A good speaker always knows the target audience’. But the great, BOLD speaker asks: Am I On-Target for the audience in front of me?
Sports figures have it easy. They take home the trophy. Their performances go in a win-loss column. Some see “Unforced Error” flashing on the scoreboard. Others watch that dreaded instant replay as soon as a mistake happens. At least, they know where they stand.
As speakers, we get the quickly filled-out evaluation sheets. The numbers may tell us something about how we did at the moment, but how do we know if even the highest scores reflect sustainable results?
Try this BOLD Speaker Checklist.
Before the Talk- The audience members come to you saying:
- I’m really looking forward to hearing you speak.
- I heard you speak last year. It really helped me.
- Can’t wait for your talk. It’s exactly what I need right now.
During the Talk- The audience always gives you clues about whether or not you are On-Target:
- They nod at your most important points.
- They laugh in all the right places.
- Their faces are open. They look bright-eyed.
- They might clap when you make a profound statement.
- They are asleep.
After the Talk- Their comments, as they pass you, can be the typical glib:
- Great job.
- You were funny.
- I enjoyed your talk.
Or they line up to wait to connect with you with specific comments:
- You helped me see a different way to speak to…
- You really changed my thinking about…
- You gave me great alternatives for…
Aspire Language- They use words that let you know they want to try what you suggested:
- I’ve never thought about “Collaborative Leadership”. I want to develop that with my team.
- I want to work on my storytelling skills. Can you recommend a book?
- I’m determined to deal with…
Actions- You get the notes or emails about the specific actions they took after your talk:
- Instituted new practices.
- Worked out new solutions.
- Created new products.
More Productive- The company or group leaders send notes describing how the actions their team members took made a difference in their work habits, delivering specific results:
- Higher sales
- Faster finish rates
- Higher quality work
More Buy-in- CEOs, Managers, Directors send notes thanking you for:
- Improved company culture
- Stronger engagement
- More evident teamwork
Global Requests– You are not only invited to do future work with those in attendance:
- They recommend you to speak at bigger, better conferences.
- They want you to help influence their entire industry.
- They call you a “thought leader”.
Next time you speak, revel in those evaluation sheets with all 5’s for a moment. Then use the checklist to measure your On- Target impact with your audience. Be a bold speaker!