Use these Speaker Nation methods to
create Broad Spectrum Appeal in your next talk.
Do you know what one of the most important concepts in all of public speaking is?
It’s not memorizing your talk.
It’s not owning the stage with confidence.
It’s not preparing for weeks before.
It’s something called the Broad Spectrum Appeal. This is a concept Speaker Nation Founder Eric Edmeades has been teaching his clients for years, yet it’s a concept many speakers don’t understand—or simply get wrong.
Broad Spectrum Appeal is a method you can use as a speaker to create and deliver a talk that will appeal to the widest variety of people in any audience, even if your topic isn’t interesting to them.
Let’s face it, in any given audience, you’re bound to have a group of people who are there solely to listen to you speak on your topic. It interests them. They’re there because they want to be there, they’re going to be engaged, they’re there to listen.
For those people, it’s easy to keep and hold their attention, because they chose to be in the room.
But on the other hand, you’re likely to come across people in the crowd who are perhaps dragged there—by a friend or by obligation—or, for whatever reason, they’re just not that into what you’re talking about.
If you can implement the Broad Spectrum Appeal into your talk, it’s going to be possible for you to create and deliver a presentation that is captivating even for those who weren’t all that interested when they first sat down but now can’t stop listening.
Sounds impossible, right? You’re probably thinking, “You can’t please everybody.” Well, you’re absolutely right. You can’t please everybody! But what can you do? You can embrace proven concepts and methods to engage a broader audience, other than just the people there because they want to be.
Now, how can you create Broad Spectrum Appeal in a way that gets your entire audience listening? You’re in luck! The Speaker Nation Team has put together a list of the 5 must-haves you need to implement when you’re creating and delivering a talk, so you can get closer to appealing to the widest variety of people.
This one might sound obvious, however, ensuring your topic is aligned with your audience is of the utmost importance. If you get up there and speak to people about things they’re not interested in, you’re going to have a very difficult time keeping them interested. If you present a talk to a group of real estate agents about the art of deep sea fishing, it probably won’t be the most effective 90 minutes of your career.
Instead, commit to ensuring your topics appeal to the people you’re presenting to. If you can frame your topic in a way that grabs their attention, if you can make things relevant to their interests in the world, then all of the sudden, you’ve gained the interest of a larger percentage of attendees in the room.
As a part of your preparation process, it’s key you do some research on your audience. By doing this, you gain the background knowledge you need to frame your topic in a way that can catch their interest and speak to the points your particular audience might be hoping to hear about.
Consider this: you’re speaking to a group of chiropractors about marketing. Think it through. Most chiropractors are passionate about helping to make people’s lives better. You won’t start your talk with, “Hey, I’m here today to talk to you about marketing!” A lot of chiropractors just aren’t interested in learning about that. They typically have teams for that, right? So instead, begin your talk with something like, “I’m here to teach you a technique that will allow you to help way more people than you ever thought possible. I’ll make sure you can eliminate back pain in 10 times more people than you do right now!” Suddenly, they’re very interested. You’ve got their attention.
The topic can still be marketing, but by framing it in a way that peaks their interest, you’ve shown them a.) why they should pay attention to you, and b.) why it’s important to them.
Topic resonance is extremely powerful. If you don’t carve out the time in your talk to show your audience why your topic should be important to them, it is quite possible you will lose them before you even start, missing out on an opportunity to reach more minds.
When you’re building relationships, putting out marketing materials, or even creating a new business venture, a proven way to get people to like you and remember you is to connect with them on a personal level.
By simply having a conversation with someone, you’re already bettering your chances that you’ll be remembered for years to come. Compare that connection to someone receiving a marketing pamphlet in the mail; that’s really not going to resonate with them in the same way. They won’t remember you or your business because they didn’t have the opportunity to create a connection that’s particularly memorable.
Believe it or not, even from the stage, personal connection is incredibly important in public speaking. Unfortunately, it’s something we see a lot of speakers constantly get wrong.
Imagine you’re sitting in the audience at an event and the speaker takes the stage. They start to tell stories about how great their life is—how much money they’re making, how they’re traveling the world and basically living the dream. How would that make you feel? Probably like they think they’re better than you; better than everyone in that audience.
