Articles tagged: audience analysis

For many of us, the appeal of writing a speech falls somewhere down there between getting a speeding ticket and being audited.

But take heart! You’re in a very powerful position as a speechmaker, and that’s a good place to be. A well-written speech can drive sales, deepen commitment, motivate hearts and minds, and even change the world. It can be magic.

Now, you may not feel very powerful as a speechwriter, especially if you don’t do it often. But the truth is, you already have some magic speechwriting powers at your disposal, and you don’t need to spend seven years at Hogwarts to learn how to use them.

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Most speakers approach their presentation as if they were the star actors in a theater play. They decide on the content, rehearse, and then deliver their impeccably prepared speech.

Giving a presentation however is different from playing Hamlet.  When watching a play, or a dance show, the audience wants to be entertained and emotionally engaged.  When attending a presentation, the audience expects to hear a relevant message and bring home something of value.  They will evaluate the speaker based on whether he or she can convey information that they can understand, digest, remember, and utilize.

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Many speakers are guilty of making faulty assumptions about their presentations, and their ability to deliver them well. Sometimes even seasoned speaking professionals like me fall victim to this behavior.

How about you?

In this article, you will learn:

  • 8 common faulty assumptions you might be making;
  • the subsequent result on your presentations; and
  • how to fix your flawed thinking.

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Some speaking sins, like the occasional “ah” or “um”, will not doom your presentation. With good content, you can earn forgiveness from the audience for those sins.

Other speaking sins are so grave that when you commit them, your speech or presentation is certain to fail. This article reveals the seven deadly sins of public speaking.

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“Loved it! Well DONE.”

“Great speech – hilarious!”

“Mate, that was awesome.”

A great Best Man Speech is the highlight of any wedding banquet.

But exactly what makes a great Best Man Speech?

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When you deliver a message to your audience, you are providing customer service.

Do you provide good service, or bad service? More importantly, does it matter?

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I wish all my colleagues would read this business communications book.

Advanced Presentations by Design: Creating Communication that Drives Action offers a comprehensive approach to planning and designing presentations focused on selling ideas and persuading your audience.

This article is the latest in a series of public speaking book reviews here on Six Minutes.

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The first article in the Speech Preparation Series outlined how to prepare a speech in six steps. In this second article, we examine the first of these steps — how to select a speech topic.

Selecting a speech topic sometimes feels like shooting an arrow in a random direction and hoping that it hits a target. If this is your approach, you are probably quite frustrated.

Your topic — and, more specifically, your core message — must be selected carefully. If it isn’t, then you won’t be able to effectively deliver the speech, and your audience won’t be interested or prepared to receive your message.

This begs the question: How do you choose a great speech topic?

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Ever wonder what the audience really wishes you would do better when you speak?

Chris Brogan conducted a quick and informal survey asking the question:

Quick: Give me YOUR 3 things you wish speakers would do better, or not do at all!

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