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Clearly Signalling Your End Goal

This lesson is a part of an audio course How to Present Like a Professional Speaker by Andy Edwards

In the last lesson, you heard how important your first statement or action is to the success of the speech… you have ended up punching the audience… Good job!

Now we need to look at how to capitalise on all that attention by telling the audience where you're going to be taking them…

What I should say here is that there are many rules and guidelines for new speakers… most of which, I believe, are there to be broken – and I would ultimately encourage this. However, as a non-professional or occasional speaker, my suggestion is you go with what I recommend before deciding to bend those rules and guidelines yourself?

Nothing here is written in stone but practice these techniques first prior to forging your own pathway. Think of this as an initial track to run on.

Your next step – after that initial PUNCH remember, is to tell them your intended end result.

Remember in an earlier lesson, we looked at what you wanted your audience to do Think; Know; Understand; Say; Be; Feel: Change or Stop. having heard your talk – well, at this point, you tell them exactly that. You will actually repeat a version this early statement at the end of your speech as you make your 'call to action', which we will refer to later.

For now, you are giving your audience a goal. An end point. A destination.

Remember my question that I told you I was fond of using in my PUNCH? It was, "What do people say about you when you're not there?"

I might pause as this sinks in (the audience usually murmur and chuckle or groan at my PUNCH)

I then say, "As a behavioural psychologist, I am going to help you find out EXACTLY what your colleagues say about you when you leave the room… because"

And here are the words I would urge you to use too.

"By the end of this 50 minute presentation… By the end of this presentation, use those words…

You then tell them what you want them to Do, Think; Know; Understand; Say; Be; Feel: Change or Stop.

"When you walk out of here in 40 minutes time, you will be able to check three elements of someone else's behaviour and immediately understand their psychological preferences – and their likely issues with a person with different psychological preferences – their likely issues someone like YOU!" You can then be pretty confident of what they might say about you when you leave the room…"

Now… Having done the work to kick your speck or presentation in such a professional manner – it's now up to you to provide the content.

Obviously, I can't really help you here – I mean, you're the expert in the subject, not me – and it's your specific status – whether you're an academic, business person, leader, researcher, author, project manager – or simply well known in your industry – which gives you're the right to talk about your subject.

However, I CAN give you few pointers as to structure of your presentation.

And whilst a lot will depend on your own presenting style, the subject matter itself, the audience, and other variables – there are a couple of guidelines I can share with you about structure – the ignorance of which may trip you up.

First up is an age-old piece of advice:

It goes like this: Tell them what you're going to tell them – tell them – then tell 'em what you told 'em. And there's some wisdom in that!

In more detail, it is always a good idea to put your argument or statement of the problem up front in your presentation – so let's have that nice and early. Then, what are the salient points that you will be covering in the remainder of your talk… my suggestion is to indicate no more than five points to cover – regardless of the talk's length.


"The problem is, according to Facebook and other popular areas of wisdom generation, it is suggested that we don't care about what others think of us. Well, my recommendation is that we absolutely DO care about the impression we leave with friends, colleague – and even people on the street… it is this above anything else that will guide what they think of us… and we're assessed – as we assess others in three main areas:

Body language – how people present themselves; Verbal tone – the sound of their expression and Actual Content – the words people use.

So, let's bring each element to consciousness and discover how to read others – and even read ourselves! To the point that we know what people might REALLY say about us when we're not there."

So, in that example, you can hear that I have literally referred to a problem, as I see it (the Facebook wisdom) and my stance in relation to it. I have then indicated the three broad topic areas I am going to cover… Body language, tone, and content – and tied it into the promise of what they will all learn by the end of my talk.

I have provided a clear context and overview – it could be said that I have told them what I am going to tell them.

So your task for this lecture is to review your PUNCH – which you should have written up based on the last lecture – and add the answer to the statement "By the end of this presentation, you will…"

At which point, according to the advice, now that you have told them what you're going to tell them – you must now tell them.

And, of course, here's where I become totally unhelpful to you. Yes, I could explain my OWN expertise in the three areas I have indicated earlier. But I don't know YOUR subject.

However, in 'Telling Them,' wherever possible use personal anecdotes, stories, and emotive language.

Because in the next lesson, we're going to contrast emotive language and storytelling against a simple rendition of the facts.

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Written by

Andy Edwards

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