FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 11-20-08
Do you want to learn two hugely important tips to become a better public speaker, more connected with your audience, and a method to provide your audience with an actionable next step? If the answer is yes then please read Chris Brogan’s fantastic article “Two Important Speaking Tips.”
Chris Brogan, one of this generation’s true social media superstars states: WIIFM aka “What Is In It For Me?” Before you can understand how to provide the audience with the answer to WIIFM, let’s examine one of the most common mistakes speakers make–me included.
Our Introduction Rarely Connects Us to the Audience
According to Chris: “We have a tendency to clear our autobiographical throats before we dig into educating an audience. Then, we end with no real sense of what comes next. This means we leave people excited, but with nothing to do.”
Analysis: Often times I rely upon building my credentials first before getting to WIIFM. Do you find yourself moving your own value message forward before connecting with the audience’s need to CARE about your message?
2 Tips to Help Your Public Speaking
1. WIIFM: Ask Your Audience a Question- According to Chris you want to ask your audience a question “that sounds like it came right out of their head.”
Example: If you are giving a session on the merits of blogging as a tool for job seekers in their job search you might ask:
“Do you think people REALLY believe blogging will change the process of searching for a job?”
Benefits: By asking this type of question, you are relating to the audience’s need to care and understand what is in it for me.
Second benefit is what Chris refers to as taking away their “sword”:
“This means start by making sure your audience (especially if they’re skeptics) knows that you’re on their side.
2. Takeaways: these are very important for a speaker to include in their presentation. They are the next step actions and things people can do to apply the tips-information you have provided during your presentation. As Chris states, and I can vouch for this myself, takeaways are “the whole “next steps” stuff that people seem to crave at events.”
The Takeaways you provide should be “very actionable.” When I finished my workshop on Blogging to Employment, I gave my audience a homework assignment that included research, writing their initial blog article, and formulation of a target list.
Benefit of Takeaways Keeps You Connected: you remain connected and have a solid reason to collaborate with your audience as a resource and coach for their next step actionable items.
Organizational Structure: people need and want structure and organization. By giving Takeaways and “homework” you are helping your audience to be more organized in their quest for new information and solutions.