You’re Doing It Wrong
When it comes to speaking, this photo says it all. Though we fail in our infancy, begin we must. After all, we’re speakers. We were born to speak. It is important that we realize that communication is much more than the ability to convey a message. Communication is about having the right stuff and knowing how to use it.
Once while skiing the pristine slopes of northern Utah, I asked an amazing skier how he became stellar. He paused, “I ski with people who ski better than I do.”
Let’s examine some factors that will likely improve your speaking results.
1. Determine a clear objective for your speech.
What is it that you are passionate about? Enough so, that you would stand on a “soapbox” to be heard. Ask yourself, “Will what I am about to say make a difference?” Identify the actions you will take to assure that you are completely and intensely understood. Format the audience’s “take-away.” What will they take home with them? In answering these questions, you will begin to formulate a premise upon which you can purposefully construct your presentation. Start with your objective in mind.
2. Know where to take a stand.
You must be heard. While it is important to have a message and to be willing to take a stand, placing your “soap box” in the middle of nowhere will most likely create only disappointment. We must know, in clarity, where to take our message in order to obtain full advantage of delivering it. Who is your audience? How can you best get in front of them? And what will strike a chord in that setting?
3. Amplify your voice.
Your message is practiced. Your delivery is keen. You’re even so bold as to step up and make a stand. But you won’t be heard if your true identity is hidden and your face buried. If you are going to speak on purpose, speak up and be heard. Use facial expression, body language, and purposeful stage presence to amplify your voice. Let the audience get to know you when you address them. Be real. Be vulnerable. Don’t hide.
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