting about these trailers is that they have been designed with one thing in mind: to get you to come back and see the movie that they are advertising. Maybe we can learn something from trailers that we can use in our next speech.