I have discovered a new formula for my speeches and articles. It is a simple, realistic and neat recipe. It does not require me to change my main points. I still apply everything I learned in Toastmasters. The difference – I get attentive listeners who “buy-in” to my message. It will work for you, too!

Like you, I find it hard to decide what to say and when to say it. I know what my message will be. I even have stories, facts or information to support my points. GREAT! I have a lot of material, but how do I arrange it in a way that my audience will want to hear it? How can I build the trust that makes them want to accept my viewpoint?

It is frustrating to have some valuable lesson, innovative idea or revealing information that needs to be shared. I am confident I can explain it clearly. I trust that they will understand the message. However, can I convince them that it is essential, and that they should apply it in their lives? I want to get past the point of having an enjoyable speech, or readable article, and to the level of persuading and inspiring everyone to follow my lead.

I know the standard formulas: “opening – body – conclusion;” “tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them; and, “tell a story – make a point.”

That is not enough. It is almost like me saying, “I am going to tell you how to make cookies. Here is how you make cookies (buy, mix, add, cook, let cool, enjoy). You, too, can make yummy cookies by following these instructions.” That works if the viewers want to learn how to make cookies (or are very hungry). But what if they do not? How do I convince my listeners to want what I am proposing when it had not crossed their mind that they had any use for it?

Did you ever get the feeling that your audience was almost ready to follow you, but still wanted a little more? That is where I was.

As I struggled with my dilemma, I signed up for the free newsletters from www.SelfGrowth.com. They gave me many ideas for speeches and for my own self-improvement. I also joined their paid membership site, www.SelfGrowthMarketing.com, which offers very helpful seminars, resources, and recommendations on building businesses. They guided me to start my new web site, www.ToastMentor.net, “Every Toastmaster’s First Stop for Advice and Resources.”

In several of the seminars, David Riklan, Self Growth’s founder, talked about a strategy for presenting information for customers. It was a similar formula for ebooks, sales letters and webinars. That made sense for those specific applications. Then, I heard another internet marketer, Mike Litman, give the same suggestion about life coaching. He expressed it in different words, but it was the same outline.


One evening after reviewing my notes, I realized that their strategy also makes perfect sense for any speech or article. Fortunately, it fits well with the Toastmasters lessons and ideals.

What I liked was that it focuses on the audience. Toastmasters says we should know our audience and appeal to them. The formula told me HOW to be more appealing.

As I started using my new format, I noticed I was getting my listeners’ attention. We were creating a new relationship, a bond of trust. I kept their interest. I added suspense and excitement. There was renewed enthusiasm and anticipation. By the time I was ready to present my message, they not only wanted to hear it, but also have it for themselves. They could visualize the benefits of applying my answer in their own lives. When I ended with my “call to action,” they were at the starting line.

I was taking my communications to the next level.


You can use it, too. It is a simple, three step recipe. It has places for all your facts and stories, but in a different order than you have used in the past. You can still deliver it with passion and authority. You can use your vocal variety and add your gestures, body movement and staging. Visual aids are welcomed.

The formula is: (1) describe your problem (or pain); (2) proclaim your results (or benefits); then (3) explain your solution (or moral or system). Remember – make it personal. Tell your story.

Step one is crucial. As you depict your anguish, we remember ourselves in similar predicaments. We identify with you. Plus, you become more real, more “human” to us. When you unveil your results, or the rewards you reaped, we yearn for the same things. We are excited. We hold onto your every word. Finally, when you reveal the solution, we are already saying, “I want that, too.” When you make your “call to action,” we will jump from our chairs.

The application was obvious in this article. My problem: in the past, I had a message, but could not get anyone to want to receive it. My results: after I applied the formula, my audience was excited and attentive; they were ready to accept my ideas. My system: the simple three-step formula.

You, too, can organize your presentation in that manner. Decide on your message. Begin by telling us about your pain, your problem. Then explain how applying your answer brought you happiness, or resolved your dilemma. Tantalize us. Make us burn with anticipation. Finally, excite us with your solution. Reveal how it will work for us, too. You will win our hearts, our minds and our commitment.

Start today, for your next presentation. Well done!

Author's Bio: 

Fred Haley, DTM, author, public speaker, mentor, has been an active member and officer of Toastmasters for over twelve years. Fred's new web site, www.ToastMentor.com, is dedicated to be the first stop for advice and resources for all Toastmasters (and all public speaker). He currently resides in Jacksonville FL. Fred can be reached at Fred@ToastMentor.com.