Before you start planning or writing a speech, you must decide
on the objective that you want to reach. What do you want your
audience to do after you walk away? Do you want your audience to
act differently, think differently or sign up for a volunteer
I recently gave a speech - actually I lead the team that created
a joint presentation to be more accurate. As VP of
membership for SNEC-PMI one of my tasks is to call for more
volunteers to step forward and run the chapter.
The benefits of volunteering include networking opportunities
and professional development. In the past calls for volunteers
have fallen on deaf ears.
I insisted that we first clearly define the objective for this
presentation before crafting it. The resulting objective was
"Have members of the audience sign up for volunteer roles".
Working towards this objective, I created the PowerPoint
slides and crafted the presentation using the Pow'Rful
Process defined in "Dodging
the bullet points".
Although this process always results in admirable speeches,
I took additional steps. I contacted volunteers who have
already benefited from the volunteer efforts before the
meeting, and asked them to give live testimonials during the
The flow of my presentation was:
Firstly, I explained the benefits available to members who
belong to the chapter.
Secondly, I listed the benefits of volunteering.
Thirdly, I asked the identified volunteers to share their
experiences, how much time volunteering takes and what
benefits they have received. The volunteers said that they
were able to secure better jobs because of their volunteer
work. Finally, I closed the presentation by telling the
audience who to see in order to sign up.
Needless to say, we had record numbers of volunteers sign up
after this presentation.
Use these lessons in your next presentation, if you want
audiences to sign up for a project.
1. Define the objective of your presentation clearly.
2. Don't hog the stage. Contact a few audience members
before the meeting and ask them to help you with the
presentation. This connects with the audience.
3. Get multiple testimonials from people who have benefited
from what you are asking your audience to do. Live
testimonials are the best way to encourage audience members
to understand that they will benefit by volunteering.
4. Tell the audience where to sign up. Make it easy for them
to sign up on the spot.
5. Enjoy the accolades as you hear of the record-setting
results of your presentation.