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What do they say?

Look around and pick one thing that you see lying in front of you. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind about that thing? Say it!

See? That’s what your audience does after your talk. When someone asks a member of your audience about their experience, they will respond with the first thing that comes to their mind.

In particular, there’s no way that they are going to answer with a 30-minute word-for-word copy of what you said. Instead, their answer will be short, using their own language, and be told from their perspective. Sometimes it might be just one word: “Confusing!” Sometimes more than that: “Anna made it crystal clear why we struggle to meet our project deadlines. We need to improve three things immediately …”

So, what should they respond for your talk?

The thing is, unless you don’t have a clear vision for what the response should be, you’re leaving the decision to your audience. It’s hard to have the audience pick up the right message unless you know what that looks like yourself. What’s worse, when you lack a clear vision for your destination, how do you guarantee that you reach a meaningful destination at all? You’re basically arriving at any destination accidentally.

If, however, you have clarity about where you want to take your audience and what their response should be after your talk, then you can craft your story so that the actual answer will be just like planned. When you have clarity about your destination, it’s much easier to plan the route and safely take your audience there.

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