Why? Why are you doing this? Why bother speaking at all?
Well mainly because you want to change the audience in some way, otherwise there is no point. The change does not have to be worthy of a Nobel prize, it just needs to impact the way someone thinks about your topic and ultimately you.
This is not as difficult or dramatic as it sounds, but rather focuses on pivotal points, or the ideas that create thoughts in the audience. The main way to do this is by grabbing attention, in the introduction and in the ending.
So this week we have the 5 pillars of persuasive pivotal points.
- Begin and End on a high
People do not always remember what you have said but remember how you make them feel. To use this to your advantage you need to have an attention-grabbing beginning, that intrigues them rather than induces fear. Questions that put them and their lives into your speech are a good way to do this. Things like…” Do you remember when….” “What do you want from ….” Etc.
A strong introduction, with lots of empathy makes them remember what you have said, but also you want them to trust you, want to go ahead with your plans so you need to leave them feeling good. To them they will see you as making them feel good. Even if you are suggesting something that is not going to be easy. That is why it is important you end on a high. This could be with the possibility of a fantastic result, an expression of gratitude (but don’t just thank them for listening) or a funny anecdote. Even better if you can incorporate your takeaway point.
Use your introduction to get warm attention and then signpost or lay out what you are going to talk about. Your audience will then know the importance of staying. Your introduction should tease them, so they want to listen. It is important not to simply say “Today I am going to talk about A B and C.” Rather you should ask a relevant question and show that it is relevant because of A B and C. For example.
“How did you feel when the team hit our target last month? Today I am going to show you how we can do that again this month by collaboration, rebranding and talking more honestly with our clients. Then we will have something to celebrate. How good does that sound?”
The other important thing to remember when you signpost is to stick to the script and not introduce anything new thereafter. Expand upon you A B and C, with examples, anecdotes, methodologies and expected results. Just make everything from that point on relevant to your introduction.
- Have your takeaway clear and memorable
Make sure your audience know what the one clear stand out point is and keep repeating it clearly over and over again. In the example above it is clear that to hit targets you need to work together. Infuse emotion into the sentence so that people remember it.
- Begin and end with a bang
You need to begin strong so that people will listen and end strong so people remember. This means your audience need to know you are beginning to talk within 3 seconds of you beginning and know you have ended within 2 seconds of your last words leaving your mouth.
This is easier than it sounds. Begin with a pertinent question or statement is great for your introduction. This will have everyone listening to you.
The ending could also be a pertinent question, statement or if you are good with humour something funny. This is why you often hear speakers say “I will leave you with a little story…” These stories help your audience to remember how you made them feel and what your takeaway point is. Remember though if you leave on a story or joke it needs a punchline.
- Say everything 3 times.
An oldie but very important. Say in your introduction what you are going to say, your body should be what you want to say with all the relevant information and your ending should summarise what you have said. This is how to be memorable for all the right reasons as it is the format the brain understands best.
These are the pillars that when practiced and polished allow you to be memorable and have impact. It is the same if you talk to a meeting room of five people or from a stage to a hundred. This is how we listen for more than a sentence. This answers the question “why are you doing this?”
If you need help to prepare for your turn to speak up, so that you achieve your goals and make the difference you know you can then email me or book a 30 minute clarity call to find out how we can make you work your best.
To find out how to prepare and deliver to get this far check out the previous blogs