This Statement Sets Up Your Talk for Success
Whether you’re speaking to one person, 10, or 1,000, you must grab your audience’s attention from the beginning. Without engaging them from the start, you’re not going to be able to serve your listeners as effectively as possible.
In this short article, you’re going to learn how to – after grabbing your audience’s attention – keep them engaged as you get into the core of your presentation. This benefits you, your presentation, and, most of all, your audience.
Directly after opening your presentation with an attention-grabbing statement, question, or another tactic, deliver your benefit statement. This statement provides your audience with three things.
1) How long your presentation is going to be.
2) What they are going to learn.
3) How they benefit from your presentation.
As you may have noticed, it’s very much like the paragraph above.
Here’s how it might go
Over the next 20 minutes, you are going to learn several easy-to-implement time management ideas so you can get more done in less time, ultimately giving you more time for yourself.
Feel free to replace “learn” with “see,” “discover,” or another word that’s comfortable for you. Since most of us are visual learners, I use “see,” even though I seldom use slides.
You, not I
Did you notice that the second part of the benefit statement? The vast majority of speakers say things like, “I am going to talk about … ,” or “I’m going to show you … ,” or even “We’re going to discuss … .”
Speaker-centric statements such as these set you up to deliver a mediocre statement at best. A subtle change, however, can make a world of difference.
Keep your focus on your audience by inserting “you,” where most speakers use “I.” So, instead of “I am going to talk about … ,” you say, “You are going to hear … .” Instead of “I’m going to show you … ,” you say, “You are going to see.” Instead of “We’re going to discuss … ,” you say “You’re going to discover … .”
Once you’ve done this, deliver the benefit your audience will receive. Not only does this inform them about the benefit they are going to get from being at your presentation, but it also provides your audience with repeatable words. When they’re asked, “What was the talk about?” they have the answer.
Seldom do you get so many positive results from such a simple shift. Be sure to implement a benefit statement in all presentations, no matter the length. You’ll be glad you did, and so will your listeners.