Problem, Pain, and Solution


There is a unique piece in a presentation that can make a HUGE difference in your success and bottom line as a speaker. I call it the “problem, pain, and suffering” piece. Most speakers don’t know they should have it. However, it is the key to selling.

Here’s how it works, after you build trust and rapport by sharing your professional story, then you want to set up the meat. Don’t go from how you got started right into the meat of the presentation. Most audiences won’t be ready. Instead, think of your presentation as a sandwich. If you just had dry meat without dressing or mayo, it would be a pretty dry sandwich. The same is true for a presentation. Thus, think of the “problem, pain and suffering” as your dressing or mayo.

How to Set Your Audience Up to Receive the Meat

The problem is that most people don’t know how to speak properly. They think that just because they can flap their jaw, that makes them a public speaker. When they step on stage untrained they fail miserably. They wonder why they don’t get the clients or leads they should have received. Nonetheless, they keep trying and it still doesn’t work. Even after giving speech after speech they are not getting results. Then, they give up speaking figuring it doesn’t work.  Yet there are people who still suffering waiting to hear their message.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. All they have to do is learn how to be persuasive and get people to want to do business with them and want them to speak at their offices and meetings.

Speaking becomes a marketing strategy like a wheel that keeps on rolling in the clients, perpetually working on and on.

The “Problem, Pain, and Suffering” Template

In this example, I am talking about marketing and the business of public speaking.

  1. Set up the problem: “The problem is…” and pause… then they want to listen. “most people don’t know how to market themselves.”
  2. Then state the pain: “They go out, they spend money on ads that don’t work for them or a consultant who doesn’t know their business.
  3. Express the suffering: “They spend so much money and don’t get any clients that their business can suffer for it and maybe even go out of business.”
  4. Bring in the solution: “But it doesn’t have to be that way. The solution is, you can learn how to speak and go out and have speaking be your marketing strategy. Speaking is the only marketing strategy I’ve ever used to grow my 7-figure business.”

Most speakers play it nice. But you need to let people know there is a problem, pain, and suffering, and there is a solution, that is you. And you can end their pain and suffering forever.

Determine Your “Problem, Pain, and Suffering” Piece

To develop this piece, you need to find out what your audience’s problem is and be the solution.  Ask them ahead of time. Go to a meeting ahead time and ask attendees: “When it comes to your topic, what is your biggest challenge?” Look for a pattern and then develop a speech around that. If you can’t attend a meeting or need more input, ask a few of your clients, or the target market that comprises the audience, or the organizer ahead of time.

What Most People Know About Public Speaking

If you’re going to step on stage, you must take speaking seriously. Would you go to a court of law and represent yourself if you only read one law book? No. Would you do your financial plan without extensive training and experience? No. The same holds true for public speaking. Too many people think they know all about public speaking because they took one class, in reality they know nothing. Get trained and it will change your life and your business. Start with my video tips and then join me at an live or virtual event. Let’s do this together.

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About the author 

Arvee Robinson

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