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May 2004 - TOOTSIFELT: How to state your objective

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May 2004

TOOTSIFELT:  How to state your objective

The objective of your speech, lecture, or briefing tells the specific response you want from your audience—what you expect them to know (or think), feel, or do as a result of listening to you.

Don’t merely think about your objectives. Write them down. The method I will describe for doing this may seem silly. But it works. Start this way. “The objective of this speech is for each listener to ...“ (TOOTSIFELT). Then finish the sentence with what you want them to think, feel or do. The key is TOOTSIFELT (pronounced: Tootsie felt—as in “Tootsie felt happy” or “Tootsie felt good”). Write every speech or presentation objective with TOOTSIFELT, and you will have properly stated objectives, the kinds that will help you focus on the audience.

Of course you may want more than one response from your audience. You may want them to feel or believe that candidate Jones is the most qualified, and you may also want them to cast their vote for Jones. In this case, your central idea is that Jones is the best candidate. Your overriding objective is for them to vote for Jones. Therefore, your objective would be stated this way: “The objective of this speech is for each listener to vote for Jones. Or, “TOOTSIFELT vote for Jones.” Your objective is not for you to tell them why Jones is the best candidate. That may be your task, but it’s not your objective. Your objective is what you want their response to be. It’s what you want them to know, feel, or do.

The acronym—TOOTSIFELT--is unique, but the method is tested.  It works for me and it has worked for thousands of students and people I’ve trained.  TOOTSIFELT—Try it!

For more good advice about presentations, see my latest book, Speaking Effectively.

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

May 2004 - TOOTSIFELT: How to state your objective
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