Speaking Success: More Objectives

by Derek Featherstone

We usually start planning a talk by jumping in with clear objectives for what you want people to know and do after your talk. To take your speaking to the "next level", we need to ask two more questions that serve to transform your speaking into something that compels people to take action.

I feel more successful when I can answer these two critical questions when I'm planning a talk:

  • What do you want people to know?
  • What do you want people to DO?

It always frames things nicely and gives me a chance to be sure I have a point to my talk.

Yes, you need a point. Yes, people should walk away with new knowledge and skills. And, yes, people should have something practical that they can take away and implement right away. That's all part of starting with objectives.

But there's always something more when it comes to effective speaking.

I believe it comes down to the next two questions that you need to ask. So lets add two more questions to the mix:

  • What do you want people to know?
  • What do you want people to DO?
  • What do you want people to FEEL?
  • What do you want people to BE?

Notice the difference between the first two and the second two? If you had to describe them, you'd probably think of the first two as "practical" and the second two as "touchy-feely." I'm okay with that.

The first two really focus on the WHAT, and the second two focus on the WHY. The first two gives the learner the skills and knowledge they need to do something, and the second two compel them to actually do it.

If you deliver on Know and Do, but don't have any compelling stories, examples, or anything else that delivers on the Feel and Be, people won't actually take action.

FEEL and BE play a large part in planning my talks. They determine what stories I tell, how I tell them, and WHY I tell them.

What should you do?

Next time you're planning a talk, include specific objectives that are focused on what you want your audience to FEEL and BE.