Speak With Passion: Start With the End

Start At The End

Photo by tableatny

When you start crafting your speech, start with the end result you wish to achieve. Your audience is likely to only remember 3 things about your speech: the beginning, the ending, and how it made them feel.

Think about a recent movie you enjoyed watching. Now, imagine trying to share the movie with someone who hasn’t seen it. Can you remember the plot’s twists and turns? Can you remember the feeling of the movie? Can you concisely review the movie to encourage others to see the movie?

You want your speech to be like a well-recommended movie. You don’t want someone in your audience to tell about this great speech that moved them – but forget why they were moved. If your audience can’t remember the point of the speech (because did remember they were entertained) – you’ve missed a key chance to spread your message.

What is it you want your audience to feel? Empathy with your story? Anger at a situation? Hope with their life struggle? Excitement through vicarious exploits? A talk without feeling is called a lecture. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with lectures, by their nature they tend to be dry and unremarkable. Remember that people came to hear you talk because they want to feel something new. What feeling can you share to both entertain and inform?

What is your repeatable message? Think about that movie recommendation. If you enjoyed the movie, but can’t put words to specifically why you enjoyed it, the person you’re talking to is unlikely to see the movie (despite your enthusiasm). Each listener needs to know what the point of the movie (or speech) is to decide for themselves whether they also want to experience what you had. So, if you can’t succinctly state your message before you write your speech, how will your audience be able to spread the word (and create “buzz” for you)?

By ensuring your speech is designed around a heartfelt and repeatable message, you’re making it easier for your audience to both remember your speech and to share it with their community.


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