We choose how we speak, to whom we speak and where we speak. But the greatest decision has to be the why.
It’s doesn’t matter whether you’re speaking in a boardroom, in a classroom or on stage. You want your words, ideas, thoughts to mean something, to make a difference.
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” – Plato
Audiences love speakers who make them think differently; speakers who share insights, offer new perspectives.
Audiences figure out pretty quickly when a speaker has nothing to say, when the words are empty.
So how do you ensure you are giving value to your audiences?
First, have something to say. This is the first of four steps to successful speaking. At Podium Coaching we call it the Communication Mantra.
Think of your audience. Think of what you want to tell them. Then ask yourself ‘So What?’ What will your words mean to your audience? How will those words improve their lives?
In other words, stop thinking about your message from your own perspective.
Think about your message from the point of view of your audience. Why should they listen to you? Why should they give you their time? What’s in it for them?
When you challenge yourself with ‘so what’, you dramatically increase your chance of delivering a dynamite presentation. Answering ‘so what?’ will focus your attention on benefits rather than process; it will help define the core of your message and it’s relevance to your audience.
Halina St James takes the worry out of presentations with her Present Like a Pro video training course. It’s available now from the Podium Coaching online store, together with her popular TalkitOut: From Fears to Cheers e-book and workbook.