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Speakers need to know what their audience really cares about
Image Credit: O’Reilly Internal

I’m sorry to have to be the one to share this with you, but when you are giving a speech your audience really does not care about you. Oh yeah, you picked a topic that you thought would appeal to them, you have some experience or expertise in this area that you told the world about in order to get people to show up for the speech, and so on. However, as your audience sits there in those uncomfortable chairs, it turns out that they really don’t give a darn about you. Instead, when it comes to your speech, they want to know whats in it for them. How are you going to make this happen?

Do Your Homework

If you want your audience to appreciate the speech that you are going to be sharing with them and experience the importance of public speaking, then you are going to have to take the time to make sure that you know your audience. You are going to have to learn as much about your audience as you can. There are a number of different ways to go about doing this. You can talk with other speakers who have presented to them or you could sit down with someone who will be in your audience and ask them questions. Your goal needs to be to learn enough about your audience so that you can tailor your speech to meet their needs and find ways to help them to improve whatever they are working on.

Stop Talking About Yourself

When we are putting a speech together, it can be a real challenge to come up with enough content to fill a speech. One of the easiest topics that we can go to is also the one that we know the best: ourselves. If we are not careful, we are going to end up turning our speech into a talk that is all about ourselves.

What you need to do here is to very carefully pick and choose from your personal set of successes, failures, and life experiences in order to discover unique things that your audience is going to be able to learn from. Your personal stories should simply be a bit of “spice” that you’ve added to your speech. They should not be the main course that you are asking your audience to feast on. When your speech is over, you want your audience to have learned about something more interesting than just you.

Don’t Brag

Look, we all have skills and talents that make us interesting people. We like it when we have a chance to talk with people about our families, our hobbies and things that have been able to accomplish in our lives. However, it turns out that doing this during a speech is not the right thing to do. As speakers, we really need to get over ourselves. Your audience has already voted – they like you and that’s why they are willing to sit and listen to your speech. You don’t have to spend your speech telling them about all of the great things that you’ve accomplished and why they should love you even more. Instead, share valuable information with them and let them appreciate you for what you’ve been able to teach them.

What All Of This Means For You

As speakers, the reason that we are willing to go to the effort of creating and delivering a speech to an audience is because we believe that we can change their lives in some important wayby exposing our audience to the benefits of public speaking. However, we need to be very careful how we go about doing this in order to make sure that we don’t allow ourselves to get all caught up in us and forget to provide our audiences with what they came for.

In order to successfully give a speech, the first thing that we need to do is some homework. We need to take the time to find out who is going to be in our audience. Once we know this we can then shape our speech to best meet their needs. When you are giving your speech, you don’t want to spend the entire speech talking about yourself. Yes, you may have some great accomplishments in your life, but that’s not what your audience want’s to hear about. They have come to learn from your speech and you need to limit how much you talk about yourself. In your life you have a number of different interests, hobbies, and accomplishments. However, this is not why your audience came to hear you. You have knowledge that you can share with them, they don’t need to hear about all of the great things that you’ve been able to accomplish. Instead, build your speech around what they want to learn and make sure that you deliver it to them.

As the person who will be giving the speech, it is your responsibility to make sure that your speech contains what your audience expects from you. It can be all too easy to make your speech about you and your accomplishments. We need to understand that this is not what our audience wants. Share some of your adventures with your audience, but make sure that you are providing them with the information that they came to hear.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: How many personal stories do you think that you can safely work into a 30 minute speech?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

So how do you feel about your audience? Do you like them? Maybe we can take this one step further – do you love them? Do you want them to love you? When you consider the fact that your audience probably has never met you before, this might seem like a bit of a stretch goal even if you understand the importance of public speaking. However, as a speaker you have some pretty incredible powers. You have the ability to make your audience fall in love with you if your speech can seduce them, engage their minds, and finally win their hearts.

The post Speakers Need To Learn That It’s Really Not About Them appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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A global audience is very different from your normal audience
Image Credit: Kieran Lynam

As speakers we understand the importance of public speaking and so we tend to spend a lot of time thinking about what we want to say in our next speech. We’ll worry about what words to use, how we should stand when we are on stage, and the importance of making good eye contact with our audience. However, it turns out that there is something even more important than this that we should be spending our time thinking about. We should really be spending our time thinking about our audience. Just exactly who are they? Perhaps even more importantly, where did they come from? I think that we can easily answer this question when our audience is a local audience, but what are the correct answers when we are dealing with a global audience?

Picking The Right Words For A Global Audience

As you can well imagine, a global audience comes from all over. What this means for you as a speaker is that you have a real speaking challenge on your hands. Effectively what having a global audience really means is that every person in your audience may be different from everyone else. Generally when we give speeches, members of our audience share common traits and we can appeal to those traits in our speech. No so with a global audience.

One of the things that you are going to have to keep in mind about your global audience is that there are things that you are not going to be able to use in your speech. Specifically, you should not use metaphors, colloquialisms, or pop culture references that may mean a lot to you but may mean nothing to your audience. These phrases simply don’t translate well. The people in your audience have their own set of sayings that if they were used while talking with you would leave your confused about what they were trying to say. Instead, keep it simple and strip all of this local content out of your next global speech.

Keeping It Short For A Global Audience

If you are like me, you speak English. Not only do I speak English, but I speak it quite well. However, when your audience is a global audience, you are going to have to make some adjustments. Yes, there is a good chance that your audience does speak your language. However, it’s not necessarily their native language. This means that we need to change the way that we speak when we are talking to a global audience. The sentences that we say have to become short and be easy for our audience to digest and translate internally. The best kind of structure for your sentences would be a simple “noun-verb-noun” sentence. These can be translated very easily by your audience.

Slow It Down For A Global Audience

When I’m giving a speech in English, because I speak it well, I like to speak it fast – I’ve got a lot to say and never feel that I have enough time in which to say it. What this means is that as you are speaking, they are listening to what you say and then translating it into their own language in order to understand what you are trying to communicate. What you and I may not fully realize is that this type of “mental translation” takes time to accomplish. When they are doing this, they can’t listen to what we are saying at the same time. We need to slow things down so that they can fully appreciate all that we are telling them..

