Five Questions for Evaluating the Purpose of Your Speech

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The most common purpose for a speech is to interact with and engage your audience. However, there are other purposes for a speech and determining those other purposes that will help in the preparation of the message content and delivery. For example, the purpose of your message may be to generate sales, answer inquiries, qualify prospects, introduce a new product, or convey new product or service information. You may be speaking with the intent of growing brand recognition, building company image, or creating awareness about your social cause. Plan for success by answering the following questions before sitting down to write your speech or outline.

1. What are the benefits of your specific message? Make a complete list of the benefits of your message to the listeners, and identify those of most importance. Put yourself in your listeners’; shoes and assess what value or advantage you want them to hear in your speech. Clearly understand the key point you want them to leave with and why.

2. What problem does your message solve? Assess which of the five emotional triggers your message will address: make money, save money, save time, save frustration, or get entertained. Understand if your message will resolve any of these problems or eliminate any pain points for your audience. Identify how easy it will be for your listeners to solve their problem with your information.

3. What are the life applications of your message? Determine how your listeners can apply your message to their lives. Identify their main concerns and whether or not your topic addresses those concerns. Clearly articulate how the audience should go about putting into practice the principles you plan to cover in your speech.

4. What motivates your audience to action? Assess the audience’;s motivation and address that motivation in your speech. Incorporate those tangible elements that will inspire your audience to action, including personal testimony, statistics, and famous quotes. Describe the mental process your audience must go through in order to take action and benefit from the solutions offered in your message. Provide clear real life examples of the actions needed for success and the expected results.

5. How is your speech different from other statements on the subject? Identify what you need to say to your audience that they have not already heard elsewhere. Include data points, illustrations, or examples that will make your message unique. Share your own experience and focus on content that will be hot off the press where your listeners are concerned.

Raise the bar of excellence as a public speaker by going above and beyond in preparation for your next event. Answer the questions above before writing your next speech outline. You should notice a marked difference in your approach to content, flow, and delivery. You should also experience a marked improvement in how well your message is heard, received, and responded to.