Why Do You Need Public Speaking? How to Set Goals Before a Presentation?

Today, it feels like public speaking is made for true professionals only. They have that magic skill of managing the audience, know how to make people love them from the very first phrase, and they grew up on Ted Talks instead of cartoons, for sure.

The truth is that public speaking is not for the elite at all. This skill resembles muscles that can be trained.

We’re going to tell you how to prepare for a speech at a conference, meetup or live while avoiding panic from whether feedback, even if the audience consists of trolls only.

Let’s start with discussing goals because the specific goal determines the future of your speech will be catchy or boring.

Step 1. Set Personal Goals

Let’s be honest: public speaking feeds our ego. And that’s okay!

But while an inexperienced speaker just wants not to screw up and please the audience, professionals focus on a more objective and measurable goal.

If you formulate exactly how you want to behave at stage and represent material, each new performance will help to work weaknesses out of your approach.

Personal goals look like this:

  • This time, I’ll try not to run off the stage in a panic right after the greeting
  • This time, I’ll not get out of the timing, I will concentrate on it
  • This time, I’ll gracefully and accurately sell my services at the end of the speech
  • This time, I’ll work on making myself look good on the reporting photos

Let’s imagine: you and your team have reached zen in communication with clients. Everyone appreciates you, and ask for a conference where you can share your experience. Then the goal might be to try yourself in questions and answers format. It improves the skill to explain complex things in a constructive way.

Step 2. Set Your Speech Goal

Communication is the tool to influence the audience. You can use 3 frameworks to understand how you are going to make an impact and what you want to get in the end.

  1. Determine Next Step of Your Audience

What should people want to do after my speech?
You usually suggest some action to your audience at the end of your speech. It might be about buying something, thinking over some idea, or subscribing to your Instagram account.

Beware! You can get into a hidden trap when you choose your Call To Action.

Sometimes the speaker recommends an action the audience is not ready for. Remember, your speech is one of the marketing communication tools like targeting or mailing list. At first, the audience should get to know you, then make a series of touches with you and only after that they are ready to make some meaningful step forward.

What CTA is good for, “The principles of communication with the customer” lecture? It is unlikely that the audience will immediately pay for your business consultations. But, for example, subscribing to a mail list or Instagram account is an option for a good CTA.

2. Determine Your Value for the Audience

What problem is my speech going to solve?
There’s a simple rule that works out in public speaking — if you want people to listen to you, then your speech should aim at people’s pain or interest.

Answer yourself honestly if this information is really useful to listeners. Do they worry about it? Questions like this will help to define the content.

  • Are your colleagues there? Bring their attention to how you handled common market issues, but not only to impressive numbers to show off. Maybe you managed to collect podcast statistics? Perhaps, you made your opinion valid for a stroppy client? Share your experience
  • Does your audience consist mostly of people from the neighboring department who you see in a nightmare? Think over why sales managers piss PR department off. Or why should they work with you? Give them a topic which will help unite you all
  • Are there only business owners at the marketing conference? Give them 5–7–10 criteria of good digital agencies, so they feel like they know how to avoid troubles

When you think over someone’s profit, you make a step towards partnership

A common problem of a novice speaker is imposter syndrome. It seems to you that you have no right to share your experience if there were f*kcups. Or, for example, you feel like you’re supposed to know the answer to any question.

To tell the truth, it doesn’t work like that.

The main thing is to understand the specific benefit that your speech can bring to listeners. Focus on it and try to give the information as clearly as possible.

Raise the «10 principles of communication with clients» topic.

From one side, it’ll be extremely useful for your colleagues, potential clients, and even for brand managers who have some difficulties in finding a common language with stroppy managers.

From another side, you can show how to react correctly when someone feels like editing your job. Or you can explain the importance of the client’s presence during the brainstorm. There are dozens of useful cases that you can raise.

3. Determine Audience’s Scale of Change

How is the audience going to change after my speech?
The idea is to understand what’s the difference between the listener before and after your speech.

This framework can really help when it comes to some theoretical lectures. For instance, It can be hard to find a specific Call To Action in this type of speech. And it also can be complicated to find purpose… But anyways the new information is going to change people somehow!

If it’s a lecture about architecture, then the audience will probably start to notice some interesting details in the building in front of them. And maybe they will tell their friends about these details. This is the scale of change.

You can use only one framework or all of them together to choose the right way in creating your speech.

Checking the Attainability of a Aoal

There are 3 tools:

1. Attitude-Awareness Matrix

This is a table with two variables: how much the audience knows about the topic, and how they feel about the main idea of ​​your lecture.

We’ve been using this matrix for years. We can’t say that this table shows exact measurable data, but anyways it’s really useful tool that many times helped us out.
Attitude-Awareness Matrix
Place the audience or each of its segments in the appropriate cell and understand where people should be after the speech.

Remember, it’s impossible to move the audience more than one cell up or to the right in the table after one speech only.

For example, your audience knows something about your speech topic, but doesn’t fully trust your ideas. So, then you can put your audience in the “I heard something ±” cell. After the speech, people can trust your ideas more, and you can move them into “+” cell.

3. Customer Journey Map

CJM will help to analyze the journey of the listener to your speech.

  • Look at the conference program from the perspective of a listener. Are people going to be inspired or tired?
  • You should be in the same reality as your audience

For example, you see that people are exhausted after the previous speaker. No worries, you can suggest making a small coffee-break to sponsors, so everyone can refresh themselves before your speech.

Simple phrases like: «During the previous speech, there were 3 times when the electricity was cut off. So, just in case, I took a flashlight with me».

It’s the easiest way to shortcut the distance between you and your audience. And also it will help to understand the starting point of the audience’s journey.

We know all the obstacles that you have to face being a speaker.

If you prepare for a conference and find yourself surrounded by hardships, we are here to help you out:
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