What All Of This Means For You

When we give a speech, all too often we can find ourselves focusing on the words that we are going to be saying. What we really need to be thinking about is our audience and how we can share the benefits of public speaking with them. Specifically, we need to take a close look at who is going to be in our audience. If it turns out that we have a global audience then everyone in the audience is going to be different. This means that as a speaker, we need to make some adjustments to how we are going to create and deliver our speech.

The first thing that we need to realize is that our audience is not from around here. What that means for us as speakers is that if we use the wrong words, our audience is not going to be able to understand the points that we’re trying to make. What we are going to have to do is to go over our speech and remove any metaphors, colloquialisms, or pop culture references. Our audience won’t understand them and so we need to find a different way to say the same thing. We also have to realize that English may not be our audience’s native language. Because of this we need to modify how we construct our speech. Gone are the long winding sentences. These need to be replaced with simple and short sentence that our audience will be able to quickly and easily translate into their native language. Finally, although we always have a limited amount of time in which to give a speech, we need to slow things down. Our audience can only translate what we are saying so fast. Slow it down and allow your audience to take in what you are trying to communicate to them.

What you have to say as a speaker is important. Having an opportunity to address a global audience is a great honor. However, in order to make sure that this diverse audience is able to understand what you are saying and allows you to connect with them, you are going to have to modify how you give your speech. Changing your speech to meet the needs of a global audience will allow your audience to understand what you are telling them and to appreciate you as a speaker.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: Do you think that you should modify your hand gestures when speaking to a global audience?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

I’m sorry to have to be the one to share this with you, but when you are giving a speech your audience really does not care about you. Oh yeah, you picked a topic that you thought would appeal to them, you have some experience or expertise in this area that you told the world about in order to get people to show up for the speech, and so on. However, as your audience sits there in those uncomfortable chairs, it turns out that they really don’t give a darn about you. Instead, when it comes to your speech, they want to know whats in it for them. How are you going to make this happen?

The post How To Speak To A Global Audience appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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You only have a limited amount of time to give your next speech
Image Credit: Alex The Shutter

As we are putting together our next speech, we may get caught up in the moment and the importance of public speaking. We have so many great things that we want to share with our audience that we we keep adding more and more content to our speech in order to make sure that we share all of it with them. This, of course, brings up a significant problem for every speaker. We have only been allocated so much time in which to give our speech. We need to make sure that we don’t run over the time that we’ve been given. What’s a speaker to do?

The Problem With Speaking Time

A little while ago I had been asked to give a 30 minute speech. This was an important speech to a group of university professors. The person who had set up the event was very clear to me – don’t run over. Realizing that I had limited time, I carefully created a slide deck with 30 slides assuming that on average I’d end up taking about 2 minutes per slide. As we all do, I spent time before the speech practicing it in order to get better at giving it and to make sure that it fit into the allocated time. Initially it was too long, but I made some cuts and got it down to just about exactly 30 minutes. My big day finally came and much to my horror the person introducing me spoke slowly and said a lot. By the time that I took the stage 5 minutes had gone by. Now I only had 25 minutes in which to give my 30 minute speech. I compensated by speeding things up on some of my slides and ended up finishing just as my host was standing up to bring things to a close. Close call!

As speakers we need to realize that no matter how important we think that our speech is, we’ll always have a limited amount of time in which to deliver it. We need to remember that keeping our speech within the time that we have been allocated is simply a courtesy to both other speakers and our audience. If that is not enough of a motivator for you, then you need to realize that if you don’t stay within your allocated time, then you probably will never be asked back to speak again.

So how do we make sure that a speech that we’ve created will fit into the time that we’ve been allocated to give it? If you are like most of us, after you have determined what you want to say in a speech, you will then take the time to read it out loud to yourself while timing how long that takes. If you discover that your speech is taking up more time than you have been given, you’ve got one choice – start trimming your content. This is not an easy process. One of the biggest challenges that speakers face is that it can be very difficult to try to determine just exactly how much of your existing speech your should trim. This is made even more difficult if you are making big changes. Just to make things a bit more difficult we don’t always have a chance to practice reading our speech out loud against a clock because of where we may be located: at work, in a library, in car, etc.

Turns Out That It’s All About Syllables

So I’ve got some good news for you. It turns out that there is an easy and quick (and silent!) way that you can use to determine how long will take to read you speech. What you may not know is that how long your speech will take will depend more on the number of syllables that it contains instead of the number of words that the speech contains. It turns out that there is not a lot of correlation between the number of syllables in a speech and the number of words in a speech. Keep in mind that words can range from monosyllables (“I”, “you”, “Iit”, etc.) to multsyllable (“polymorphic”). This does pose a bit of a challenge for a speaker: the programs that we normally use, like Microsoft Word, only tell us how many words our speech contains and not how many syllables.

The good news is that that internet thing can provide us with a number of different tools that if we submit our written speech to them, will go ahead and count the number of syllables in the speech. One of the more popular ones is called www.HowManySyllables.com. In order to get the most value out of one of these types of sites, you need to start off by taking the time to read your speech. When you reach the allocated time for the speech, even if you have not reached the end of the speech, you need to create a written copy of your speech that just contains the words that you just read. Send this file to the syllable counter software. The number of syllables that the program reports as being in the document that you sent to it will be the number of syllables that you are going to want to make up your entire speech.

Once you completed this task, you are going to want to take your entire speech and go ahead and submit it to the syllable counting software. What you’ll want to do is to compare the number of syllables in your complete speech to the number of syllables that are in portion of the speech that filled your available time. There will be two possible outcomes. If you have fewer syllables in your full speech than were in your sample speech, you will now have a chance to extend some of your pauses or perhaps add additional content.

