How to make every minute of your speech move your audience towards taking profound and dynamic action.
It’s Party Time – There are three parties in any convincing keynote, pitch or presentation – You – the presenter, your material, and, most importantly, your AUDIENCE. The audience are last, and, very much, most.
Avatars are not blue – Have you put in the work? Do you know what your VIP audience had for breakfast? Are you inside their heads? Do you know what they know and think is right, up to date and current? And, have you researched to find out, which part of that belief is false, out of date and, now, incorrect?
The TED example – The best TED talks lead you along a comfortable path, setting out a context that is familiar, often based on the speaker’s own experience. They tell their story. And then, bang, in minute 7, they reveal how they had a stroke, went bankrupt or were arrested… and your world changes, as you hear about what happened to them next, and, how this lead them to discovering a new paradigm. At the end of a good TED, the speaker’s epiphany and shift will be boiled down to a few high value gifts and takeaways for you admire and action.
TED talks are the most successful thing around because they have mastered the formula of speaking for impact.
UBER, Amazon, Airbnb, Deliveroo & Netflix – This companies shared a revolution seeing Apps replace bricks, metal and glass. This change cannot now be reversed. A move to go “physical asset free”, represents a strategic inflection point, SIP as Intel’s Andy Grove would say. Once the Rubicon has been crossed, there is no going back.
Altitude sickness – “The bar is set quite high then!”, I hear you gasp. Is Matthew saying that I have to take my business to the cloud for the next stage? Maybe, but that is not the point. It is about bringing your clients up to speed with the commercial realities and truths about customer experience in 2019, 2020 and, 2021.
Insights – When mapping your audience before launching your keynote speech, business pitch or sales chat, list all the assumptions that your customer is making, or, has made. What do they believe will remain a constant? EU membership, the law, exchange rates, VAT, open plan offices in Capital cities, or, maybe, the continued dominance of middle-class white male managers?
Untie a belief – If you can take one of these certainties, and, question it in a credible way, you will release someone from a long held micro-belief.
***If you can do this 3 times in 40 minutes, you will position yourself as a super-influencer and gain the reputation of a truth-telling visionary***
And, you will be followed, respected and listened to.
When we uncouple from the past, we free ourselves in the now, to shift and take on the new, and so, feel more positive about the journey of change.
That is the theory anyway.
Fear concentrates the mind – Having worked with many organisations undertaking change, it is clear to me, that the one constant in change is a negative feeling tied to impending loss. It is crucial that you understand this and refer to it in a specific way, as you position your pitch and craft your change-based communication.
In the mind of the listener, loss of identity, security and habit come to the fore. It is this weird energy that, in a complex way, becomes the energy of renewal. The old must be dismantled to make space for the new and this comes with pain, anxiety and risk.
Guide – As you start off on your pitch, you are a stranger. A well-structured delivery will take the AUDIENCE through the necessary stages of questioning and detachment, and begin to position you as their new trusted guide.
As you help your audience move from contentment and delusion, through confusion, then, via submission, to inspiration, you will win more than their applause. You will earn the respect given to someone delivering a better future.
Homework – Before your next presentation, ask, “Where does the audience need to detach?” What must they move away from? Windows XP, CDs, cash purchases, bookstores, state pensions, high street shops, or, a free NHS at the point of delivery?
What sort of pitch/speech/call will you have to research, structure and deliver to start this change?
Commercial Sales Presentation – The Components Of A Super Pitch
1. Punchy title – appropriate & short to interrupt your audience and gain their attention
2. Connect to the Avatar – reads the mind of the audience and identifies with them, showing them that you, “Know who they are, where they are at, and, how they feel now.”
3. Deepening the need – three questions for the audience to open up their “problem” and have them feel something.
4. Fear – this is the “cost of not” statement that creates contrast and begins to build motivation for the audience to take action. I.e. “This is what will happen if you do not develop…”
5. Wish – the opposite of the above, the wish spells out the best future for the audience if they take the offer (- the thing you are pitching.)
6. CTA – Call to Action – directing the passive observer to engage, move and take action.
7. Content – 2 or 3 sections that contain – assumptions people are currently making, the consequences of these false assumptions, where people go wrong, and, the value of doing something new or different, i.e. what they can do and change to get a better result – more contrast.
8. Takeaways – what are the benefits and learnings that the audience can expect when they commit? What is the upside for them? WIIFT?
9. Details of the offer – what, where, when, and, outlining the customer experience and benefit pathway
10. Qualifying out – an important psychological process. This aims to exclude any time wasters and low value customers, early in the process. And it reinforces the appropriate nature of the offer to those that are NOT qualified out – they sense that the offer will be of MORE specific value to them and that they are joining an exclusive club.
11. Cost – cheap can represent a problem – it does not instill commitment and take-up rates can be low. This section emphasises the value of the offer to boost follow-through and action.
12. CTA – Call to Action – repetition of the main action to be taken.
13. Instruction – how to take the one important action.
14. Pleasant endnote – a warm piece of communication to help the in-group feel good and appropriate when taking the prescribed steps – Thus anticipating buyer’s remorse before it has happened.
If you can unhook an audience member from one of their micro-beliefs, you create an amazing and rare space. You now have the chance to fill this open zone with something of profound value.
***Do please treat your new super powers with respect***
I wish you well with your next, world-changing pitch.
About the author – Matthew Hill is a trainer, keynote speaker, coach and qualified mediator, working with corporate executives to enhance their ethical influencing via presentations and compelling text.
If you would like to contact Matthew about giving a keynote speech to your organisation, or arranging a training course for your team, do send a short E Mail to, email@example.com or call 07540 65 9995.