How VALUABLE is Your Speaking Topic?

Bette Daoust, Ph.D.

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What information can be used immediately by the audience and what is to follow?

Can you tell the audience in 30 seconds or less what you do and also give them three things that they can use immediately? The chances are that you probably cannot. If you do not have a practiced and enthusiastic response to how valuable your topic is, then you are likely not going to win over the audience. Not only do you need to think it is valuable but the audience also has to buy into it. You will need to do some market research even if it is only asking questions to your intended audience.

You need to know ahead of time that what you are speaking on is of value to them and that they will be able to walk away from you speech and feel that they got value. So what is the best way to find out how valuable your topic is at this point in time? There are three easy steps that you can take to make sure you are addressing your audience. First you must choose a topic with which you feel comfortable (it may be several). Second, pass the topic titles by friends and local businesses to see if they are interested in the topics and which ones they would put on the top of the list. You should also make sure that they tell you which ones they would be interested in attending. Lastly, put out an email to your circle of influence and have them rate your topics and give suggestions. Once you have completed these steps, you are on the road to presenting something the audience will like.

If you do your impromptu research before spending money on advertising the event, you will get a better idea of what the market will bear. If you ignore the market survey and go on your own, you risk having few attendees and wasting your own time and effort. The audience needs to have something tangible for their effort in listening to what you have to say.

Bette Daoust, Ph. D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people’s attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the “Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit


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