I recently shared an article on The Power of Process. It talked about having a consistent presentation process to improve your public speaking performance. I also introduced the 10-step process used in my Communication Success: Beginnings course. In an ongoing series of articles, I will go into the details of each step. You can read about Step 1: Determine Your Topic here. This article is on Step 2: Define Your Purpose.
Your purpose is the why
I define purpose as the value you create for your audience. It’s not about you, it’s about them. Your audience is giving you something of great value, their time and attention. You need to give them something back in return. I always remind my clients: Your audience doesn’t want you to deliver a presentation. They want you to deliver something of value.
What is the value you’re going to give your audience? For me, this is the ultimate measure of success.
Deliver something of value
In the past 7 days, what were some communication opportunities where you received value? Maybe it was a presentation, or a conversation, or a workshop, or something you watched on TV. When it was over, you thought to yourself, “wow, that was the best 30 minutes I’ve had all day!” What was the purpose of that communication? Why did it provide value to you?
On the other hand, think about those communication opportunities where you walked away going, “ugh, I’ll never get that time back. What a waste. There wasn’t value in it for me.”
Again, what was the purpose of that communication? Likely it didn’t have one, or if it did, it wasn’t aligned with your needs or interests. This is the whole idea of taking time to think about your purpose. You want to create the value–and that feeling for your audience–that this has been a very meaningful and important communication opportunity, and you’ve helped them.
Focus on your audience
One of the best ways to think about value is to change your perspective and be audience focused.
What does your audience value? Is the information you’re presenting valuable to them? Is the meaning behind the information even more valuable? Remember, value can be subjective, so think about what your audience may be feeling or believing, too.
Ask yourself: What does my audience need? What do they need from me, specifically? And, just as important, what does my audience NOT need? And finally, what is it that only you can offer? What makes you and your vision unique and meaningful to an audience?
Always start, and end, with purpose
Step into your audiences’ shoes to determine how to deliver value to them. Discover your purpose. The success of your speeches and presentations depends on it.
Next up is Step 3 in the Communication Success: Beginnings process: Outline Your Strategy.
Are you ready to take your communication skills to the next level? Let’s schedule a call to discuss your needs and begin improving the results you achieve from every speech, presentation, and conversation.