Preparing to Master the Stage
Know Why Youíre There In the
Hereís an important idea about
your speaking objective: have one!
It was the spring of 2010 and I
was sitting in a large conference room, listening to one
of the keynote speakers.
The speaker stepped on the stage
and took us back to her childhood, recounting sexual
abuse. From there, she moved into her teen years when
she had difficulty making friends and had an issue with
drugs. As she confided in us, we, as an audience, began
to sympathize. I was quite impressed that she had the
courage to stand before us and share these very personal
stories and I was curious to hear where she was going
with all of it.
As she continued recounting the
difficult periods of her life, her drug addiction, her
time in rehab, a failed marriage and financial ruin, you
could sense the audience was getting weary of the
never-ending flow of grief coming from the stage. I knew
we were all good and ready for this talk to move on to
the victorious ending that brought it all together in a
After speaking for twenty minutes
about her grueling misery, her personal testimonial got
to her bankruptcy and that was how she ended her talk.
There was no happy ending. There was no evident ending
at all. There was no point, no lesson, and no advice in
her speech. There was nothing! It was like a movie that
just stops in the middle without resolving anything.
Unfortunately, this person had
been through more than anyone should have to endure, and
she most likely had tremendous wisdom that she derived
from all those challenges. How many lessons were in
there that she didnít share with her audience?
I do feel compassion for this
woman and all sheís been through. I still honor her
courage to share her trials with the world, and Iím sure
that her motives were positive. Itís just unfortunate
that she would go through all that and leave her
audience with absolutely no lesson of value.
When you speak, know what youíre
there to accomplish and prepare your talk, your speech
or your presentation in order to accomplish your goal.
So, whatís the lesson? When you
speak, have a goal. Know why youíre there.