The one and only question: WIIFM?
Last week, I was collaborating with my client who was a keynote speaker at an international conference on progamming. This is the orignal text, he wrote:
If I can change the program, I can change the running of the program. And if I can change it, I can change the result. That is how I can change my life and make it the life I want to live.
I strongly suggested he change the text to:
If YOU can change the program, YOU can change the running of the program. And if YOU can change it, YOU can change the result. That is how YOU can change YOUR life and make it the life YOU want to live.
Why change “I” to “You”?
When people listen to a talk, they are intersted in one thing, and one thing only: What’s In It For Me, otherwise known in public speaking terms as “WIIFM”. Your audience is not interested in you. Your job up on the stage is to convey a message with a benefit for the listener. If you just talk about yourself, the only person who may stay to listen is —– your mother.
When you prepare your talk by writing it out (yes, writing it out!), go through it and count your “I”s and “You”s. The “You”s should clearly outnumber the “I”s.
What can you share with the audience that will make it meaningful and worthwhile for them to:
- Start to listen to you.
- Continue to listen to you.
- Believe and accept your message.
- Care about your message.
- Be moved to action.
When you think about giving on stage as a speaker rather than “the audience wants to take something away from you”, it also helps to alleviate stage fright immensely. The audience isn’t focused on YOU, they are focused on THEMSELVES.
Just keep giving.
Give generously. Give expertly. Give humbly.
Dyane Neiman is the Moving Speaker: www.moving-speaker.com. She helps business professionals at all levels, who are challenged to speak in public, in English. She guides speakers to focus on giving to the audience rather than taking the spotlight in front of the audience. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: become a better public speaker, public speaking tips and tools, speechwriting, connect with audience.