If it turns out that your speech contains more syllables than were in the sample speech that you submitted to the syllable counter, then you are going to have to make changes to your speech. The good news here is that it turns out that you may not have to be ruthless when you make your cuts to your speech. Instead, you can take a look at the words that you are currently using in your speech. Look for words that have multiple syllables and replace them with words that have fewer syllables. As a final step in this process, you will want to take the speech that you have created that has fewer syllables in it than your sample speech and practice saying it out loud using a clock. It never hurts to double check!

What All Of This Means For You

As speakers we spend a great deal of our time as we prepare for our next speech trying to make sure that our speech contains all of the information that we want to use to share the benefits of public speaking with our audience. However, it can be all too easy to forget that we don’t have unlimited time for our speech. We’ve been allocated a specific amount of time and we are expected to stay within that time period. What this means is that we need to find a way to measure the speech that we create and make sure that it will end up fitting into the time that we have. This is not an easy thing to do.

As a speaker I have been placed into situations where although I had been told how much time I had been allocated, it ended up being even shorter than that. I had to adjust my speech to make it fit and that was not easy to do. Speakers need to understand that the reason that they have to make their speech fit into the time that they have been allocated is because it a courtesy to both your audience and any other speakers. Most speakers will practice reading their speeches out loud in order to see if they are too long or too short. However, this is not always possible to do. A better way to go about making this determination is to count the number of syllables in the speech. This can be done using online syllable counting programs. Read a speech until you reach your time limit and then submit the words that you said to a syllable counter. The number that you get back will tell you how many syllables your speech can contain. Instead of having to trim a speech that has too many syllables, you can simply reduce the number of syllables that some of the words in the speech use in order to reduce your time.

What we have to say is important. However, just like everyone else we have to be sensitive about the amount of time that we have available to communicate our message to our audience. Knowing how long our speech is going to take is the key to making sure that we are going to be able to fit into the time that has been allocated to us. It turns out that timing how long it takes us to say a certain number of words is not a good way to measure the required time. A better way to measure the number of syllables in our speech. Once we know how many syllables we have time for, we can shape our speech to meet both our time and audience requirements.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: Do you think that your speech can have too many “short” words in it?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As speakers we understand the importance of public speaking and so we tend to spend a lot of time thinking about what we want to say in our next speech. We’ll worry about what words to use, how we should stand when we are on stage, and the importance of making good eye contact with our audience. However, it turns out that there is something even more important than this that we should be spending our time thinking about. We should really be spending our time thinking about our audience. Just exactly who are they? Perhaps even more importantly, where did they come from? I think that we can easily answer this question when our audience is a local audience, but what are the correct answers when we are dealing with a global audience?

The post Time, Time, Your Next Speech Is All About Time appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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In order to say it like you mean it, you are going to have to boost your vocal power
Image Credit: Kevin Doncaster

When you give your next speech, how do you think that your audience will be judging you? It turns out that, not unsurprisingly, a big part of how your audience will be judging you is going to be based on how your voice sounds to them. You may not be aware of it, but as humans, we are wired to have our emotions, memories, and in some cases even thoughts automatically triggered when we hear someone else’s voice. What this means for you as a speaker is that you are going to want to make sure that your audience likes listening to your voice so that they can experience the importance of public speaking. How can you go about making this happen?

Evaluating Your Own Voice

In order to understand how you sound to your audience, the very first thing that you are going to have to do is to take the time to evaluate your own voice. After you’ve given a speech, you need to think about how it went. Ask yourself if your voice came across as being influential or was it ineffective? When you were delivering your speech, did you feel as though the words that you were using was supporting what you were saying? Was there anything in your voice that may have betrayed the message that you were trying to deliver?

All of these are great questions to ask. However, if you are like most speakers you’ll have a great deal of difficulty trying to answer them. The reason that this is so hard to do is because we normally don’t listen to our own voice. If you want to be able to evaluate your own voice, then you are going to have to record yourself. It can be helpful if you get someone else to listen to your speech also. Your goal here should be to see if you can uncover any areas that may be causing you problems and if so, then come up with ways to fix them.

End With A Bang

So just exactly what kind of problems might a public speaker be facing? One of the more common problems that we all may face has to do with how we go about ending our sentences. Sure, we may start a sentence strong. However, something happens about half way through that sentence. By the time that we’ve reached the end of the sentence, our last few words may have trailed off enough that it could be either difficult or perhaps even impossible for our audience to hear what we are saying.

A key indicator that this could be a problem that you are facing is that you find yourself running out of breath as you get to the end of a sentence. The problem that this is going to cause is that your audience may have difficulty hearing you and they may end up feeling as though your ideas were incomplete. You need to take the time to deliver your words with equal energy so that your audience will believe in your commitment to what you are saying.

Speak Up!

As though trailing off at the end of a sentence was not bad enough, it turns out that things can get even worse. Sometimes we mumble. Now mumbling can be confused with the trailing off at the end of a sentence problem, but it can happen anywhere during a sentence. You may be aware that you are doing this simply because for the longest time people have been saying to you “can you repeat that?”

So what causes this mumbling? What causes mumbling is when the speaker has poor enunciation. There are a lot of different reasons why this can occure. When a speaker is feeling a great deal of either stress or tension, then what can happen is that they start to hold all of this in their neck, jaw, and even their mouth. When they do this, all of sudden it can become very difficult for them to open their mouth all the way. The result of this is that their words start to become mumbled.

Bring It Out Of The Gutter

As strange as it may sound, some speakers deliberately modify how their voice sounds. Often what they will do is to lower their voice down as far as it can go. They then change their speaking style so that certain syllables get lengthened and end up vibrating in the back of your throat. The ultimate result of all of this manipulation is that the speaker speaks with a low pitched scratchy almost gravelly sound. This technique is most common in young women who are trying to sound like celebrities that they want to emulate.

