Narrowing the Subject

Much need be made of the danger of trying to say too much. Speakers run against this wall about as often as politicians lie and doctors get sued. The core of the problem lies in ones inability to narrow the scope of what they are talking about enough to shoot verbal arrows instead of shotgun blasts. The result is the audience gets lightly peppered but none leaved pierced. If you want to impact your audience such that they remember what you say and want more, then you must hone the crucial art of narrowing your subject.

What is the subject? Thanks for asking. Read the following sentence and tell me: The wiry old veterinarian with leathery skin and a wrinkled cap put on a long, thin glove so that he could rectally palpate a pen of heifers. I’ll bet you said veterinarian didn’t you? In grammar class you would be right but not in public speaking. The subject or scope of what the sentence was about is the reason the wiry old veterinarian with leathery skin…  …was to rectally palpate a pen of heifers.

What difference does narrowing your subject make? Watch this. Image yourself a professional photographer that is asked to speak at a business luncheon. You are not in the business of speaking but you do want to earn more business. If you speak generically about photography you will end up giving the people a nice history lesson and some jargon about f-stops and apertures. The result will be polite applause, but no new business. However, if your subject is; “The crucial value of your (audience’s) image.” You then tell your audience about the necessity of their image being clean, focused and unique. They win and you win too. How? You weave into your speech how your photography studio specializes in visually depicting a business’ image. The result? You will get the polite applause and you will also get more business.

If you want more help narrowing the subject, make a comment.


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