Impact your audience: What’s your one thing?

May 29th, 2016

impact your audience

I’ve been thinking about you. Wondering how life is going in the world of a brave speaker who wants to impact your audience in a big way.

Even if you don’t always feel brave, my friend, I know you are.

A lot of the people who work with me know they have a powerful message to deliver, or an important story to tell. They feel it burning inside them. They want to have an impact.

They imagine themselves on stage inspiring their audiences. They imagine the joy of affecting change through speaking. Of someone’s life being touched because of something they said. Of audiences saying “You! I want to work with you!”

But for most of them there’s a pretty massive gap between their office chair and that powerful impact.

Can you relate?

The gap is different for different people, but for many folks, it’s a matter of clarity.

So much to say, so many ideas. You feel like you have to figure out how to say EVERYTHING in your talk. You have to fit EVERYTHING in because this is your one chance to make a difference.

Look. I am the queen of multi-passions. I get it. I’ve got my foot in so many doors you’d think I had a dozen extra feet. I fully support you in following your passions, diving in, living big and saying all the things you want to say.

BUT when speaking, the only way your audience is gonna know what you’re talking about, the only way they’re gonna remember you, is if you boil your message down to ONE THING.

There’s plenty of time to say all the things. Trust that they will all get said. But this time, for this talk, say ONE THING.

What’s the ONE THING you want your audience to remember?

I call this your Genie Gem.

Once you’re clear about this, that operates like a magnet for the rest of your talk. There’s still lots of work to do after that, for sure, but it all falls in a little more clearly once you nail down your ONE THING.

Now if you’re one of the people saying “But I don’t know my one thing! I have so many “one thing”s to say! How do I know which one is the ONE THING I should talk about?

First of all, you’re not alone.

So many people, including me, get stuck on the ONE THING project.

Here are 3 things you can try to budge that uncooperative voice inside:


1. Answer that question I asked above (as in really answer it!) : What’s the ONE THING you want your audience to remember at the end of your talk?

If you don’t know, try this: Imagine yourself on stage. You’re 100% present. You’re in your groove. You’re sailing. You’re having fun. You’re feeling the connection. The audience is with you. They’re on the edge of their seats. They want more. The connection is palpable in the room.

(OK, OK if you’ve never felt that, imagine the possibility. It IS possible, and probably not as far away as you think. Check out this blog post if you get stuck here.)

Imagine the standing ovation. The bow. That high that happens in a room when you’ve heard someone speak the truth with passion and clarity.

Your audience leaves. The next day, week, month they think about you. They remember that talk you gave. It stayed with them. They ponder it. They wonder what you’re like. They want to know the magic behind the scene.

What’s the one thing they remember? When they tell their friend about the talk they heard by YOU, what do they tell them? What do they talk about? What conversation does your talk spark?

“I heard this amazing talk about ______,” they say. “What really stayed with me was the idea that __________. It’s made a huge difference to me in my life. Here’s how:__________________.”

Fill in those blanks, and there you have it. Your Genie Gem


2. Still stuck? What’s something that really pisses you off? What enrages you?

You find yourself having conversations in your head about that thing other people do. If only you were in charge. If only they saw it your way. If only you had a million bucks you could make it so that thing that pisses you off would never happen again.

What keeps you up at night? What do you shout at the sky about while driving alone at night banging on your steering wheel?

Now let’s back up: What’s the value right behind that anger? You just said “If only they saw it your way.”

Well here’s the thing, the whole idea of speaking is to change people’s minds and get them to see things your way.

So, what’s your way? What’s the value behind that thing that pisses you off?


3. BUT what if it’s not quite right? What about all the other millions of ideas I have? Do I have to abandon them all?

It probably isn’t “quite right.” But you’re not gonna get any closer to nailing it by sitting around eating bonbons. So put a stake in the ground NOW, and walk forward with this “not quite right” Genie Gem.

Walk forward AS IF you know exactly what your one thing is. (Because you do)

Stay curious and see where it takes you.

You can tweak it and change it and turn it around at any point along the way. But you can’t move forward standing still, so let this “not quite right” Genie Gem be the thing that compels you forward.

And no you don’t have to kill all the other ideas. Remember that there will be many many more talks to give. File them away for next time.You get to have them all.

Once your Genie Gem is in place, you’ll have done some solid groundwork  on the road to crafting your knockout talk, and to attracting that perfect client who says “Oooh yeah I wanna work with her. She’s talking my talk.”

So, my friend, as you embark on the path of crafting your signature talk, ask the question, “What’s the one thing I want my audience to walk away with?”

Then, since commitment has boldness, power and genius in it, share it with the rest of us and post it in the comments below.

You won’t be alone.
And you’re gonna be awesome.

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