Twitter was the social networking phenomenon of last year. It’s a site that allows you to share your thoughts and feelings with the world by “tweeting” your answer to this simple question – what are you doing now? The only limitation you have is that your answer or “tweet” must be 140 characters or less. The means you have to be focused and direct with what you type so you use the 140 characters to effectively communicate your answer.
But how does a social networking phenomenon help you as a speaker? When preparing speeches and presentations a number of my clients have had initial difficulty focusing on what the purpose of their speech is. As a result, the early versions of the speeches are inevitably lacking a defining message that that the audience can take away from the speech. However, after sitting down and really defining what the reason and purpose for giving the speeches are the speeches have changed markedly as the speaker carefully considers the words and phrases they will share with the audience to ensure they match the refined purpose of the speech.
It’s the 140 characters that make the difference. It forces you to take what would be a rambling and unfocussed speech purpose and apply a blow torch to it. You are forced question every word and idea in your purpose to determine if it really matches what you want to achieve when you deliver your speech. So, the next time you sit down to prepare a speech, before you write your opening lines, write down the purpose of your speech, and keep refining it until its 140 characters or less.