How To Impress Your Next Audience

Yes, your audience heard you, but were they impressed?
Yes, your audience heard you, but were they impressed?
Image Credit: Greg Williams

Let’s face it – you are not the first presenter your audience has ever seen. In fact, they have probably seen lots of other presenters. However, you would like to be able to use the importance of public speaking to become the presenter that your audience remembers. You’d like this to happen if you are the only presenter that they are seeing today or if they are going to be seeing a lot of different presenters. When your audience goes home tonight, you want your words to be the ones that are still ringing in their ears. If you want this to happen, then you are going to have to impress your audience.


Make Your Theme Appeal To Everyone

Every speech that we give has theme to it. The theme can be “maximize your investment in your 401k”, “vote for Dan Johnson for Mayor”, or simply “eat less and you will lose weight”. No matter what your theme is, it will be a critical part of making your speech memorable. As you go about building your speech, you need to create a theme and you are going to have to make sure that it is simple – you don’t want your audience to have to work hard to remember what it was. Additionally, you are going to want your theme to be both understandable and repeatable.


Work In Some “Catch Phrases”

In order for you to impress your audience, they have to be able to remember what you told them. If you want to boost your chances of making this happen, one way to go about doing it is to work some so-called “catch phrases” into your speech. So what is a catch phrase you ask? A catch phrase is a phrase that is a well-known sentence or phrase and which is often associated with a particular famous person. A good example would be the phrase “I’m lovin’ it” from countless McDonalds ads. You are going to want to take the time to create and use your own catch phrases in order to get your audience to remember what you told them. Do be careful – you’ll need to stay away from using clichés.


Include Supporting Evidence

Something that all too many speakers forget to do is to provide your audience with proof about what you are telling them. Sure you believe what you are telling them, but why should they believe you? As a part of your speech you are going to have to back up the theme that you have presented to your audience with facts that are both memorable and easy for them to remember.


Provide Memorable Models

Many of the speeches that we give contain a great deal of information. What we like to do is to create new processes or systems that we feel that our audience can use to solve specific problems. The challenge that we face as speakers is that we may be presenting our audience with too much information – there is no way that they are going to be able to remember everything that we tell them. To solve this problem we need to create memorable names for the processes or systems that we are sharing in order to help our audience remember what we have told them.


Did You Create The “Cool Factor”?

In order to get your audience to remember what you told them, there is going to have to be something novel or new about it. There has to be that “wow” factor that is going to cause your words to stick in their heads. You are going to want you audience to walk out of your speech thinking to themselves that they really did experience something new. Make this happen and you will have provided your audience with a bonus that was unexpected.


Make Your Visuals Powerful

I would sorta hope that I didn’t have to tell you about this one, but let’s go over it so that you get it right. Any visuals that you choose to include in your speech have to be there for a reason – they have to be working to illustrate your point and they have to do it both quickly and simply. You can’t just show a bunch of slides. Instead, you are going to have to impress your audience with videos, photos, and graphics that will help you to get your idea across to them. Your goal here is to help your audience to remember what you told them.


What All Of This Means For You

Giving a speech can be a real challenge. It takes time to prepare to give a speech and it takes both energy and courage to get up in front of an audience and deliver the speech so that you can share the benefits of public speaking. Since we are investing so much into each speech that we give, we would like to make sure that we get the most out of making the effort. One of our key goals should always be to make sure that we have an impact on our audience. When we are done speaking, we would like everyone to remember what we told them. The challenge for us is finding ways to make this happen.

When you are creating your speech you need to choose a theme that will appeal to everyone. In your speech you will need to include some catch phrases so that people will be able to remember what you said after your speech is done. Although you believe what you are saying, your audience may not. That is why you’ll need to include supporting evidence. When we introduce complex processes or systems we need to create memorable models so that our audience can remember what we told them. In order to stay in your audience’s minds after you are done, your speech needs to have a “cool factor” where you present something that they didn’t know before. Any visuals that you include in your speech have to contribute to what you are saying and they need to use video, photos or graphics.

The good news is that it is possible to give a speech that will be remembered. All that work that you put into creating a speech that you wanted to share with your audience really was worth it. Just take the time to go the extra step and make your speech impressive so that long after you are done giving it, your audience will remember what you told them and will still be talking about it.


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


Question For You: How do you think that you could measure how impressive a speech that you gave was?

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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 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

Let’s face it – sometimes our speeches just don’t “click” with our audience. We get up there, we deliver our speech, they hear what we have to say, but nobody is moved. Nobody is motivated. We really have not changed the world by giving this speech. We’ve not been able to show this audience the importance of public speaking. Dang. This was a wasted opportunity. What we need to do as speakers is learn how to make our next speech really connect with our audience. If we can make this happen, then our time will have been spent well.