Speakers can take a lesson from Will Shakespeare: Start your talk with a question to engage your audience’s curiosity. To be or not to be? Here’s an example: Whether you realize it or not, you have a great deal in common the character of Hamlet. Can you list the similarities? Hamlet thinks he is an ordinary person. Do you think you are just an ordinary person? Hamlet has many flaws. One is indecision: the inability to make a clear choice at the right time. “To be or not to be, that is the question…” Are you indecisive? Hamlet has a few qualities that set him apart, however, and one is that he refuses to compromise with evil. His father has been murdered, and he is determined to avenge his father’s untimely and cruel death. Your life choices might not be that dramatic, but they are unique and so they will set you apart. As you face an audience – whether an audience of one person or a roomful of people – can you answer an important question:
- What qualities set you apart?
- What is unique about you?
- What do you know that no one else knows?
Answer those questions for yourself. Where were you challenged on your life’s path to make a significant choice and stand up for what you believe in? When you met that challenge, you started to move forward on a new path in life. Your life changed and you changed. Now that you know your message, your mission is clear. Your mission is to share your message with the world. Now, begin to ask your audience questions about what matters most to them. With each question, you will engage your audience. Listen closely, and you will hear what is extraordinary about your audience — and then you will know how to appeal to what is special about each one of them, and to tailor your message to address their concerns. If you are ready to learn how to give voice to your passions and gifts contact Elizabeth Bachman at ElizabethBachman.com