The Reason Speakers and Speeches are Forgotten

Have you ever been inspired by a speaker and ready to take on the world but then 3 days later you were back to normal? I know I have.

Would you like to be the kind of speaker who not only inspires your audience for the short-term but also touches their lives for the long-term?

Would you like to keep getting re-hired as a speaker, which is the most inexpensive way to build a speaking business?

Great. Then you’re on the right post.

The Problem with Forgettable Speakers

The reason you might get inspired by a speaker but then forget about them and their speech shortly thereafter is because chances are that speaker gave great theory but no way to practice it. In other words, he lit a match but gave no way to keep the fire burning.

What is the way to keep the fire burning?

Give the audience something specific to do after they go back to their lives. Most speakers do not do this. Instead, they simply give great information on stage (a spark) without giving a way to fan that flame.



After your story (or activity) and at the end of your point, you can then offer them a way to practice your theory. Give them something specific to do when they get home. Listen to this 80-second audio clip of the end of one of my stories. The Foundational Phrase is “When you make others visible, they make you valuable.” Once you hear that phrase, you’ll hear me give them a way to practice what I call “The Sheen Factor.” Keep in mind, I’m coming out of a dynamic story filled with laughter and action and then I turn serious and give them this:

[audio:|titles=Give them something to do ]

Welcome back. What did I give my audience to do? I had them think about (and later write down) two questions they can ask themselves daily to make sure they are being properly guided.

Let’s look forward a year from now. Imagine if some of the people in that particular audience are now in the habit of asking themselves two questions at the end of each day. If this is the case, then I have some questions for you:

  • Do you think I’m still touching their lives?
  • Do you think they’ll remember me?
  • Do you think they’ll remember my message?
  • Do you think they might want to hear me again?
  • Do you think if people want to hear me again they might hire me again?

I have evidence that the answer to all the above questions is an emphatic yes!

It’s not enough to simply offer theory. We must give them a way to practice it. Give them something to do when they get home.  


How do you give them something to do?

Giving your audience something do to is much more about awareness than it is about a strict process you have to go through. In fact, once you are aware to do this, it’s quite simple. To figure out what I’m going to give them to do, I usually go through something like the following:

  1. Revisit my point (and main Foundational Phrase)
  2. Ask myself, “What specifically can they do once they get home to live out this point?”
  3. How can I sell them on doing it?
  4. Am I asking too much of them?


Too much is too bad

This 4th key is critical. Think back to my audio clip where I asked them to ask themselves two questions. That’s not difficult is it? What if I said, “I want you to go home and write down 20 questions you can ask yourself each day?” Forget about it! Less is more when it comes to giving them something to do.

For example, in another module, I ask my audience to write down their perfect day. That might seem like a lot. However, because of my 4th question above (Am I asking too much of them?), I make sure I say, “Only use one side of one piece of paper.” That way it doesn’t seem overwhelming and they know I’m not asking them to write a book.

Keep your suggestive actions short.

Next Step

Revisit one of your main points that you already illustrate with a story. Then, write down one specific way your audience can practice heeding that point. Feel free to post whatever it is you plan to have your audience do once they get home. I look forward to seeing what you have.

Always remember this:

When you give them something to do, they’ll give you something to do. Speak again!

Craig Valentine

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