Speech Goals (Guest article by Leon from “Effective Public Speaking Tips”)

by Oliver Adria on 22/01/2012

I regularly let guest bloggers write an article here. This time it’s Leon from effective-public-speaking-tips.com. If you want to have your article on this blog, just write to mail@rethinkpresentations.com.

My grandma was fond of the radio (called the “wire-less” where I was from), and sitting in her chair by the window in her small beach house, she used to listen to a lot of public speakers in the evening. But often afterwards, she was left fazed: “He was talking all over the place,” she used to say, “I feel like walking up to him and asking exactly WHAT he wanted say and why he didn’t just spit it out…”

I’m pretty sure my grandma wasn’t the only one suffering from acute speech disillusionment, since I I’ve personally left many public speaking venues wondering what exactly the speaker wanted me to take from his haphazard talk.

Novice speakers are especially susceptible to randomized babbling: Getting on stage, zigzagging between ideas, jumping between different shades of the same topics, consistently self-interrupting to share an extra or side-bar, and finishing up without actually having maintained any form of concentrated effort on one single point. This is deadly. It’s not just ineffective, its also leaves the audience frustrated, dazed and more often than not, bored.

Public Speaking is not just speaking for the sake of speaking. Like anything in life that is intended to have impact and lasting results, a public speakers needs to be aware of what exactly he wants to accomplish with his delivery. Like any good meeting that has a clear agenda, a pre-determined set of goals that the gathering will set out to accomplish; great Public Speaking will convey focus on specifics. A Public Speaker who goes on stage without a clear idea of what his speech is supposed to accomplish, is like a chairman ordering meetings simply because he enjoys hearing the sound of other people’s voices!

The easiest way to determine a speech goal is to answer the following question: What is the one thing I want my audience to have understood/grasped/implemented when I descend from stage? This is the ‘main thing’ of your speech – the ultimate goal of your entire delivery and the cornerstone around which you wrap all your content. The ‘main thing’ of your speech also becomes your judge. Everything from your content, to your delivery techniques, to your voice tonality and hand gestures ends up being measured against your speech goal, and if it doesn’t further and advance this goal, it needs to be reworked or all together
thrown out.

For example: Now that I now and really understand what I want to accomplish with this speech, is this paragraph still relevant? Is this joke still necessary? Could I shorten my speech by five minutes without influencing the accomplishment of my goals in any true sense? What about my stories and analogies – could I use sharper illustrations that’ll further the understanding of my speech goal to a greater extent? In this sense, by beginning with the end in mind, great speakers have learned to write and deliver content that is focused and precise. Never go on stage and start babbling, hoping the audience will be smart enough to grab hold of whatever you’re throwing out at them. No, start with a clear speech goal in mind and work from there. When you write or delivery speeches with a clear outcome in mind, your results will be maximized a dozen times over.

This guest article was written by Leon from effective-public-speaking-tips.com which is an ever growing online portal for public speaking tips, speechwriting help and presentation techniques.

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