They’re up there talking about how you should improve your life and how you should listen to them if you want your life to be as good as theirs, and by doing that, they’re implying your life isn’t as good.
All of the sudden, they’ve just spent their entire talk breaking the personal connection (before even having the chance to create one). They’ve shared nothing for you to connect with.
A speaker like this misses a game-changing opportunity to create powerful Broad Spectrum Appeal with their audience. You see, when you’re telling stories, your goal should be to try to connect with the audience. Not to show off. That’s not the point. Your goal is to let them see themselves in your shoes, to tell them about how you got to where you are so no matter which stage in life they’re at, you’ve been there, and it’s possible for them, too. Your goal is to make your audience feel like you’re just having a conversation with friends, rather than that you’re a superior speaker on stage.
Because let’s face it, you’re not. You’re not superior to anybody. You really are just having a conversation with a friend when you’re on stage. That’s what makes both you and the audience most comfortable, after all, isn’t it?
If you always keep this in mind while you’re presenting, and as long as you deliver in a way that makes your audience feel like you acknowledge their powerful potential—in whatever way it might be—you have the tools to build a lasting impression and a personal connection.
Bonus tip: If you tell stories, share information, and deliver your talks in a way that attracts people to you, it makes them more inclined to want to recommend you, share your videos, tell other people about you, book you back at their next conference, and even give you a 5-star rating.
If they like you as a person and they genuinely enjoy who you are as a human being, all of the sudden the topic becomes less important to them.
Remember, not everything you talk about will resonate with your audience.That’s okay! As long as you resonate with your audience by creating that personal connection. If the audience feels it, they will be more likely to enjoy your talk and get interested in what you have to say, giving you the opportunity to influence them.
It’s clear the power of personal connection should not be underestimated when it comes to creating Broad Spectrum Appeal.
Centuries before we had a system of language or any specific way of transferring information to one another, humans learned to point. In old cartoons or movies, you often see characters depicting cavemen by gesturing and pointing as a way to get a laugh out of viewers.
Picture construction workers on the job. They’re often in loud environments with hearing protection on, surrounded by trucks and equipment. This makes speaking to each other virtually impossible. Yelling at the top of their lungs to be heard can be uncomfortable, difficult and even dangerous.
This is why on construction sites you’ll often notice the workers communicate through their body language. There’s an entire system of hand signals they use!
This is because humans have been communicating through body language for much longer than we’ve been communicating with words. So when you’re trying to create Broad Spectrum Appeal, it’s key to remember this.
There are certain gestures you can make to prompt your audience to feel a certain way, regardless of what you’re actually saying. There are hand motions you can make to cause an audience to feel uncertain. There are hand motions you can make to bring absolute clarity and certainty to what you’re saying. And there’s everything in between.
You can also use your facial expressions to communicate emotion. For example, if you’re telling a story that’s meant to be more on the sad side, yet you’re standing on stage with a smirk across your face, the audience will not feel connected. By moving your face in a way that’s mismatched with the words coming out of your mouth, you’ve broken that personal connection, and you’ll have a lot more trouble creating Broad Spectrum Appeal.
Alternatively, if you’re telling a sad story and you’re emotive and your body language is communicating the feeling, you’re going to create a deeper personal connection. This is how you’ll draw the audience into your story at a higher level, ultimately having them enjoy it more, resulting in your talk appealing to more people.
When you’re delivering your talk (and even designing it), it’s key to be conscious of your body language; it says as much as your words do (and sometimes even more).
Emotional Peaks (Impacts per minute)
If you’ve attended a Speaker Nation Speaking Academy, or participated in one of our online training programs, you’re probably familiar with this concept!
Impacts per minute is the number of times you create an emotional moment for your audience in a given talk.
If you’re telling a particularly sad story that makes the audience want to cry—to the point where they’re breaking out the Kleenex—that would be considered an emotional impact.
On the opposite end, if you tell a joke that makes the audience roar with laughter, that would also be considered an emotional impact.
As humans, we feel all different types of emotions, and every time you make the audience feel something, it ripples through to create an impact. This is precisely the type of impression you want to leave with your audience. Making an impact is the perfect way to make yourself memorable.
Many speakers actually miss this concept. They tend to only focus on their content. “What am I trying to teach you? What is the concept we’re going through? What do I want you to learn from being present at this talk?” So much so that they forget about the emotions they want to evoke.
