Speaking Viscerally

Satisfaction = Experience – Expectations

20190726_171948Where is that speech you have been longing to give? Is it still stuck in your head, slowly trying to making its way into your heart? Moving a speech from your head to your heart can be an arduous task for many speakers. Even seasoned professionals can sometimes find themselves fumbling and mumbling, with words as they struggle to make a connection with their audience. Speakers are prone to get caughtup in that dilemma when they more “heady” than “hearty.”-When they are trying to memorizing rather than internalizing. – when that speech is still in their head. When you can deliver that speech from your heart, it is ready to be delivered – viscerally.

To deliver speeches viscerally, the speaker has to practice painting pictures with words; we all know and say what a picture is worth. With more word pictures and fewer words, a speaker will deliver their message viscerally. Here is a useful exercise to try before you give your next speech. Imagine, when you arrive at the venue to give your ten or fifteen-minute talk, you are informed there, and then, you have only two minutes to speak. What do you say – Goodbye? – No! You ask yourself – What is my core message? – That gift you planned to leave with your audience that day. Rip those precious words from your prepared speech, and from that experience, you will discover the true messenger and a message that will leave your audience satisfied.

A fellow Toastmaster; Lee told me many years ago, audiences want to be left feeling satisfied. Some audiences will only remember two things after experiencing your presentation – How they felt at the peak of your presentation – good or bad- and how they felt at the end – The peak and end. The more you speak, the more audience expectations will increase. Satisfaction = Experience – Expectations. < S= E1 – E2>. At some point, the emotions of audiences will begin wane. As your speech continues to get better, expectations will begin to increase. Eventually, it is natural to become more difficult to maintain the same level of audience interest. Speakers must know when they peaked and when satisfaction was achieved. Start with a bang. Don’t end with a whimper; let your last words linge. Lee was and still is a master at leaving his audience satisfied.

Visceral speakers trust their message. They believe that they can deliver their talk in two, ten, or fifteen-minutes if necessary. They know when that speech is in their heart and is no longer stuck in their head. When that speech is no longer in your head, it is ready for the platform. It is ready to be delivered viscerally. Get to the core message of your talk early. Be visceral. Work the formula S=E1-E2, and you will leave your audience satisfied. Speak from the heart, and the word pictures you create will leave a lasting impression on all those who were fortunate to have heard you speak, and who knows one day, they may also start speaking viscerally.

Author: HenryOMiller

Henry joined Toastmasters in 1997. He is presently a member of 4 Toastmasters clubs; two in Santa Cruz and two in San Jose. He is a DTM-4. Henry is an executive speech coach, humorist, and speechwriter. He is also a musician and a lyricist​ whose speechwriting approach is similar to his approach to songwriting.

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