The power of your message
by Peter Urs Bender

(NC)-If you were asked to give a speech tomorrow, what would you say (apart from NO!)..?
   The best speeches have three objectives:
*Entertain and touch people's emotions
*Move them to action

   It is vitally important to cover all three.

Inform your audience

   The biggest problem most presenters have is knowing what to say. They have not taken the time to be clear in themselves--and therefore, cannot and will not be clear with others.
   Before your next presentation, practise saying your three or four most important points in 60 seconds. This will help you identify what is essential and how to say it clearly.
   Next, make your talk relevant to your audience. What's in it for them? Why will they care or want to listen? Build that in, using language and stories your listeners can relate to.

Entertain and touch people's emotions

   Always begin your presentation by smiling. It is the simplest, most powerful way you can communicate. If you are genuine, it gies a warmth, sincerity and confidence.    Start with something that gets your audience interested and attentive. Every so often, put in some humour. The best kind is a story from your own experience. As you draw on these experiences, your own emotions will surface naturally. Convey them sincerely, and your audience will begin to feel the way you do.
   End on a positive note. A good presentation should follow the "MMFG!AM" formula: "Make Me
   Feel Good--About Myself!". We all need to be reassured that we are good human beings, in control of our lives, and able to cope with life's challenges.

Move your audience to action
   Some talks--like a speech at a wedding--are just for sharing reflections and experiences. But most speeches, expecially those in business, are intended to create some kind of action.
   Before you speak, ask yourself: "what is the one thing I want people to do in response to my speech?"
   Do you want someone to hire you or buy your product/service?
   Do you want your staff to take a new attitude about their work?
   Then say so. Be clear and direct, so everyone knows what to do when they leave.

More than just words
   A speech is more than words. It conveys feelings. Enthusiasm. Believability. These are "commodities" which can be neither bought nor sold, but which people are hungry for.
   We want to hear inspiring speakers, with useful dieas and good humour, who speak from their heart. If you give these to your next audience, they will not only want to listen. They will call you back for more.

Peter Urs Bender is author of the best selling book Secrets of Power Presentations. For more tips, see

-News Canada