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What Are You Really Saying? Speechcraft!


Captivating Speakers Secrets #4 - Unlocking the Power of Precision: Identifying Your Speech's Specific Purpose**


In the realm of public speaking, there's a potent saying: "Less is more." It emphasizes the crucial art of identifying your speech's specific purpose, which can be condensed into one compelling sentence. The goal is to distill the essence of your message, making it crisp, clear, and memorable.


“A good speech should be like a woman's skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.”

Winston S. Churchill


I love the speaking business but I can't say it has been easy listening to speakers. Some people are extraordinarly good at beating around the bush. When they finish speaking, you find yourself scratching your head and wondering, "What was that about?"


The art of public speaking is a diverse landscape, where the skill to inspire, educate, and captivate is truly an asset. However, it's no secret that some speakers completely miss the mark. Whether it's due to a lack of clarity, a disorganized structure, or excessive jargon, we've all experienced those moments where we're left in a state of bewilderment rather than enlightenment. Many (myself included) simply tune out.


So, what can we learn from this common pitfall in the speaking world? It's a reminder of the fundamental importance of clarity. When you step onto that stage or stand before your audience, your words carry immense weight. They hold the potential to spark change, foster understanding, or ignite inspiration. But for that to happen, your message must be crystal clear.


Successful speakers embrace the power of precision. They craft their speeches with a specific purpose, using language that resonates with their audience, and they ensure that their ideas flow logically. They're mindful of not drowning their message in jargon or complexity, making sure that everyone, from experts to novices, can grasp their core ideas.


The next time you're preparing to address an audience, keep this in mind. Strive to be the kind of speaker who leaves your audience enlightened, not bewildered. Clear, concise, and compelling communication is the key to ensuring that your message not only reaches your audience but leaves a lasting impact. After all, in the world of speaking, it's the clarity of your message that truly matters.


The I.C.E. Model: Why Specificity Matters:


  1. Impact: A clear, concise purpose has a more significant impact. Your audience is more likely to remember and act upon a message that is easily understood.

  2. Clarity: A specific purpose sharpens your focus. It ensures your message isn't vague or meandering, preventing confusion among your listeners.

  3. Engagement: When your audience knows precisely what you aim to convey, they're more likely to stay engaged and attentive throughout your talk.


Where to Aim: In the center, where these three circles intersect.


Ask yourself this one simple question: What am I passionate about and know well that the audience wants or needs to hear? Express this statement in one sentence not exceeding 15 words.


I have a client who is considered the world's leading cellular health expert. His passion is the health business and his knowledge is specific to cellular health. Now, while we (the audience) want to have healthy cells we may not know why it is so important. He would need to target his passion and knowledge to the audience's specific needs.


Sales people always say that you sell the sizzle and not the steak. In this example, he would have to tell the audience how important cellular health is if they wish to live long, healthy lives. He'd have to think about what he can specifically share that will help them achieve this goal. He'd have to express that in a sentence using as few words as possible. To narrow down your specific purpose, start a sentence with the words: I want the audience to know: that their cellular health will determine how long they live and what their quality of life is.

This line is your General Purpose. You wish to educate people about cellular health.

Now, consider what specifically you can tell them that would achieve this goal. Confine it to ONE thing but maybe provide THREE simple steps to achieve this. Now complete this sentence: My specific purpose (in this speech) is: to prove that drinking a lot of water may not hydrate your body because of poor cellular health and how you (the audience) can fix this.


Now keep this line statement and center when you write your speech. If anything you write doesn't support the statement, discard it.


Defining Your Specific Purpose:


1. Audience-Centered: Consider your audience's needs and interests. What would resonate with them, and what do you want them to gain from your speech?


2. Actionable: Think about the desired action or change you want your audience to take. Is it to inspire, educate, persuade, or entertain?


3. Succinctness: Aim for a one-sentence statement that encapsulates the essence of your speech. It's your guiding star throughout your preparation and presentation.


In Conclusion: Identifying your speech's specific purpose is like crafting a roadmap to your audience's hearts and minds. It streamlines your message, enhances engagement, and boosts your speech's impact. So, the next time you prepare to speak, distill your message into one potent sentence – a sentence that inspires, educates, and stays with your audience long after you've finished speaking.


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