WIIFT…

What’s In It For Them (WIIFT) is the question your prospective audience are asking themselves before they go to hear your speech or when they are listening to your speech. They may be intrigued by you as a speaker and your reputation based on past performances, they may be intrigued by the event / seminar title, they be intrigued by your speech title / subject, but before, during and after they are usually evaluating will, am I, did I learn anything from this speech content? Will it, is it, did it help me in my business, help me in my career, help me make more money, help me save money, help me increase turnover, help me increase customer footfall, did it help me in any way at all?

As a speaker of business topics we have to always be asking ‘What’s in this speech content that will impress and help my audience?’ as you develop your speech content and structure it, we need to be aware of the immediate challenges of our business colleagues in their particular areas of expertise, service and product offerings.

Develop narrative that is current, up-to-date, indeed ground-breaking so that they will see you as the leader in the field, the person to go to, the person who knows the most about the subject you are talking about. Research current challenging topics that people need help on and write about them. Give your knowledge, opinion on them and tell them how to cope, manage, deal with it.

We need to be aware that it is not always what we wish to talk about and / or share knowledge on. It has to be what the audience want to hear, what will change their way of thinking in business, what will make them better people in their business and with their customers / clients?

We have heard of the term WIIFM i.e. ‘What’s In It For Me’ as a listener, now ask the question ‘What’s In It For Them’ (WIIFT) as a speech writer…

Captivating Introductions…

As people in sales, our first meeting and verbal exchange with prospective people who could buy our product / service, we must have the ability to be captivating i.e. we need to captivate the buyer, the client, the customer’s attention and interest with a ‘Captivating Introduction’ so as to get them to sit up, listen to us and ask pertinent questions, leading to a sale closure!

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How can we do this?

There are three parts to a Captivating Introduction, or sometimes called ‘opening pitch’ (italics in brackets are mental questions that our potential buyer is asking as we speak to them):

My name (Who is this?)

  1. Who do I represent (What are you called / who do you work for)
  2. What I / we do narrated and structured in a way that is different, thought-provoking and encourages the listener to want to hear more (Instead of saying what you do, say why you do what you do and how you can help me, change my life, support my business).

Sincere interest and more questioning should then ensue / follow.

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Example:

Hi, my name is John Smith!

  • I represent Smith Stationery and Printers as their sales Representative, world class and leading stationery manufacturers and printers for the past 70 years.
  • We can help you reduce your stationery and printing costs by 25% in 12 months.

The third part is the key part, where instead of telling our potential buyer what we do, we tell them why we do it and how we can help them in their business challenges. A figure or value in the captivating introduction adds significant weight and makes the buyer see you as the expert. People do not buy what you do, they buy why you do it (Source: Simon Sinek).

Remember, captivating introductions need to be short, sharp and effective. They need to grab the buyers’ attention by including a statement of how we can specifically help them.

 Brevity is Power!

Speaking in business…

The ability to speak in your area of career / business expertise – to motivate, to inspire, to lead is a key competency. People who can communicate with clarity, articulation and authority usually of the choice of the best jobs. They are always considered for promotion, to lead projects, to lead a team. People skills are obviously important too, i.e. integrity, trust, caring attitudes, but your ability to speak to your team, your work colleagues and your clients / customers will give you opportunities and the potential to benefit financially.

If you feel your competency in business speaking communication skills is not what it should be, you can do a number of things:

  • Join a speaking club
  • Read self-help books
  • Be heard more at meetings, events and seminars

If you feel your competency in business speaking communication skills needs to improve or be enhanced to secure that all important promotion or lead your organizations next big project, you should do these things:

  • Offer to speak on behalf of the organization at a conference / seminar
  • Take on a cost-saving or value improvement project and implement and share what you did and the benefits
  • Become a ‘speaker’ role model for others to copy and learn from

Many people understandably avoid the stresses and anxiety when it comes to speaking in or on behalf of their organization. It maybe something that they avoided all their life and has / is therefore costing them in different ways i.e. cannot progress in their career, they avoid going for jobs (because they involve speaking to groups) and they potentially lose out financially.

To get over this fear of speaking in business, get these three ‘mindsets’ instilled in your being:

  • When you speak, always speak from the heart with passion, enthusiasm and purpose
  • See your audience as old friends
  • Know your speech contents / subject inside out

Speaking in public about what you do…

In the business world, speaking in public about what you do for a living and how you can help people is a skill that many business’s fail to see the importance of. What product are you selling, what service are you offering needs to be communicated to existing and potential clients, customers and / or service users in a way that they have been touched in some way by seeing you, meeting you, and listening to you. You want them to remember you, don’t you?, you want them to buy from you, don’t you? And you want them to tell their friends about, don’t you?

Speaking in public about your business and what you do is a skill you need to develop, nurture and imrpove upon if you are measured by how you effect the bottom line in your business. For many people, they just have it (how we envy those people!), others have learned the skills (and are now accomplished public speakers) and for the main majority, we have to keep working on it and keep doing more presentations. For the latter, the following three thoughts may make speaking in public somewhat easier for you.

  1. You are in the company of old friends
  2. Speak from the heart
  3. Plan, Prepare and Practice

You are in the company of old friends

With the mindset that you are in the company of old friends helps you really relax, be yourself and speak with sincerity. Seeing your audience as people who know all about you, who know where you have come from, who know that you mean well will be such a support and help to you before and during your speech delivery. This mindset will help you to look forward to your speech, help you practice better and help you deliver a great and competent speech.

Speak from the heart 

This was said to me only a few years ago now by a lady who heard it from another person. They both were not too fond of public speaking, but their jobs required and demanded that they demonstrate good communication and presentation skills i.e. this was how they were measured in their job. With this second mindset of really speaking from the heart, a speaker gets into the moment and again gets the ability to speak with sincerity.

Plan, Prepare and Practice

Fail to plan, Plan to fail / The more I practice, the luckier I get / 3 P’s (Practice, Practice, Practice) – we have all heard the advises and sayings and I’m sure there are more. You know that planning what you are going to say, preparing it on paper or a speaking medium of choice and then practicing it are ‘must’s’ if you want to be on the top of your game. Find the time to plan, prepare, but most importantly, find the time to practice. Put it into your diary and practice as if it is the real situation – you’ll be glad you did…