Giving a Speech Is Only a Means to an End

Christopher Witt —  January 6, 2014

Business professional speakingGiving a speech or making a presentation is quite often the means to an end, a way of achieving a desired result. But it’s rarely the end itself.

Most of my clients, like most business professionals, don’t necessarily want to become better speakers. They want to get better results from their speaking.¬†They want to…

  • win a contract
  • get the green light for a project
  • gain support for an initiative
  • attract clients
  • improve their reputations or standing within an organization
  • motivate people to take action
  • point people in a new direction
  • gain (positive) attention for a service, product, or project
  • secure start-up funding for a new venture
  • advance their organization’s success
  • promote a cause they believe in

In my work as an executive speech coach and a proposal consultant, I find that many of my clients get squirrely when they think about giving a speech or making a presentation. But they’re happy to roll up their sleeves and get to work on winning people’s understanding and support for their ideas.

As they learn how to do gain people’s understanding and support — how to analyze an audience, create a winning strategy, craft a compelling message, speak with conviction and confidence — they are, of course, becoming better speakers.

When you review a speech you’ve given, the most important question to ask is: Did you get the results you wanted? Did your speech achieve your goals? Did the audience do what you asked of them? If the answer is yes, pat yourself on the back. Learn from what you did well and carry it forward to your next presentation.

If you’re not getting the results you want when you give talks, maybe it’s time to rethink what you’re doing, to learn new strategies, to polish certain skills. But keep your intention on what matters: getting better results.¬†

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Christopher Witt

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Chris Witt was born in Los Angeles, California. He currently lives in San Diego. He works as a speech and presentations consultant, an executive speech coach, and an orals coach.