Emotion is the glue that makes memory stick. Audiences rarely remember exactly what you say, but they almost always remember how you make them feel.
If you’re wanting to create Broad Spectrum Appeal and appeal to the widest cross section of any audience, it’s key you remember one of your most important responsibilities as a speaker is to make your audience feel by creating those emotional impacts. And create a lot of them! Because as you give your talk, the fewer emotional impacts you create, the longer spans of time you have in your talk where you might lose the audience’s interest. You might lose your appeal, and suddenly you’re appealing to a narrower margin of the audience.
If you keep those impacts coming by cracking a joke every once in a while, telling sad stories to contrast the jokes and weave it all in between your content, you have a much better chance of holding your audience’s attention, sparking emotions, and creating memories for them.
Here at Speaker Nation, this is one of the most important aspects of the Broad Spectrum Appeal to us.
We’ve witnessed speakers get up on stage in front of 1000s of people with the perfect opportunity to create memories and share information that will change people’s lives, but when they get up there they start just spewing facts, figures, numbers, and quotes. Unfortunately, right off the bat, a lot of the audience’s interest and the appeal of the talk plummets.
How many lectures from school do you vividly remember? Probably very few. This is because oftentimes a lecture is just somebody reciting fact after fact, after fact, after fact, and to be honest, it’s just plain boring. There’s no emotion to it, and because of that it fails to remain in your memory bank.
Now think back to a teacher you still remember to this day. It’s likely they wove stories into their lessons, all the way from the basics to hardcore Chemistry. When a story is attached to a concept, it makes it easier to relate to the content and remember it for years to come.
Human beings have been communicating by stories long before we ever had written language; in a world before the Internet, TV, radio, newspapers and books, humans shared information back and forth to each other by telling stories.
Stories have an interesting power of engaging your brain in a way that mere syllables and facts simply can’t do. Storytelling attaches emotions, and by doing so they attach muscle memories for your audience. Memories triggered by a single word or experience take them back to the day they first heard you share it.
At Speaker Nation, we often say emotion is the glue that makes memories stick and stories are the key to creating emotion for your audience. It’s really quite fascinating. Just look around the world and you’ll see it everywhere! Humans prefer to communicate by stories.
Hollywood is a multi-billion dollar industry purely based on telling stories. Advertising is entirely based on telling the story of a product in a better way that might convince people to want to buy it more.
Even the meanings we attach to the instances in our very own lives are all stories. An incident will happen and we’ll tell ourselves a story about it. Whether that story is productive or non-productive determines how we feel about that incident.
When you really think about it, it’s wild how much humans think and communicate in stories. So when you’re designing a talk, of course you want to include stories!
If you want to appeal to the broadest spectrum of as many audiences as possible, don’t just spew facts, tell stories. Tell the stories of how you came to learn those facts. Tell the stories of what you went through while uncovering those facts. Really let the audience know where your content came from in a captivating and entertaining way, rather than just spilling out the boring old Google search results they could’ve read themselves.
This way, even if they’re not interested in what you have to say, even if they’re not interested in what you’re selling or speaking about, you can still tell the story in a way that is engaging, entertaining and fun.
At the end of the day, you know you can’t please all people all of the time, and you can’t please some people any time. That’s okay! That’s life. Just remember that your role as a speaker is to utilize every tool in your toolbox to try and appeal to as many different people in your audiences as possible. Even if they’re not interested in what it is you’re talking about.
The more people in your audience you can appeal to, the more interest you’ll have. And the more interest you have, the more likely it is you’ll be recommended to an event organizer, a business who might benefit from what you’re selling, or see familiar faces year after year from the stage. Wouldn’t that be an amazing feeling?
By ensuring your talk is designed and delivered in a way that promotes Broad Spectrum Appeal, it’s possible, and implementing these five keys are some of the best ways you can start doing that.
Understanding Broad Spectrum Appeal is one of the key skills you need in order to become a truly world class speaker, but it is not the only concept that will help you get there. Being able to give a talk that has broad spectrum appeal will dramatically increase the size of your audience, and having bigger audiences sets you up to take advantage of another incredibly powerful public speaking concept: The Stage Effect.