Even the two-minute speech can give us that anxiety along the pit of our stomach because it’s hard to communicate effectively.
An old colleague recently called and said he was going to speak in front of 100 people.
A few days before the event he said, “It’s just for two or three minutes. I’ll probably just wing it.”
My ears perked up.
“What are you going to talk about?”
“Man… I’m just going to welcome them. That’s all I really need to do anyway.”
“I don’t know… it seems like you’re missing an opportunity to tell a room full of people to take some action. If you are not influencing while standing up there, then what are you really doing? You’re just talking.”
As we wrote in our short book Making Messages that Rock, one of the elements of an effective message is making sure your audience knows the action they need to take. Without this key element, your message runs flat and listeners have trouble knowing the point.
A few days later he called me. He was panicking.
“Man, I don’t know what to say today. Do you think I should do more than welcome them?”
“You have a great opportunity to motivate them to do something. They are at your office. You’re the representative from your team. But you have to communicate effectively.”
I took him through the Points on Paper process over the phone. We came up with a call to action and how the call to action could benefit the audience.
He called me after his short speech and said it went a lot better than if he had just winged it.
If you are in a pickle and need to find clarity quickly, let us help you.