Begin with the end in mind.

6a00d834958b7053ef0120a656f1cb970cThe feedback from hundreds of our students over the years confirms that speaking with focus and purpose transforms their effectiveness as a communicator. According to Steven Covey, the second habit of highly effective people is “Begin with the end in mind.” As we begin our Dynamic Communicators Workshop in Glorieta NM this week we will be re-enforcing that truth over and over. Many speakers never consider the “end,” the ultimate purpose for which they are giving their talk. Instead they agonize over a list of “things” they want to say and how to organize that list.

Here is a short list for preparing your next speech. Following these procedures will give your speech more focus and power.

1. Study and research your topic.

Your audience deserves your best preparation.

2. List all the things you want to say

Have fun dreaming of every possible creative technique you might use and all the illustrations and supportive material you might use.

3. Ask yourself WHY you want to say those things.

This is the most important part of the process. Answer the question,”why do you want to say all these things?” So the audience will__________________? Answering that question will lead you very close to the objective of the speech.

4. Eliminate anything that doesn’t lead toward the objective of your speech.

5. Organize what remains into a logical progression that leads the listener to the objective.

6. Practice the speech out loud.

7. Deliver your speech with clarity, dynamics and power.

This process helps you determine the end before you begin. Try it for your next talk. It’s takes some work, but it will make your talk more powerful. Let me know how it worked.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “Begin with the end in mind.

  1. This is really good. I have been using a similar approach the last couple of years. Thanks for sharing this.

    It is hard for me to believe people prepare for a public speaking that they would do anything but start with the end in mind.