Regardless of whether you are speaking to inform, persuade, sell, or motivate, your primary objective as a speaker is to instil change. Consequently you need to focus more on changing the mindset of your audience rather than providing them with a skill set. Listed below are six factors that you should address in your talk. I will use the analogy of trying to lose weight to illustrate the point.

Factor 1: Beliefs (mindset)

What are the beliefs and assumptions that your audience has on your topic?  Address these during your talk; instil new beliefs through the use of story-telling. Illustration: Belief about losing weight – ‘I am too old to lose weight.’

Factor 2: Thoughts (mindset)

What are the thoughts that your audience has on your topic? How can you use those thoughts through rhetorical questions and reframe the audience perception on your topic? Illustration: Thought on losing weight – ‘I am too busy to exercise.’

Factor 3: State (mindset)

What state is your audience in before your talk and what is the state that you are building your audience towards? Illustration: A fitness trainer is changing your state towards being more fit and healthy.

Factor 4: Decisions (mindset)

What are the new decisions you need your audience to take in order to achieve the change? Illustration: Decision on losing weight – start going to the gym fivedays a week instead of two days a week (or none at all).

Factor 5: Actions (skill set)

What actions do you want your audience to take after listening to your talk? Illustration: Action for losing weight – consistently getting up in the morning to go the gym five days a week.

Factor 6: Results (skill set)

Tell your audience what will be the expected results once they follow your steps. Illustration: You lose weight!

A presenter will usually focus on factors 5 and 6; an inspirational speaker requires you to also tap into the mindset of your audience, and that means focusing on all six factors!

Author: Dineshrie Pillay CA(SA) is a business owner and public speaker trainer