The problem with doing this is that your audience may not respond to it well. Older audience members may perceive this type of voice as being annoying. A study that has been done of different types of voices revealed that this type of voice were seen as being less competent and less desirable. What this means for a speaker is that we need to stay away from using this type of voice while we are giving a speech.

What All Of This Means For You

As a speaker, how our audience sees us is very important to us because we want them to experience the benefits of public speaking. It turns out that one of the key factors that affects how an audience will be seeing us during a speech is our voice. This is why we have to take the time to listen to our own voice. We need to be looking for areas that could be turning our audience off and finding ways to fix them.

There are a number of different things that can be going on with our voice that can be taking away from the message that we are trying to deliver to our audience. The first of these is that we can be trailing off at the end of our sentences. When we do this, our audience has to strain to hear what we are saying and they may not catch our final words. We will start to sound incomplete. Additionally, we may mumble. Mumbling happens when we are not fully opening our mouths. We may be doing this because we are feeling stress in our head and mouth. Some speakers actually modify their voice to make it lower and more gravely in order to sound like certain celebrities. This can go over poorly with your audience.

The great thing about our voices is that we are in control of them! We can change and modify our voices as we see fit. We need to take the time to understand how our audience hears us and then we need to take steps to make ourselves sound even better to them. The better we sound, the more they will be impressed by our speech!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: What do you think the best way to evaluate your current voice is?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As we are putting together our next speech, we may get caught up in the moment and the importance of public speaking. We have so many great things that we want to share with our audience that we we keep adding more and more content to our speech in order to make sure that we share all of it with them. This, of course, brings up a significant problem for every speaker. We have only been allocated so much time in which to give our speech. We need to make sure that we don’t run over the time that we’ve been given. What’s a speaker to do?

The post How Speakers Can Boost Their Vocal Power appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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Why Your Business May Need a Staffing Agency

Did you know that in September and November 2018 the unemployment rate in the United States dropped to a 49-year low of 3.7%? During and following the 35-day partial government shutdown, it rose to 3.9% in December and 4% in January 2019. With the government shutdown over, the unemployment rate is once again expected to drop. You can read more about this here.

 

What does the drop in the rate of unemployment mean for the employer?

 

The reduced rate of unemployment simply means that you have less people who are not employed. We can therefore assume that the few left unemployed are either unemployable or largely unskilled. Looking at it also from the economic point of view – the law of supply and demand, with the low unemployment rate, the demand for skilled workers will be more competitive as most of them will likely already be employed.

 

Faced with this situation, an employer can decide to settle for anyone who is available and by so doing risk a drop in the quality of their deliverables. An employer can also decide to poach skilled workers from other firms. This may mean paying higher wages than they would normally have paid.

 

Interestingly, whether an employer decides to choose their staff from available workers or to poach from other companies, their best bet for finding the best in any of these categories is going through a staffing agency.

Benefits of Using a Staffing Agency

To help you properly appreciate why your business may be better off with a staffing agency, we will look at some benefits that these agencies can offer you.

 

Efficiency

Staffing agencies deal exclusively with the employment and staff management process. This makes them much better at it than most Human Resource departments can ever hope to be.

With this level of expertise, they are able to quickly match you with the right candidate. This efficiency on their part also increases your own efficiency. Assuming you need a particular set of skills to complete a project, you can easily get a temporary staff from an agency without jeopardizing the project. Once the project is done, the temporary help goes back to the pool.

This keeps things very simple for the employer.

 

Time Saving

The efficiency we mentioned above helps you save a lot of time. The other alternative would have been to go through the process of advertising for the job, shortlisting applicants for the job, interviewing shortlisted candidates and going through the whole “shinding” until you find (or not) the right candidate.

When you turn to a staffing agency, they simply pick the best fit from their pool within a very short time.

 

Cost Saving

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, it takes about 42 days to fill a position and the process costs about $4,129. That is if a business or organization is hiring internally. Both the cost and how long it takes is significantly reduced when you hire through an agency.

The reason is simple. Whereas you will need to start from the very beginning, placing ads and taking it from there, the agency already has qualified and potential employees in their database. All they need to do is find out which best suits your requirements.

Aside from the direct cost of hiring, there is also the issue of lost revenue. Some members of your existing team will need to focus on the hiring process, thereby spending time on activities that do not yield direct revenue. Using an agency takes care of this, ensuring that your revenue does not drop while you are trying to fill a position.

 

The above are just a few examples of some of the benefits a business can gain from using a staffing agency. To check out more benefits, you can read this: https://content.wisestep.com/awesome-benefits-hiring-staffing-agency/.

The post Why Your Business May Need a Staffing Agency appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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When we speak, we really want to get a yes from our audience
Image Credit: Sean Davis

Note: This week’s post has been written by Jeff Tippett. Jeff is an author, owner of a public affairs + communications firm and professional speaker. He’s an expert on persuasive communications.

Before we look at some strategies to help you position your message for a favorable response, I encourage you to first look inside yourself. How do you approach asking? Are you an asker or a guesser? Let’s talk about both.

Some people are fine with asking questions without regard for the outcome. In other words, they’re fine with asking anything at all and are readily willing to accept no. Other people fall into the guesser category. Those in this category avoid making “the ask” without being pretty certain the answer will be yes. People in this category will often put out feelers to better predict the outcome. These people often ease into the ask, or don’t even have to make it at all. By edging closer and closer to the desired outcome, their audience will often be persuaded through this strategic, indirect approach to persuading.

Have you ever asked someone to marry you? If so, what was your approach? This answer is a huge indicator of your style. For me, when I proposed, I was a guesser. I put out multiple feelers. I tested the water. And, in fact, we ended up planning a wedding without the traditional proposal. And that path worked for us.

Understanding your style will help you best prepare for your “ask.” Like my wedding proposal (or lack thereof), you may end up getting your “yes” without ever asking! Or if you are an “asker,” I suggest you make overly certain you’ve taken all necessary steps before you officially make the “ask.” Now that you better understand how you ask questions, it’s time to think through your strategy of positioning your message. Let’s explore three ways of positioning:

Loss Aversion vs. Prospect Theory

Loss aversion is the theory that contends people prefer to avoid losses more than they do making gains. When positioning your ask, you should consider an approach that suggests what your user will lose instead of what they will gain.

