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Give Your Speech, Change the World: How To Move Your Audience to Action by Nick Morgan

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CHAPTER 5
Pick the Level of Need

YOU NEED TO DECIDE WHERE TO locate the topic of your presentation on the relative scale of needs we all possess. How important is your speech to its audience? This exercise will help you further shape the content by determining the kinds of examples you use, the claims you make, and the stories you tell.

In the 1960s, humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow developed a hierarchy of needs that has stood the test of time very well. Maslow described a pyramid with physiological needs at the bottom, followed by safety, social needs like love and belonging, ego needs like esteem, and self-actualization.

His basic point was that we satisfy those needs in order from lowest to highest. In other words, if we’re lacking ...

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