When the meeting or event is over what do you want the audience to leave with? What concept? What idea? What unforgettable belief? What new opinion? What information?
Your Purpose is the Bull’s-eye of the message, the target you want to hit.
After you select your topic, and you know your audience, you’re ready to move into the formula for Bull’s-eye success.
Narrow Topic + Head + Heart = Bull’s-Eye Speaking
Make It Clear and Precise
The message needs to have pinpoint accuracy. General topics will have general outcomes. No one will know what you talked about. You can even tell a lot of jokes and get the crowd going, but if you don’t share something targeted they might leave saying, “Well that was entertaining, but I don’t have a clue what the message was about.”
Again, ask yourself what is the one thing you want your audience to leave with?
Throughout this book we’ll build a talk on goals. So let’s begin right now as we learn to narrow our topic.
First, “goals” is a broad topic. There’s too much information on the subject. You could speak for days on the various aspects.
Some goal ideas…
- Goal setting
- Goal attaining
- Getting started
- Long-term goals
- Short-term goals
- Lifelong goals
Any of those could be a speech. But even then they may not be narrow enough to create specific rather than general understanding of your subject.
You can narrow further by adding a narrowing phrase.
- Goal setting for financial security
- Goal attaining for self-esteem
- Getting started—your first hour of goal planning
- Long-term goals for a secure retirement
- Short-term goals for becoming a vegetarian
- Lifelong goals for physical health
- Make your topic as tight as possible.
What do you want the people to think?
Next determine how you want to affect your audience’s heads. What do you want to happen to them intellectually? How do you want to challenge them mentally?
Do you want to create awareness? Do you want to inform? Do you want to generate doubt?
Force the audience to think.
What do you want the audience to feel?
You want to impact their hearts. Do you want them to feel sad about the number of drunk driving accidents, or perhaps infuriated? Do you want the audience to feel joyful or electric after your talk? Maybe you want them to feel challenged, or uplifted, or light, or heavy?
Write down how you want them to feel after your talk.
For our goal speech here’s how I laid it out:
Narrow topic: Goal Achievement for Life
Head: “The audience should compare where they are to where they could be.”
Heart: “The audience should feel a belief in themselves and a hope for what can be accomplished.”
Your Purpose Defined…
Your narrow topic: ________________________________