How can you ensure your message hits the mark when you’re about to deliver a speech, prepare a presentation, write a report, draft a résumé, or compose an email? The secret lies in a simple yet powerful technique: beginning at the end.
Instead of diving straight into the content, take a moment to step into the shoes of your recipients or audience. Shift your perspective and view your communication from the outside in. To kickstart this process, ask yourself a series of intriguing questions about the outcome you desire. Don’t hold back—jot down every potential outcome that comes to mind without filtering or limiting your creativity.
Let’s say you’re gearing up for a captivating speech. Picture yourself standing before your audience and delve into their minds. Who are they? What burning questions do they have? What nuggets of knowledge or insights will truly resonate with them? Envision the impact you want to make. What do you hope your listeners will take away from your speech? What action do you want them to take after hearing your words?
Once you’ve gathered a rich array of intended outcomes, it’s time to prioritize and distill the essence of your message. Zero in on the core conclusions you wish to convey to your audience. This is where the magic happens. Now, take a step back and embark on a journey backward. Begin assembling your ideas, anecdotes, and compelling statistics that bolster your conclusions. Weave them into a seamless tapestry of thoughts that guide your audience to those pivotal “aha” moments.
By starting with the end in mind, you gain a distinct advantage—a great perspective that empowers you to shape the direction of your thoughts as you prepare your communication. This approach allows you to discard ideas that don’t align with your desired messages, enabling you to deliver a focused and impactful presentation.
Idea for Impact: communication is an art that revolves around your audience. When you begin at the end, you effectively zero in on the messages you want to convey to your listeners or readers. It’s like fine-tuning a symphony, ensuring every note strikes a chord in their hearts and minds.