There are 3 B’s to always consider when addressing an audience of any size. They are be bold, be brief and be gone.
It’s often been said that time is our most precious commodity, so you should always be respectful of that when speaking.
Psychological experimentation has shown that the two different hemispheres of the brain are responsible for different manners of thinking. The left side deals with the logical, sequential, rational and analytical. The right side is more subjective and deals with intuition, creativity, aesthetics and feelings. These are generalizations, but the findings are based in fact. The left/right brain needs to be addressed when dealing with the 3 B’s.
According to Toastmasters one of the biggest mistakes a speaker can make is “starting with a whimper. Start with a bang! Give the audience a startling statistic, an interesting quote, a news headline – something powerful that will get their attention immediately”
You need to have an opening that grabs the listener’s attention. Whether it’s a joke, story, alarming statistic, current event or a quote that appeals to your audience. This opening speaks to the right brain of your listener(s). Keep in mind that we listen, have relationships with and do business with people we like. Give your audience a chance to like you from the beginning with some sort of bold opening. You only have one shot to make that all-important first impression.
“Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening!” The ability to be brief in your desired remarks shows that you’re sensitive to the importance of time. All too often when asked what time it is, speakers will try and tell you how to make a watch, rather that just tell you what time it is. One of my favorite quotes is, “A speech is like a woman’s skirt: it needs to be long enough to cover the subject matter, but short enough to hold the audience’s attention.”
Once you’ve said what you need to say, the 3rd B is to be gone! We’ve all heard the old adage, leave them wanting more. Since I focus a lot on the sales aspect of speaking, you definitely want to leave them with some sort of specific action step for them to take. If they don’t do something, or take some sort of action after you’re done speaking, then you were just a conversationalist.
Hire a speaking coach or trainer to help you be bold, be brief and be gone.
I go into depth on the 3 B’s and much more in my 2 day presentation skills seminar.
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