For example, if you put a time limit on a special discount, messaging about losing this discount will most likely catch your users attention and prompt them to act. Or if you message that they will lose access to something, you can also likely prompt users to decide in your favor.

Emotion vs. Logic (fear, hate, anger)

“People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”– Zig Ziglar

Those of us who process information in a more logical manner often likewise frame our asks logically. And while, for some, that will work, in general, people will tend to gravitate to their emotions in decision-making. Though it admittedly sounds bad, people will often take action based on fear quicker than any other emotion.

We feel before we think.

What happens when you intersect loss aversion with fear? You get a powerful tool to persuade. Consider the 2016 U.S. presidential election. One of the most powerful ads of that political cycle was one produced by the National Rifle Association. This ad was intended to make people fearful of Hillary Clinton, alleging she would take away their guns. The ad was a $5M buy, the NRA’s largest of that cycle. That tells you they were banking on the success of combining loss aversion with fear.

In the 30-second ad, a woman is awakened from her sleep by the sound of glass breaking, and immediately calls 911. The voiceover states: “She’ll call 911. Average response time: 11 minutes. Too late.” Realizing she’s in danger, with no help coming, she reaches for the safe, enters the code, and reaches to remove a handgun. But, all of a sudden, the safe and the gun vanish. The voiceover continues: “She keeps a firearm in this safe for protection. But Hillary Clinton could take away her right to self-defense. And with Supreme Court justices, Hillary can.” With a cut then to the home wrapped in crime scene tape and blue lights piercing the night, the narrator concludes: “Don’t let Hillary leave you protected with nothing but a phone.”

Why was this commercial so effective and worthy of the largest ad buy for the National Rifle Association for that cycle? Fear. And it worked.

Binary vs. non-binary options

Sometimes, we think our ask has to be black and white, yes or no. So, in response, we structure our ask as an all-or-nothing deal. But does it have to be? Or are there multiple potential options that might work? This is your opportunity to be creative; find a way that everyone wins. Expand your own thinking, as to the possibilities.

And while I will agree that often times the decision is a yes or no, I don’t think it always has to be the case, nor should it. If you understand what you want and what your user wants, can’t you find a way that both of you can walk away happy?

On a public affairs campaign I ran, the bill had to be approached in a creative manner. Had we positioned this bill to be a yes or no, it would likely have failed. There were areas of the state that would never be in favor, and so their legislators would have voted against it. And there were areas of the state that were begging for the bill’s success. So, the bill’s sponsors decided to make the adoption within municipalities opt in instead of automatic. That way, legislators representing districts that would not be in favor could vote yes without impacting their own districts. The result? The bill became law. And with very little pushback.

If you’re making a binary ask, it’s important not to back your audience into a corner too soon because it’s really hard to move them out once you’ve boxed them in. Give them lots of flexibility to move and change their viewpoint.

You see, sometimes, we push people to make a decision way too soon. I suggest you give time to receive and process information. Early on, it’s fine to test the waters or see what they are thinking. In fact, it can be very helpful to provide additional, clarifying information as needed. Sharing information in this manner can greatly increase your chances of persuading. However, if you push for an answer too soon, you might get an answer you don’t want. And it’s a lot harder to move someone once a decision has been made. So make it easier on yourself and postpone the ask.

Take these tips and remember them next time you’re writing, speaking, or just having a conversation. They’ll prove useful if you learn to use them.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: If you don’t think that your speech is generating a favorable response, what should you do?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

When you give your next speech, how do you think that your audience will be judging you? It turns out that, not unsurprisingly, a big part of how your audience will be judging you is going to be based on how your voice sounds to them. You may not be aware of it, but as humans, we are wired to have our emotions, memories, and in some cases even thoughts automatically triggered when we hear someone else’s voice. What this means for you as a speaker is that you are going to want to make sure that your audience likes listening to your voice so that they can experience the importance of public speaking. How can you go about making this happen?

The post Positioning Your Message So People Say Yes appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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We all have blind spots, we just may not know what they are…
Image Credit: Adam Heath

So here’s an interesting question for you: could you drive your car if it didn’t have any mirrors. I’m thinking that the answer would be yes, but boy-o-boy would we all be nervous as we first backed up, and then headed off down the road. We’d have no idea what was behind us or what might be passing us on either side. Driving would turn into a bit of a nightmare. Now we all do have mirrors on our cars and that’s a good thing. However, it turns out that those mirrors are not perfect – we can still have blind spots where things (cars, people, bikes, etc.) can exist and we can’t see them. This can be a big deal. Is it possible that when we are giving a speech we may also have blind spots that we don’t know about?

The Blind Spots That We Have

It turns out that there is a bit of a problem that we all have when we are giving a speech – we can’t see ourselves. In fact, it gets a little worse for us. We really don’t know what we don’t know. We may or may not have a blind spot, but since we can’t tell if they are there, we don’t have any way to deal with them. We use mirrors to shrink our blind spots when we are driving. In the office, a lot of firms use an evaluation method called 360-degree review to get a complete picture of someone’s performance. What we need as speakers are ways that we can see what can’t be seen.

So here’s something that can happen to any speaker. We take the stage to deliver a speech since we understand the importance of public speaking we think that it goes well. We believe that our audience saw us as being a bold presenter. However, it turns out that they really saw us as coming across as being arrogant. Or perhaps we find ourselves in a situation where we need to get creative and improvise. We’re pleased with how well we pulled this off. However, it turns out that our audience now views us as being unprepared. What is going on here is that we’re struggling with a blind spot. Specifically, perceptions are in the eyes of our audience and they often don’t end up matching how we view our presentation going over. Just to make things a little bit worse, more often than not we may not even realize that there is a disparity in how we see our presentation and how our audience sees it.

