We live in a world where people are always speaking.
Sometimes they are good
Sometimes they are bad
People even speak when they have nothing to say. Imagine the irony in that…
We speak EVERY DAY, yet we never give a second thought on how to do it better.
The formula for most people is= Decide what you are going to speak about, then speak.
In fact, many didn’t decide what they were going to speak about until they actually started. So, the audience must sit through all of the inner workings of your mind as you try to formulate an actual message or point.
STOP!! There is a better way.
It is not enough to decide what you want to speak about and then speak. There are proven techniques and tips that you should know to become a better speaker.
I must admit, if I knew many of these tips early on they would’ve made such a difference in my communication style.
Perhaps, I would’ve stopped some bored audience member from looking at their phone while I was speaking or wondering what they were going to eat for dinner.
The following 5 lessons can help you to engage your audience. Only when you engage your audience are you able to get your message across.
They apply whether you are speaking to 1 person or 1000. Read them slowly and re-read them often.
1. “Designing a presentation without an audience in mind is like writing a love letter and addressing it: To Whom It May Concern.” – Ken Haemer
It’s essential that you design your talk around the needs and interests of your audience. Don’t expect to keep them engaged when you are not speaking about things that matter to them. Remember the talk is for them and not you!
Learning how to analyze your audience so you can set yourself up for success.
Ask yourself questions before speaking like:
How much does my audience know about my topic?
What are the ages, gender mix of my audience?
What does the audience expect to learn from my talk?
The audience will respond positively when you make the presentation relevant to their needs. This makes it easier for them to connect to your message.
2. THEY MAY FORGET WHAT YOU SAID, BUT THEY WILL NEVER FORGET HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL. – CARL W. BUECHNER
Those who can make people FEEL are rarely forgotten. Emotions are powerful and we remember our experiences based on how they made us feel. People will remember how they felt when they listened to you. Maybe you made them laugh, or cry, or you inspired them to act on a cause.
Think about a speaker you really love. It is because they make you feel something, not because they write nice words and read them to you. If we want to simply read beautiful words we can read a book.
The speaker or speech you love makes you feel an emotion. You remember how that person made you feel even if you can’t remember the words. Even speeches that anger you or get you fired up about a cause are rarely forgotten because they make you feel a strong emotion.
Remember when you are speaking that it is not just about facts, but emotion.
3. “Best way to conquer stage fright is to know what you’re talking about.” – Michael H Mescon
There is no better guarantee for nervousness than being unprepared. Sometimes you are lucky enough to speak about a topic that you are passionate, knowledgeable and excited about. What happens when you are given a topic that you don’t know much about? Well, it is time to study!
Give yourself adequate time to prepare and rehearse. This will help increase your confidence and calm your nerves. You will also be able to handle any bumps in the road when you are well prepared and know you’re your subject inside and out.
Set up a plan to prepare and stick to it!
4. “The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” – Mark Twain
Watching people speak without pausing is like pressing the fast-forward button on a movie and trying to watch it. You can see people’s mouths moving, but you only catch a little bit of what they are saying.
Pauses have the power to transform your communication.
They can capture attention in ways that words cannot. A speech, presentation, or conversation without pauses is often lost in the minds of the listener. We have all been on the receiving end of a person who talks too much and never stops. Don’t be that person!
The next time you are speaking. Think about places that you can pause to make sure that the listener gets the message.
5. If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein
Can you get your point across with less words? Do it! Going into a long, drawn out explanation about your topic does not help the listener to understand more. They will understand less as they slowly stop listening to you.
Concise communication is key.
Let’s face it. People lead busy lives and don’t have time to listen to us ramble on. Don’t make people struggle to figure out what you are talking about. Learn how to get your point across in a simple way. People will love you for it.
How can you use 1 or all the tips to improve your communication style?
Do you have any tips of your own to share?
Write them below.