Sun 1 Apr 2012
(Photo by Scott)
If you’ve been giving the same one or two speeches for awhile, how can you reboot your old presentation into something more passionate? It starts with 2 questions.
- Why are you talking about this topic? What’s the goal of giving this speech? What are you trying to achieve? Who specifically do you want to hear your thoughts? What action do you want them to take after hearing you talk? What’s the benefit to them for taking this action?
- What personally got you interested in this topic? You could be giving presentations on a number of topics, but somehow you’ve locked into this topic. What sparked your interest? Who first influenced you? What was your life prior to understanding this topic? What was your life afterwards? Who did you share this passion with? What did they think?
Question #2 will help provide you with some stories that your audience will be able to relate to. Remember, they don’t have the knowledge/experience you do, so you need to show them through your senses your “awakening”. The right story will help them see the before/during/after experience and give them a concrete story to remember.
Question #1 will help you tailor your message to your speaking goals. Knowing what you want to impart will help you select the right stories, the right words, and the right imagery. If you want the listener to actively do something, tell them exactly what you want them to do (and why). If this is a speech about learning, ensure you have a succinct summary to make it easy for people to remember and retell the gist of your speech.
No doubt rebooting your old/safe presentation won’t be easy and may feel awkward to you. Be patient. It’s worth it.