How do I make my speech for everyone?
First, you don’t know everyone in the audience. You may have a general idea of why they’re there, or what they would expect to receive from a talk with the same title as yours. But you don’t know what kind of morning they’ve had, or what articles on your topic they’ve read, or what that text was that they got right before they sat down.
The instinct to create a speech that would work for anyone and everyone who might hear it is understandable. But there are two problems: first, your speech will be too long, and second, your speech will be boring. Instead of trying to make something for everyone, you need to find the Goldilocks Zone.
Ah, the Goldilocks Zone. Just the right amount of detail without getting into the weeds. Enough of an overview to capture the imagination and place your talk into a broader context. The Goldilocks Zone demonstrates your mastery of the material without requiring you to say everything you know about it. It keeps you from having to talk for hours to make sure you cover it all!
The Goldilocks Zone also narrows your focus so that you can provide something of true value to your audience. You’re not covering everything, so you can bring your (and your audience’s) attention to what is really compelling about your topic.
In order to locate the Goldilocks Zone, you’re going to need to do a couple of things. First, imagine your ideal audience member. This can be a real person or an avatar. What do you hope they leave your speech thinking and talking about? Once you have that outcome clearly in your mind, you can start to think about what do you need to do to make that a reality.
Talk to people who are in your target audience. Outline what you’re hoping to cover. See what questions they ask, and watch to see when their eyes glaze over. With a little trial and error, you can land right in the Goldilocks Zone! No rambling speeches full of unnecessary detail, and it’s tailored right to what the ideal audience wants to hear—in other words, it’s not boring. Goldilocks Zone!