Another blind spot that a lot of speakers have is when the audience’s perception of us does not match our intention. When we stand before an audience, we are hoping that our words will end up having an impact on them. We tend to judge the impact that we are going to have based on our intentions – what do we want to have happen? However, all too often our intentions may turn out to be very different from how other perceive us. The big question is how do you come across to your audience? The best way to find out how an audience views us is to ask them for feedback. However, as speakers we need to make sure that we are ready to receive this feedback. It may be quite jarring especially if our audience is not seeing us the way that we think that they should be.

Solving The Blind Spot Problem

So we have blind spots when we talk. What’s a speaker to do about this? If we can all agree that we can’t see our blind spots, then we are going to need some help in finding out what they are. We need members of our audience to provide us with the feedback that we need. How are we coming across to the audience? What are we not being able to see for ourselves? The goal of getting this kind of feedback is to provide you with an opportunity to grow as you harmonize your projection of yourself onto your audience with how they are seeing you. The goal is to get your intentions to match your results.

One of the most common blind spots that all speakers have is our faces. We simply can’t see ourselves while we are speaking so we have no way of knowing how our face looks. However, our audience spends the entire speech studying our face and we are sending them a message. Our facial expressions may be sending our audience unintended signals that we are not aware of. Our audience will be watching our face and they will be interpreting our facial expressions. The message of our speech may be filled with affection and joy, but if we are frowning or have a look of disdain on our face then our audience will end up being confused about what message we are trying to communicate.

As speakers we need to be careful when we go looking for feedback on our speaking blind spots. The information that we’ll be getting will be very valuable, but at the same time it may end up being quite jarring. We don’t necessarily see ourselves the way that our audience is seeing us and when we realize that we’re going to have to find ways to deal with it. The feedback that we are given will need to be calibrated to what we are going to be able to deal with. A good suggestion is to not seek out feedback immediately after we get done giving a speech. Emotionally we are not ready for any sort of critical feedback at this point in time. Instead, let some time pass before you ask for the feedback that may reveal your blind spots.

What All Of This Means For You

As public speakers, hopefully the one thing that all of us are always working towards is becoming better so that we can share the benefits of public speaking. This giving speeches stuff is hard to do well and so we’d like to keep becoming better and better at it. However, it turns out that becoming better can be a very difficult thing to do. The reason that it’s so hard to do is because every speaker suffers from what are called “blind spots”. We can’t see ourselves giving a speech and so we don’t fully understand how our audience is viewing us. We need to find a way to understand how they are seeing us.

Blind spots can show up in a lot of different ways. We can deliver a speech and think that we did a great job only to discover that we were not able to connect with our audience. We might give a speech with the best of intents, but it turns out that our audience’s perception of us was all off. In order to solve our blind spot problem, we need to get members of our audience to provide us with honest feedback on how we did. We always need to keep in mind that our face may be causing us problems. If our expressions don’t line up with what we are saying, then our audience is going to be left feeling confused. However, we also need to keep in mind that getting this type of feedback can be somewhat jarring. We need to make sure that we take the time to make sure that we are prepared to both hear it and then to take action based on it.

In order to become better public speakers we need to take the time to find out how our audience views both us and our speech. However, all of us suffer from blind spots that can make this very difficult to do. If we take the time to work with others and prepare ourselves to receive the feedback that they can provide us with, then we can overcome our blind spots and see ourselves as others see us. Once we can do this, then we can truly start to become better public speakers.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: When do you think would be the best time to get feedback on how your next speech went?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

The reason that an audience will come to listen to what you have to say in your next speech is that they understand the importance of public speaking and they hope to learn something new. The thinking is that you have had an experience, done some research, or experienced something that changed you in a way that you will now be able to share with your audience. It is through your words that your audience hopes to experience what you have experienced and by doing so change their lives. However, when you are pulling your speech together you will probably do some research. You’ll find facts and include them in your speech in order to lend more weight to what you’ll be telling your audience. What if the information that you add to your speech is fake news? What does this mean for your speech and your message?

The post Do You Know What Your Speaker Blind Spot Is? appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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As a speaker, the stage is a tool to give your speech more impact
Image Credit: Rokok Indonesia

As speakers, we really don’t have all that many tools that we can work with to show the importance of public speaking when we are delivering a speech to an audience. Sure we have our voice and some body language, but is there anything else that we can use to give some impact to our speech? It turns out that the answer is yes: the stage that we are standing on. All too often, speakers don’t fully understand how to make the best use of this wonderful tool. It’s there to help you to transform your speech into a spellbinding presentation.

Use Blocks To Give Your Speech

When you think about the stage that you will be occupying during your speech, you need to make sure that you don’t think about it as though it was just one place. Instead, you need to take the time to break it up into a collection of separate blocks. The reason that you are going to want to do this is that you’ll want to be able to move to specific areas of the stage at specific points in time in order to stress a point that you are trying to make in your speech. Your movement will be done to achieve a dramatic effect.

Restrict Your Movement

Although a stage gives you the opportunity to wander just about anywhere that you’d like to go, you need to be very careful. You are going to want to be sure that you don’t move on stage unless you have a motivation to do so. The one thing that you are not going to want to do is to pace back and forth on the stage. This will just communicate to your audience that you are tense or upset and that will serve to make them tense or upset. What you need to keep in mind is that if there is no reason for you to move to a new location while on stage, then don’t do it.

Different Characters / Different Places

In most of our speeches, there comes a time when different people are interacting. When this occurs in your speech, allow each of the people that you are talking about to occupy a different spot on the stage. Keep in mind that this does not have to be a big move. Rather, a single step to either side can do the trick. Your goal here is to provide each character in your speech with their own piece of real estate.

Use Your Entire Body

One of the biggest advantages of being able to use the entire stage is that you will be able to fully use your body to tell your speech. This means that you can’t just think about your speech, you are actually going to have to feel what you want to say. Since you can move to any place on the stage to deliver your speech, pick a spot and plant yourself there. Then deliver your speech like you really mean it. Your audience will both hear your words and see your body language and you’ll be able to get your message across to them.

