Know the GAP 


A GPS is only helpful if you know your starting point and your desired destination. Similarly, when asked to speak to any audience ,   find out the answers to these two questions  to help you prepare a more audience-specific  topic. Knowing the answer gives you two important locations to work with.

1)    Where are the people at in their current situation?

2)    Where do they want to be (goal)?


A good thought-provoking question to ask the organizer or other contact person is “what’s the group’s biggest pain?” A good follow up question is  “what’s that costing you (or the organization, etc)?”  You may have to dig deeper to uncover core issues they are facing.


To determine where they want to get to you may ask a question something like this, “ If you could change anything  (in the organization) over the next year what would it be?”  Help them answer the question without judging whether or not it is possible. Have them think about an “ideal situation”. If there were no obstacles what would they like to see happen.


When you know these two locations your job as a speaker is to give them a bridge to get them from where they are now to where they want to be. That bridge could involve a product, a service, a strategy, or a simple word of advice. No matter what the bridge is your message will have increased effectiveness if you leave them with a specific course of action to take. A clear next step will leave the audience inspired to act and motivated to act now. You will learn more about how to do that in later weeks.


Some of the best speakers report that the times they failed as a speaker were due to the fact that they did not know their audience well enough. Remember a GPS is only helpful if it has the information about your starting point and where you want to end up. Similarly, you will see improved effectiveness as a speaker when you know these two locations about your audience and aim to give them what they need to successfully bridge the gap.


Until Next Week


Keep letting the REAL  U…..Speak Through!

Lisa Vanderkwaak M.Sc.

Certified  World Class Speaking Coach

REAL U Institute™

“Equipping you to Communicate with Passion, Purpose and Transformational Impact”

To book Lisa to speak at your next group training or as a Keynote,  contact her at

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