The question “What do I want my audience to do?” is part of the EMO process that can help you write your story when creating a presentation or speech.
Words are powerful. They are powerful because they can spread ideas and inspire action. In that sense, they have the power to change the world. And many famous speakers, from Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King Jr., have demonstrated how thoughts can lead to action.
You can change the world
Your story has this power, too. When you communicate with others, you usually have a key message in mind, something you want your audience to remember, to take home. You want to share knowledge, help them solve a problem, or broaden their horizon.
Find your objective
In order to give your audience a reason to act and use the knowledge you gave them in your presentation, you need to define a clear objective.
What do you want them to do with what they know and feel after listening to your speech?
You should define this objective before you start writing your story. It is the actionable driver behind your words. You need to be clear about what you want people to do with the information you give them.
Don’t instruct, inspire
Don’t mistake finding your objective for giving instructions. It’s not something you say, like “Now go out and buy my product,” it’s a consequence of the feelings and knowledge you shared. Pushing people into doing things will only create resistance.
When Martin Luther King Jr. shared his feelings and thoughts about how we’re all equal and should have the same rights, he inspired his listeners to do something. He never instructed anyone, the actions that changed the world were a consequence of the feelings he shared, and the knowledge he spread.
If you have a clear understanding of the emotions you want to trigger and the message you want to get across, your objective will be easy to define. Just remember that it’s something you do for your audience, not they for you.
If your goal is to share and inspire, they will listen and act upon it.