What All Of This Means For You

As speakers we stand before our audience with very little to work with. We’ve got our speech, our voice, and with a little luck our confidence. However, when you are also permitted to make use of the stage that you stand on, then all of sudden you have another powerful tool that you can use to connect with your audience and show them the benefits of public speaking. You just need to make sure that you know how to use it.

Although the stage may look like a large unstructured space, as a speaker you need to view it as a set of connected blocks. Each one of the blocks can be used to support a different part of your speech. Although it may seem as though you can spend your speech wandering all over the stage, you really can’t. You need to make sure that all of your movements have a purpose and that your audience understands why you are making the movement. If your speech has different characters interacting, then pick out a spot on the stage for each of the characters to occupy. When they speak, make sure that you are in that spot. Finally, we all know how important body language is when we are giving a speech. When you can use the entire stage, this give you an opportunity to position yourself so that your audience can take in your entire body and allow your body language to communicate your message as well as your words.

The goal of any speech that we give is to find a way to connect with our audience so that we can get our message across to them. When we have an opportunity to use the stage that we will be presenting from as a part of our speech we need to take full advantage of it. However, the stage is a double edged weapon – if we don’t use it correctly, it can end up taking away from our speech. Learn how to make the most of your stage and then prepare to give the best speech that you’ve ever given.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: Do you think that there is any part of a stage that a speaker should never use?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

So here’s an interesting question for you: could you drive your car if it didn’t have any mirrors. I’m thinking that the answer would be yes, but boy-o-boy would we all be nervous as we first backed up, and then headed off down the road. We’d have no idea what was behind us or what might be passing us on either side. Driving would turn into a bit of a nightmare. Now we all do have mirrors on our cars and that’s a good thing. However, it turns out that those mirrors are not perfect – we can still have blind spots where things (cars, people, bikes, etc.) can exist and we can’t see them. This can be a big deal. Is it possible that when we are giving a speech we may also have blind spots that we don’t know about?

The post The Stage Is Your Friend appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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In order to be funny, speakers need to find a way to twist their words
Image Credit: Thomas Hawk

So can we take just a moment and talk about being funny? It sure seems like some speakers have no problem getting their audience to laugh. They take the stage, they open their mouth, and almost instantly everyone is giggling and laughing. Then there are the rest of us. Clearly they understand the importance of public speaking. Look, I like to laugh just as much as the next person; however, getting other people to laugh has always been a bit of a challenge for me. What to say? When to say it? How to say it? Well, it turns out that there is a fairly simple way to get people to laugh – you just have to know how to twist your words.

The Art Of Twisting

So perhaps before we dive in here too far, we should first spend a bit of time thinking about what seems to make people laugh. People tend to laugh when they have been surprised. When the speaker has told them something that they were not expecting. The good speakers know how to bring their audiences along with them, allowing them to think that they know what the speaker will say next, and then surprising them. If we take the time to study how these speakers get their audience to laugh, then we can better understand how even those of us who are not all that funny can get our audiences to laugh with us.

At it’s very heart, humor is all about surprise. As a speaker we want to surprise our audience in a way that will cause them to laugh. As speakers what we want to do with the speech that we are giving is to bring our audience along with us. We want them to be comfortable with what we are telling them and we want them to believe that they know where we are preparing to take them next. This is exactly the moment in time that we as speakers want to take our audience in a brand new direction. One that they never saw coming. We want to redirect them and cause them to end up some place that they were not expecting to be. So what’s an example of this type of twist? How about “Gentlemen, you have no idea how much you are going to miss your girlfriend until the day that your wife meets her.”

The structure of using a twist in your next speech is actually quite simple: you start with a short statement, you then pause for just a moment, and finally you provide your audience with a surprise redirection. It’s this surprise that is going to provide you with the audience laughter that you have been looking for. Once you become aware of the power of using a twist in your speech in order to get your audience to laugh, you’ll start to discover that other speakers are already using this technique. This simple sentence with the embedded twisted ending is exactly what you have been looking for in order to consistently get your audience to laugh as a part of your speech.

How To Twist

When a speaker decides to add a twist to their next speech, it’s going to turn out to be easy and, this is the best part, it comes with very little risk to the speaker. Since a twist is made up of two parts, this means that a speaker who is looking to insert twists into a speech can take common expressions that their audience is used to and then changing the second part. Twists are all around us. The next time that you find yourself listening to a speech, Listen for the speaker to insert a twist of their own into their speech in order to cause their audience to laugh. The reason that using the twist in a speech is so valuable is because if you audience doesn’t get it, all you have to do is move on with no damage done. Additionally, inserting a twist into your speech can cause your audience to once again start to pay attention to what you are saying.

It turns out that there are a number of variations of the twist that speakers can use in order to get their audience to laugh. Your audience wants to be able to relate to you and that’s why they love it when during your speech you put yourself down. Self-deprecating humor opens you up to your audience. This all has to be done playfully. You can also work and aside into your speech if you want to have a short side comment with your audience. An aside is an insider’s remark to the audience talking about something that you have just told them. Your aside should make your audience laugh and should contain a twist as a surprise. Finally, you can work an exaggeration into your speech in order to surprise your audience and because it is so absurd it will make them laugh.

Adding a twist to your next speech is an easy thing to do. The reason that it is so easy is because each type of twist has the same basic structure. The structure of a twist will be easy for your audience to understand. This should make it easy for you to get them to laugh at the points in your speech that you want them to laugh. In order to get starting creating twists that can be added to your speech, you’ll need to create four lists: twists, asides, put-downs, and exaggerations. When you come across examples of each of these you can then add them to the appropriate list. Once you have started to create your lists, you can then start to incorporate them into your speeches. The end result of all of this effort will be audiences that will laugh during your speech and get a lot more out of what you share with them.

