Yawns or Applause?
If you think about a classic sermon by a member of the clergy, or a typical university lecture, it’s a one-sided affair. Somebody talks. You listen. It’s often dry and dull, or worse, dreary and draining. Sometimes we’re lucky, yes? The speaker is riveting. Thoughtful. Inspirational. Full of valuable ideas and data. After all, there are clergy who know how to connect to their congregation, and there are also a few wonderful professors and teachers out there.
What kind of speaker do you want to be?
Today’s audiences are demanding and expecting cinema-like experiences even when they sit before a speaker as part of a live interaction. For you to counteract the chance of coming across as boring or otherwise not connecting well to your audience — whether it’s a staff meeting, sales presentation, speech or fundraising effort — I recommend you incorporate what I call the Speaker’s Three E’s: 1) Entertain them, 2) Educate a bit, and 3) Energize with motivation.
First, strive to create entertainment value in your message. This first Speaker E can be a relevant and preferably humorous story or set of delicious, smile-evoking comments. You can use a funny sign or video clip. Or a combination of elements.
Next, plan what educational value you are including. No one wants to waste time. What tips, pointers, references, visual examples, or other practical take-away can you impart? How can you make it as painlessly as possible for us to absorb?
Finally, what can you impart for the third Speaker E, energizing inspiration, that will help us overcome the feeling of being overwhelmed, uncertain, pulled in too many directions, and needing inner strength?
When you build the Three Speaker E’s into your message, you’ll be the kind of speaker we all want to hear.