That Last Thing You Want to Be Is Boring
Are you afraid of being boring? Have you ever felt like you lost your audience?
Great speakers know that in order to give the audience the most bang for their buck, they will need to entertain as much as inform.
Therefore, today we are going to talk about a few ways to design your speech for maximum audience engagement.
Let’s Face It – We Have All Been There
A few months back I had the honor of traveling to Atlanta for a speaker’s seminar. It was hosted by many accomplished speakers. One of these hosts was Larry Winget – a member of the Speaker’s Hall of Fame and six-time Bestselling author.
And, of all the great bits of information he said, there was one that really stuck out.
“If you want to be a great speaker, the last you want to be is boring.”
Most Speakers Are Inconsiderate
You read that right! Let me explain…
We have all been in a lecture, or a seminar, or a meeting where we are trying to stay awake. Think about the last time you were on the wrong of “death by powerpoint”. It sucks. Heck, I will even go as far to say it is downright inconsiderate on part of the speaker!
The audience is voluntarily giving the speaker their time! That is something they are never going to get back. Until a speaker respects this fact, they will never maintain an audience let alone a dedicated following!
Folks, one of the things that bugs me the most is when I feel my time is being wasted. And, I’m willing to bet my foot that you feel the same way! I have yet to meet a person that truly enjoys having their time thrown to the wind by somebody else.
And this fact infers a very important conclusion.
If we want the audience to respect us as a speaker, we must respect their time.
And if we want to respect their time, we need to be engaging! We need our audience to have fun and want to be with us!
How To Not Be Boring
In my #1 Amazon Bestselling book Written Word Crash Course, I discuss a few ways to design your speech. The techniques I outline are called “Captivating Speech Writing Elements” or CSWEs. Their sole purpose is simply to make the audience want to listen!
These CSWEs are based on the axiom that every person in the world has these three same qualities.
First, we are social beings.
Second, we are storytellers.
Third, we are emotional creatures.
Social, storytelling, emotional.
Remember these three things and they will take you far.
A Quick Example
How we cater to these traits in our speeches determines our talk’s effectiveness. For instance, take a boring presentation you had to attend. Maybe it sounded like this.
“Okay, team, let us look at where we are at. As you can see, we made more sales and secured a crucial foothold for our business in Japan.”
Bleh. But, what if instead we tweak that sentence to be more social to the team?
“I want you all to look to the person next to you and high-five them! Because, your combined effort just landed us more sales and secured a crucial foothold in Japan.”
Better…let us sprinkle in some storytelling.
“I want you all to look to the person next to you and high-five them! If you remember, this time last year, we were non-existent in Asia. And, I know you have all struggled and worked your butts off to change that. It is because of your combined effort that we just landed more sales and secured a crucial foothold in Japan!”
Getting there! Now, let’s make it emotional!
“I want you all to look to the person next to you and high-five them! If you remember, this time last year, we were non-existent in Asia. But I have seen the late nights. I have seen the sweat. I have seen the fire from each and every one of you. And, it is because of your combined effort that we just landed more sales and secured a crucial foothold in Japan!”
Next time there is a presentation you have to give, think about how to keep the audience engaged. Make them want to listen!
And remember, the last thing you want to be is boring! Get them amped!
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