What Your Audience Needs
What your audience needs above anything else, is the belief that the problems they face can actually be solved.
We live in the information age, and we are drowning in information. Please spare your audience the burden of listening to details about process, procedures and resource requirements. That can come later, if at all.
Instead, start with your recipe for success.
At a high level, how is it that you solve a problem for your audience and why should they trust you?
Here's how my client George applied this principle to his fundraising efforts.
George manages a non-profit organization that works to keep kids in school. His organization is knocking down barriers and logging impressive results.
When I first met George, he was doing a fine job describing the program’s goals, structure, procedures and funding requirements. Let’s just say he wasn’t “wowing” the crowd.
So I asked him, “What is your organization’s recipe for success?"
George got excited. “We foster trusting relationships within schools.T hose bonds build resilient kids who stay in school – even when they struggle.”
From that remarkable statement, George and I selected four words:
"Relationships build resilient kids."
We used those words to re-write his presentation for potential donors and school administrators. Now he opens with a story about resilience, and he includes data to prove that the approach is helping thousands of kids stay in school.
Today, instead of polite applause and a quick exit, members of his audience stick around for more information once he’s finished a pitch. They want to know more!
While it may seem obvious, I see too many speakers neglect the fundemental concerns of every audience: "How can you help me, and why should I trust you?"
Start with that, and you'll be on the right track.