Does your audience care about your message?

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Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, author, and comedian who teaches you how to harness the power of your story to connect, engage, and get results. In this blog, Kelly focuses on the business of professional speaking. Kelly’s post day is Friday. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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motivationalspeakersmessageWhat you want to say isn’t necessarily what they want to hear

I’ve spent years coaching motivational speakers – helping them find their voice, tell their story, and take their message to the world. And I see a big disconnect for many speakers between their message and what the audience wants. Speakers tend to be very passionate about their message – almost to a fault. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we want to say, that we lose sight of what our audience WANTS.  We wrap our language in great “speaker talk” to the point that the buyer doesn’t even recognize our message. And if they don’t recognize our message they won’t buy it. It has to relate to what they want to buy. That doesn’t mean you should ditch your flashy language, it simply means that you need to include some of their language in your speech, in your branding, and in your marketing.

Quick example…..I know a guy who talks about the art of forgiveness and has an amazingly powerful life story to back up this message. Awesome hook. Awesome message about how to forgive. He says to me, “But I don’t think corporate audiences will buy that message.”

“They won’t,” I answered, “which is why you have to make it relate to something THEY want.  They want their people to deliver better customer service. Learning how to forgive those difficult customers, will help them do that.  They don’t think they want a speech on forgiveness, they want a speech to teach them how to deliver better service. You aren’t selling forgiveness, you’re selling a way to serve customers better – forgiveness is the “how”. ”

I always teach my coaching clients to speak three languages in everything they do – the “about me” language (the part about the speaker as an individual), the “message” language (the truth, like forgiveness, that you have to share), and the “customer” language which is what they are lying on their pillow at night asking for or wishing they could have.

Still wondering if your message aligns with what they want?  Then do the following for me.

  1. Tell me what you speak about.
  2. Now pretend that the receiver of this message (not your meeting planner, but the one sitting in the seat) is lying on their pillow at night wishing for this.

Does it line up?

Remember….you don’t have to ditch your creative tag lines or unique ways of sharing your message – those are very important too. Just make sure you’re not forgetting to speak their language. At the end of the day, this is about them wanting you to teach them something.

If you need help crafting your message, check out the resources I have available on on the Speaker Coaching page.