19 Jun What’s in it for listeners?
Prepare & Organize for Business Speaking
Tell the listeners why they should listen to you talk about this topic. Whether or not they ultimately agree with you, how do you expect them to benefit by listening? Some benefits that you might mention as reasons why they should listen to you include:
- Making their jobs easier.
- Improving their health.
- Relieving stress.
- Stimulating creativity.
- Providing security.
- Increasing their income.
As a speaker, you should be able to tell at least one, and maybe more, good reasons why they should listen to you. The intent is to give your listeners a clear understanding of why your ideas are valuable. Many speakers find this the most difficult of all steps in the four-step outline. Business speakers frequently say things like, “They know why this is important,” or “They invited me to speak, I’m sure they know the value of what I’m saying.” This is a big mistake. There will be times when listeners have no clear idea how your thoughts apply to them. Perhaps their boss told them to attend. Maybe they came with friends. Maybe they came to make friends by networking. In any case, you cannot hurt your cause by giving a short, direct, answer to their question, “What’s in it for me?” After all, if you can’t think of a reason for them to listen, they probably can’t either. If you can’t identify the reasons why people should listen to you speak on a certain topic, then why are you speaking to them at all?
Monica Murphy is a senior coaching partner with The Speech Improvement Company