The First ‘P’ = Speech Purpose

Speech Purpose

Is a speech purpose really necessary?

Most times when you are asked to give a speech or presentation you are also given the subject. Other than the customary nerves to deal with, you need to set to work and prepare your speech and then it comes crashing down on you

” What will I say?”

I believe “What will I say?” is the wrong question to ask your self first up. Try asking a better question like “What is the purpose of my talk?” or “How can I give the audience what they want to do …?”

To answer this style of enquiry it may be necessary to ask further questions of your audience or promoter or representative of your audience. Often your occasion and subject will define your general speech purpose as either Entertaining, Informational, Inspirational or Persuasive or a combination of several of these.

Getting a clear image of what your audience is expecting and who they are is a great way to begin to create a specific speech purpose for your presentation.

When creating your specific speech purpose use the KISS principle ‘Keep It Simple Simon’.  speech purposeYour purpose is the focus of your talk. Using a key phrase is great, some wedding speech examples are ‘Thanks to the Bridesmaids’, ‘Toast the Bride’ or a Business presentation ‘Time Management’, or a cause ‘ be a Blood Donor’.

However we are all different, and lately I have been creating a short sentence similar to

What can I think, say and do that will inspire this audience to take positive action to utilise their Resilience?”

or ” What can I think, say and do to inspire this team to action accountable time management practices?”

Why a Short Sentence?

I have found that I have greater clarity when I use this kind of structure as my purpose.  I also tend to use it as my speech mantra just before giving my talks.  It feels like I am focusing into my ‘in the now’ zone before I even get on stage.

Another reason for this kind of purpose statement is it’s audience focused.  Focusing on your audience has tremendous power – first when you think you can only think of one thing at a time, so if you have your full focus on your audience and your purpose you are unable to think of yourself, therefore you are in the authentic zone, sincerity oozes from you because you have your audiences interest as your total focus.

Always remember the presentation is not about you it is about your information and your ability is to share this information.  You are the conduit of this information.

Why  a Question?

Great question I was hoping you would ask. I think this is a fascinating facet about us human beings.  Our mind is geared to find the answer to a question. I will automatically start looking for the answer to a question.  For example you are about to walk out the door and you check you have everything and find you haven’t got your keys. “Damn! Where are those keys?”  If you don’t say it you certainly think it in bold.

What happens?   Do you go looking for them? Does your mind immediately start thinking of the place last had them ? Does it tell you to look in all the places you usually put them?  ‘The dresser’ , ‘The kitchen bench’ , ‘Your other bag’ , ‘Your jacket pocket’ , ‘ In the lock’ , ‘Still in the car’ and so it goes on till you find them. You may even ask others if they have seen them thus reinforcing your question.

If we use this same principal before we speak our brain is kept busy looking for answers to your pressing question.  This primes your subconscious to be ready for delivering the answer to your question. With your focus entirely on your audience and your brain primed with your repeatedly asking the same question/ Mantra you haven’t time for self thoughts or nerves you are too busy adjusting the lazer to your focus.

“Questions Are The Answer”

speech purpose

I heard this used elsewhere and liked it as a saying and in this instance I believe it is true.  So the multifaceted essential tool of purpose is a bit more like a diamond than the old double edged sword. There are also many subtle benefits of speech purpose for you to discover for your self.


For more information or Courses check out – Speech Master Academy

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Article by Terry

Over the years Terry has learned to be a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Keynote Speaker, Presenter, Teacher, Coach, Mentor, Business Owner/Manager, Trainer, Facilitator, Teacher, Sailor, Dancer, Worker, Gardener, Reader, Music Lover and someone who thoroughly enjoys helping people to become better. We are all evolving by learning all the time, how and what we choose to learn makes us who we become. The key to Terrys passionate and enthusiastic approach is savouring the experience of contributing to the growth, action and enjoyment of the individual with their career.


  1. Thank you so much for this post Terry and the others i have just visited. You have really made me think twice about how much effort i put into finding out the purpose of my talk – what do the audience really want is more of what i should be thinking about.
    I believe i am going to have to bookmark this site!
    Thank you Terry.


    1. Thanks Dawn,

      There is a stack more tips available when I get them written. I’m thinking of using a spoken to text software to hurry the process along. Many people are enjoying the blog. Thanks for your wonderful and positive comments

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