What is your speech objective?

‘What is your speech objective?’ asked Trevor Hatib as scribbled his written evaluation in my manual. I had just delivered a speech at my club – Leeds City Toastmasters and was discussing it with my evaluator Trevor.

I reflected on his question.

I replied, ‘I wanted to educate the audience.’

He stopped writing and looked at me, ‘Yes, I thought as much. I found it to be a very entertaining speech. You have a good story telling style. However you need think about your speech objective.’

I looked a bit lost. ‘Can you help me out, Trevor? I know what you are saying but I need to understand it better.’

Trevor nodded his head, ‘The way I do it, is think about the message the audience is going to be carrying at the end of the speech. What do I want them to think, feel, or do? This is the key. What is your message? For example your speech was entertaining and it was interspersed with educational bits in it. Now there is nothing wrong in entertaining and educating within a speech.’

He completed filling in his written evaluation, passed me my manual and continued, ‘However, I was left confused as I could not understand whether your objective was to entertain or to educate. So before you begin writing your speech – I would suggest that – you work on the message you want to convey to the audience. Then add in your beginning, middle and end of the speech with your supporting points. You should be crystal clear about your speech objective.’

I understood what Trevor meant. ‘Thanks Trevor, this was most helpful.’

I have been using Trevor’s advice ever since and have seen major improvement in my speeches.

Toastmaster’s is a life long journey with lots to learn and practice. I’m extremely lucky to have two clubs in Leeds to help me in my journey.

If you too would like to improve your leadership and public speaking skills and are based around Leeds, do join us at Leeds City Toastmasters or White Rose Speakers; we shall be glad to welcome you and help you with your journey in becoming a better leader and speaker.