I must confess: I do enjoy hearing myself speak. However, when I give a speech in addition to listening to myself talk, I want to convince my audience to actually do something based on the information that I have shared with them. It’s relatively easy to give a speech; despite the importance of public speaking it can be much harder to cause people to take action based on your words. I do have a couple of secrets that I use to make things happen when I talk.
It’s All About Pictures
If you want to persuade an audience to do something, then you are going to have to use all of the tools that are available to you. In order to discover what works, you’re going to have to take a moment and think about what other types of communication your audience is being exposed to – and what seems to work the best.
The answer, of course, is that your audience is being bombarded with high quality advertisements each and every day. What this means for you as a speaker is that you’re going to have to work advertisements for your main idea into your next speech. There are a lot of different ways to go about doing this.
What you are going to have to do is to find ways to bring your message to life while you deliver it. To make this happen you are going to have to use your body language, handouts, visual aids, and props. Anything that you can do to make what you are talking about seem more “real” for your audience will go that much further to help them become both involved in your ideas and motivated to take action.
Do You Mind If I Provoke You?
Getting your audience to actually take the next step once your speech is over can be very hard to do. One way to convince them to do this is to provoke them. You don’t want them to be comfortable after you are done talking, instead you want them to be uncomfortable in a way that can only be relieved by taking action.
The way that you provoke an audience is by providing them with a very clear and specific call to action that, if they follow, will lead them to the results that you have promised that they’ll be able to achieve. What this means for you is that you need to have a very clear understanding of just exactly what you want your audience to achieve by taking action.
Ultimately you’ll need to have a way to determine if you have achieved your purpose in giving your speech. Provoking your audience and then telling them exactly what they have to do as you wrap up your speech gives you a great ending and provides them with a very clear next step.
What All Of This Means For You
Every speech that we give is done so for a reason. Somebody asked us to take the time, prepare a speech, and then stand in front of an audience and deliver it. The reason that most of us are willing to go to the effort to do all of this has to do with the benefits of public speaking: we want to change the world. We want our audience to get up and go take action based on having heard our speech.
In order to make this happen, we need to be able to capture their attention. This can be a real challenge in today’s sensory overloaded society. One way that speakers can make this happen is by appealing to our audience’s visual facilities. We can do this by presenting them with images and props. Additionally, we can provoke our audience. By doing this we’ll challenge them to take action. This might just what it will take to motivate them to do something.
Giving a speech can be tough work. Getting your audience to do something based on your speech is even tougher. The good news is that there are ways to make this happen. Using images and provoking your audience can get them to do what you want them to do – take action!
Question For You: Do you think that you can go too far in provoking your audience?
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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 you are like me, you don’t really seek out politicians to add to your list of friends. However, whenever an issue comes up that we really care about, all of a sudden we have a habit of becoming very, very interested in politics. As speakers, we need to realize that politicians are also speakers who just happen to realize the importance of public speaking. What might set them apart from us is that they give speeches with a very specific goal – to get or remain elected. Perhaps we can learn something from how they tell stories…