Why “Not Giving” Actually Works Well in a Speech

A good speech is about giving, right? Educate, entertain, empower, give, give give, then give some more!   Right?

Well, wrong. 

Yes, a good speech does of course educate, entertain, empower, and your audience should leave feeling they’ve gotten something of value. 

But in your urge to ‘give, give, give’, sometimes speakers forget the element of ‘intrique’ or ‘mystery’, and yes, even withholding a bit that has to happen to keep people’s attention throughout the speech, and to get people to buy from you at the end (if you are selling from the stage).

Make sure you add some emotional tension into your speech, you want the audience to feel anticipation, excitement, like they are going to go on a journey with you.  

So, at the beginning of the speech especially, but even all the way through, you want to frame the journey ahead according to their needs, what they want out of the presentation.  You want to assure them you will fulfill the ‘promise’ of your speech, they will get what they want out of it, but you also want to tease them a bit, let them know that there are some mysteries that will be revealed, so that they will want to stick around.

Don’t give it all away at once!

This is especially important if you are going to deliver your presentation online or in a webinar, because they can click away anytime. Unlike a live presentation, if someone’s listening at home in their pajamas, there’s no social pressure to stick around.

Entertain, educate, inspire them, but don’t give them everything. Hint that there is still something they don’t know (watch them lean in to try to figure it out).

Have fun, be a little ‘teasing’ …. the idea here is to excite them to continue on the journey and remind them there’s going to be something for them at the end, they will get what they came for.

Especially if you are selling from the stage – you want them to feel like they’ve gotten everything they came for (i.e. you delivered on what you promised them), but that there is also something more that they can learn from you.

In the last point for example, you can spend time outlining or describing the problem, but don’t quite give them the full solution – the full solution is to work with you.

This can be tricky, I get it. Maybe even counter-intuitive so you (especially if you’re instincts are to give a lot), but there are ways to do it that are fun, and subtle and work.

If you want to learn how to do this, or are struggling alone trying to create a compelling signature talk that walks that exact balance between ‘withholding/intrigue” and “give, give, give”, then let’s talk. Sign up for my “Discover Your Story/Get Your Speech Done” consultation session TODAY!

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