One of the top TED Talks of all time was delivered by Simon Sinek. He shared his concept of The Golden Circle, suggesting that the core of any message we wish to communicate is the “Why” – the belief, the motive, the purpose that drives our actions. The problem, he says, with the way many individuals and organisations communicate is that it’s an outside-in approach, starting with the “What” and leaving the “Why” as an afterthought. Great leaders and organisations, however, inspire by communicating from the inside out.
What does The Golden Circle mean for speakers?
When preparing any presentation, ask yourself these 3 questions:
- WHY are we here?
- HOW can I add value and motivate my audience?
- WHAT will be the call-to-action?
An important factor in answering the “WHY are we here?” question is the “WHO“. Who is your audience? Why do they need to hear what you have to say? You need to know where your audience is, regarding their knowledge, attitudes and beliefs; their experience, circumstances and expectations. If the purpose of your talk is to move your audience from Point A to Point B, you first have to know where Point A is. And be sure to start there with them. Hence the question, “WHY are we here?” – not “Why am I here.”
Once you’ve given your talk a purpose that will engage your audience, you can think about the second question: “HOW can I add value and motivate my audience?” Are you solving their problems? Are you shortening their learning curve? Are you providing new valuable information and game-changing insights? How will you ensure that your audience leaves your presentation better off than they were before?
Finally, “WHAT will be the call-to-action?” Don’t think your job is done because you’ve moved your audience from Point A to Point B. This transformation will only be temporary if you leave your audience asking, “Now what?” You can’t allow your message to lose momentum. So give your audience a way to move forward with the ideas and inspiration you’ve given them. Set them up and ball them the ball.