What All Of This Means For You

Every speaker would like to be able to make their audience laugh in order to share with them the benefits of public speaking. However, it turns out that this is actually fairly difficult to make happen. There are some speakers who are naturally able to amuse their audiences; however, for the rest of us it can be a real challenge. It turns out that there is a relatively simple way to get an audience to laugh: include a twist in your next speech.

So it turns out that people tend to laugh when they have been surprised. This means that as speakers we need to create ways to bring our audience along with us during our speech. They will think that they know where we are taking them. However, all of sudden we’ll make a sharp turn and we’ll end up taking them someplace that they were not expecting. Twists come in several different flavors: the put-down, the aside, and the exaggeration. Adding a twist to a speech is an easy thing to do and you’re audience will be able to follow what you’ve done. The next time that you give a speech, work one or more twists into it.

For those of us who struggle to find ways to get our audiences to laugh during our speeches, the discover of the twist tool is a big deal. All of a sudden we now have a simple and powerful way to make our audience smile and laugh when we want them to. Take the time to plan out the twists that you’d like to be able to add into your speeches and then incorporate them into the next speech that you give. You’ll be amazed at how much your audience laughs and how easy it is to do.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: How many twists do you think that a speaker should incorporate into a single speech?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As speakers, we really don’t have all that many tools that we can work with to show the importance of public speaking when we are delivering a speech to an audience. Sure we have our voice and some body language, but is there anything else that we can use to give some impact to our speech? It turns out that the answer is yes: the stage that we are standing on. All too often, speakers don’t fully understand how to make the best use of this wonderful tool. It’s there to help you to transform your speech into a spellbinding presentation.

The post Speakers Who Want To Be Funny Need To Learn How To Twist Their Words appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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Conversations have their place and it’s not as a part of a speech
Image Credit:
Johan A

When you stand up in front of an audience to give a speech, something happens to you. You are transformed from just another person who happens to be in the room into the person that everyone is going to be listening to. What’s interesting about this transformation is that it has to have an impact on your voice also. However, sometimes when I’m listening to a speaker I’ll realize that they didn’t transform their voice and it’s impacting the speech that they are giving. Do you change your voice when you give a speech?

What Makes Giving A Speech Different?

We give speeches because we have information that we want to share with an audience. In order to make that happen, we write a speech, we practice our speech, and then we actually go ahead and stand in front of an audience and we deliver it. One of the things that a lot of speakers forget is that giving a speech is different than any other form of communication that we engage in. We are very much in control when we are giving a speech.

What this means for speakers is that we need to change the way that we speak. When we are having a conversation with a friend or a colleague, we have a tone and style of talking that we use. This cannot be the same tone and style that we use when we give a speech. Instead, we need to make some changes. When we are giving a speech, we are in charge. The tone of voice that we use needs to become an authoritarian voice. We have the answers and we’re going to be sharing them with our audience. We are NOT having a conversation with our audience.

This is exactly the problem that I see with some speakers. They don’t make the shift in tone and style that they need to make. The speech that they end up delivering comes across much more like they are having a conversation with their audience. The problem with this is that the audience does not necessarily feel as though they have to listen to a conversation. They can partially pay attention and use the rest of their brain to think about other things. As speakers this is exactly what we do not want to have happen.

How You Have To Change In Order To Give A Speech

So what’s exactly going on here? When we are in conversations with our friends, we speak in calm, measured tones. Our friends know that if they want to they can cut in and interrupt us at anytime with their thoughts. This is why when we are giving a speech we need to change things up. We need to boost the volume of our voice and the authority that our words carry.

When you are giving a speech, you are not asking for feedback or input from your audience. Instead, you are there to tell them about things that they don’t know. This is not a conversation, it’s a presentation. You want to command their attention and you can do this by shifting your voice and letting your audience know that something is different. This communication is going to be critical if you want to be able to grab and then hold on to your audience’s attention.

Body language can play a big role in clearly communicating to your audience that you are making a speech. When we are talking with friends, our bodies tend to slump and we give off a relaxed feeling. This has to change when we are giving a speech. I’m not saying that you have to be in your audience’s face, but you do need to clearly show them that you are awake, interested in what you are telling them, and engaged in your topic. Your excitement about your speech is what is going to reach them and will end up getting them excited about what you are talking about.

What All Of This Means For You

All too often I have the opportunity to watch a speaker give a speech that simply does not connect with his or her audience. There can be a number of different reasons why this can happen; however, one of the reasons that I see this happening over and over again is that the speaker is having a conversation with his or her audience, not delivering a speech.

Giving a speech is very different from having a conversation with a friend. We are then ones who are in control when we are giving a speech. When we are giving a speech, we need to change the tone and the style that we use to communicate with our audience. We need to become more authoritarian so that our audience will take the time to listen to us. The problem that some speakers have is that they don’t change their tone or delivery style from that of a conversation to that of a presentation. When giving a speech you have to change the tone of your voice so that your audience knows that you are in charge and that you are there to tell them things that they don’t know. Your body language also has to change so that your audience knows that you are not having a conversation with them.

I’m not knocking conversations, They have their place. However, when we are giving a speech, we need to make a series of changes in how we speak and our body language so that we can cause our audience to sit up and pay attention to what we are telling them. The next time that you give a speech, keep in mind that you are NOT having a conversation with your audience and shift into public speaking mode.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: What do you think is the best way to determine if you are giving a speech or having a conversation?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

So can we take just a moment and talk about being funny? It sure seems like some speakers have no problem getting their audience to laugh. They take the stage, they open their mouth, and almost instantly everyone is giggling and laughing. Then there are the rest of us. Clearly they understand the importance of public speaking. Look, I like to laugh just as much as the next person; however, getting other people to laugh has always been a bit of a challenge for me. What to say? When to say it? How to say it? Well, it turns out that there is a fairly simple way to get people to laugh – you just have to know how to twist your words.

The post Speakers Need To Give A Speech, Not Have A Conversation appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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