You have a message, great! But what's your intention? Your PURPOSE!
Last night at club we talked about the speech PURPOSE. Below is just a quick rundown of the slides that comprised that presentation.
General Speech Purpose
There are 4 major primary speaking purposes, but 7 if you want to look at them in finer detail. They are:
- to inform
- to instruct
- to inspire
- to motivate
- to persuade
- to activate / stimulate
- to entertain
This is one of the most common forms of speeches. You are not asking anything from the audience. You are simply imparting information or making an announcement. There are no expectations. A successful 'speech to inform' will have an easy delivery style, it will be uncomplicated and presented in a manner that the audience UNDERSTANDS. So you need to know your audience!
Slightly longer than their counterpart. Unlike a speech to inform, there IS an expectation that the audience will learn, or gain knowledge. This is NOT announcement. it is training or teaching, or showing and sharing. You are telling the audience how something will be, why it works the way it works, how it is done. Successful speeches to instruct will have opportunities within them for the audience to hear / understand / practice or apply the information presented.
Usually, but not always, these speeches are drawn from personal experience, or stories from someone close or who you have a connection/tie with. The story is used to build a connection between the speaker and the audience and to illustrate a message of triumph over adversity. A successful inspirational speech instills hope of a better world in the mind of the audience. The speaker INVITES the audience to transcend adversity with them and accomplish a goal along with them and join them in the better world.
Inspirational speakers use emotion, sincerity, and energy to tell stories of journeys and accomplishments that an audience can relate to without having actually experienced the same adversity. A connection with the needs and aspirations of the audience is important.
In many ways this type of speech is similar to an inspirational speech, however it isn't always based on personal hardship.The speaker attempts to pull the best out of the audience by relating the message to stories and anecdotes that DO resonate with the audience, about people/places/things THEY know. Similarly these speakers use stories, emotion, and energy to share journeys and accomplishments. A connection with the audience and the needs of the audience are critical to a motivational speech.
Not to be confused with motivating. The purpose of a persuasive speech is to change or shift an opinion or view of the audience. There may be motivational aspects to the presentation, just as there may not be. A persuasive speech needs to have clear logic, emotion, and evidence. Without these criteria an audience may not be swayed to change their mind on a matter if they are resistant to it.
This type of speech takes a persuasive or motivational speech t a whole new level. The purpose is to achieve an immediate response or action from the audience. Think campaign speech, or fundraising speech. The goal is to get the audience to donate money right now, or for voters to vote in a certain way. Success is determined by action or inaction!
A speakers purpose is to persuade an audience with such powerful conviction to believe so strongly in your call to action that they will act immediately. This is achieved only if the speaker also believes their message is RIGHT. The speaker must stress the point and TELL the audience what to do. An inspirational speaker only INVITES, but an activator will TELL. They need to stress what NEEDS to be done, WHY it needs to be done, what will happen when it's done, and also what will happen if it's NOT done.
Activator speakers are not afraid to use fear tactics. But all information must be delivered with conviction.
Whilst this is my cup of tea, it's not for many speakers and is considered a very difficult purpose to have, especially when used on it's own and without a secondary supporting purpose. Inspirational speakers will use entertainment to support their message, instructional speakers will add motivational techniques to their material, persuasive speakers will use information, and entertainment can be coupled with all. But to entertain for the purpose of entertainment is hard work.
Entertaining speeches will still have some sort of message. The more successful speeches use vivid language, expressive body language, energy, stories and sincerity.
What do you want to achieve?
Effective speeches have a clear and concise message. But one message can be conveyed, and also interpreted in MANY different ways. Understanding WHAT you want the audience to walk away with after you have finished is how you determine your speeches purpose.
In the presentation I used the example message: Southbank Club fees are going up.
Now, do I want to just inform my audience of this? Maybe I am worried increased fees will be met with resistance and apprehension, so maybe I want to deliver this message in a persuasive way. Or maybe there's a history of members not paying their fees at all, but this year I want to make sure of it so I will present a speech whose purpose is to ACTIVATE he members to pay right then and there. Or maybe everyone has been hearing this message for so long it's time to just have a good old fashioned laugh about fees in general.
Without knowing what I want to do with my message I have no direction. But worse still, my audience won't know what they are meant to do. If you don't know what to do with the message you can be guaranteed that the audience won't either.
So what's your purpose? Lock it in, and then, only use content that directly relates to it.
Help yourself, help your audience. Know your purpose!