The Five Elements: Relevance

image: Steve Heath(Flickr)

Being Clear and Passionate about your message is a good start but probably the most important of The Five Elements of a Perfect Speech is Relevance i.e. how are you going to structure your speech or presentation so that it speaks straight into the hearts and minds of your audience?

In order to make your speech relevant you need to research your audience, to learn about them and ultimately to understand them. It’s all about asking questions and gathering as much information as possible:

  • Who are your audience?
  • What do you know about them?
  • What are their ages, gender, race, religion, cultural background?
  • Are they there voluntarily or did their boss make them attend?
  • What do they know about your topic?
  • How do they feel about your topic?
  • What are they expecting from your speech? Do they want to be inspired? Entertained? Educated? Motivated?
  • What makes them happy, what makes them sad?
  • What are their ambitions, their hopes and their dreams?
  • What are their daily hassles, their annoyances and the worries that keep them up at night?

Ask as many questions as you need to ask. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to answer the only question that every audience cares about – “WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?”

Because if you cannot answer that one question then you’re wasting your time and what’s worse, you’re wasting THEIR time and they’ll find it hard to forgive you for that…

Always make sure that as you’re writing your speech that you know how your ideas, message or products are going to benefit the audience or solve their problems. Convey this to them through ideas, images and stories that they can relate to.

Being able to answer that one question “What’s in it for me?” will make the audience love you and, more importantly, listen to you.

As Benjamin Disraeli said “talk to people about themselves and they will listen for hours”