August 10th, 2011 / Author: admin
In public speaking getting the audience to be part of the speech is a great way to keep them interested.
Here is another way to cause people in an audience to feel they are a part of the program is to label or “tag” them frequently. That is, refer to them as, “My friends . . . ladies and gentlemen . . . fellow citizens . . . fellow Americans . . . neighbors . . . kind friends . . . ladies in the audience will agree . . . you gentlemen know . . . you housewives realize . . . students . . . young people . . . you farmers here tonight know . . . you businessmen see, and so on.
When a speaker sincerely, and favorably labels an audience he indicates a personal interest in the people. And this also causes listeners to feel the speaker is conversing with them direct¬y “off the cuff” rather than delivering a prepared oration designed to high pressure them into agreement.
Speakers with’ friendly informal receptive, and flexible at¬titudes toward audiences will be alert to inject intriguing bits of showmanship into their speeches. They will be more interested in getting a successful speaker-audience human relationship than in gathering persona? prestige or glory. But by getting this over¬all harmonious relationship a speaker receives the personal bene¬fits indirectly.
When a speaker uses showmanship effectively an audience feels, “That’s our boy!” and, “This is our experience rather than his monologue.”
Ideas for including showmanship in your talks:
1. Plan an interesting bit of showmanship for your next talk.
2. Make a list of all the illustrations of showmanship you have
observed in public speaking.
3. Have you observed some attempted showmanship that failed?
Why did it fail? Or if you haven’t observed tfiis what might cause
attempted showmanship to be ineffective?
4. Describe an able “showman’s” manner.
5. How would an able speaker handle the following situations
if they occurred while he was speaking:
a. The power fails so the lights all go out.
b. Someone in the audience calls out, “Who told you you
c. A cat enters the room and walks up to the speaker.
d. A baby in the audience cries.
e. Two people in the front row are whispering constantly.
£. You discover you have forgotten your notes when you
walk out to speak.
g. The chairman does a very poor job introducing you.
h. People are obviously tired physically when you come out to speak.
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August 6th, 2011 / Author: admin
Here are some advantages and techniques to getting your audience to work together in public speaking:
Anything an audience does in unison tends to encourage harmonious thinking, and thus contributes to a persuasive effect. Having done things together at the beginning of a speech listeners are more inclined to agree when a speaker asks for action. Also a spirit of good will and general agreement is fostered. Most people like to smile, to laugh, or to enjoy a listening experience. So touches of humor can be persuasive, although humor should not be emphasized in a persuasive speech. Many effective persuasive speeches contain no humor but much human interest. Good willed humor, when used in a spirit of congenial fellowship, however, has a wholesome effect. But “Smart Aleck” humor, or the type that gives a speaker a “Boy-am-I-witty!” manner, does not impress listeners favorably.
A speaker can add interest to his speech by having some popular local citizen participate in it. For instance, at a banquet a speaker was introduced to Mr. Roberts, a local jeweler. Roberts immediately told the speaker a joke. It wasn’t really humorous. The speaker didn’t even get the point. But he knew Roberts was the type of person’ who would be overjoyed to tell a joke to the audience.
So’ the speaker began his talk that evening by saying, “Now I understand some speakers try to be comedians, but I’m not going to try that this evening, because I know there is a local humorist here tonight — Mr. Roberts!”
This statement got a fair laugh. And the speaker continued, “He told us a joke before dinner which I’ll admit I didn’t get because I’m a little thick. He had to explain it to me. He doesn’t know I’m going to do this, but I want him to tell that joke again and see if you can figure it out.”
Roberts came through nicely. He was proud as punch to perform. The fact that his joke wasn’t very funny, didn’t matter. He got a big laugh and a big hand for his spirit, and the speaker was off to’ a congenial start.
After the speaker concluded, Mr. Roberts, beaming from ear to ear, went up to him, shook his hand as though they were old college chums, and pinned verbal bouquets all over him. Roberts chatted enthusiastically for several minutes — even told a couple more jokes!
When a local person takes some part in a speaker’s program indirectly the entire audience feels they have participated.
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August 2nd, 2011 / Author: admin
Here are some techniques to get audience participation that I came across:
Audience participation can be an element of effective showmanship in public speaking. The old saying, “Everyone likes to get into the act,” is probably about ninety-nine per cent true.
When the speech material permits, a speaker can get his audience into the “act” by asking for a show of hands as an answer to some question. One speaker did this by saying, “Now I’m going to ask for a show of hands. How many of you had difficulty finding a parking spot on Main Street tonight?” As the speaker talked he encouraged action by reaching for the ceiling himself. He paused for the response. Then he continued speaking, “Several did, I see. And the rest probably brought their parking spaces with them.”
Another speaker who was scheduled to speak third on a program knew the people were tired sitting, so he started his speech by saying, “Let’s all stand for a seventh inning stretch, please.” While the people were standing he walked over to an old man in the front row, put his hand gently on the old man’s shoulder-and said, “You know, I took a big chance when I asked those people to stand, didn’t I? They could have all walked right out that side door!”
Such impromptu remarks usually make favorable impressions upon listeners because this type of speaking suggests that the speaker is not going to unload a canned speech, full of clever tricks, upon an audience. It also contributes to a relaxed atmosphere.
People are inclined to follow a speaker’s directions when he puts suitable bodily action into his request. For instance, when a speaker says, “Everybody stand, please,” he reaches out with both hands open, and makes a big upward sweeping movement as though he were actually lifting everyone up.
A speaker may add a humorous touch to this request by adding, “Now shake hands with your neighbor, and if she’s your wife, kiss her!” Usually somebody will, and people get a big kick out of seeing a man kiss his wife in public.
Or a speaker could say, “I’m going to give you half a minute break. And during that time see how many people you can shake hands with. Get ready now, go!” A variation of this activity is, “Everybody stand, please. Now turn around quickly and shake hands with the person behind you.” Everyone turns and, of course, there is no one to shake hands with. With a large audience this always gets a laugh.
These simple techniques can help to keep your audience interested and give them a chance to relax. Keeping your audience relaxed and interested is an important part of being persuasive. If you are wanting to know more about effective public speaking – try out our free 7 day e-course delivered direct to your inbox by simply entering your details in the box to the right to get started straightaway.
July 30th, 2011 / Author: admin
A persuasive speaker usually needs positive emotion to persuade their audience.
“Stroking the fur the right way,” without being deceitful, is usually a more persuasive method than irritating listeners or throwing monkey wrenches into the machinery. A few speakers have successfully irritated audiences to action or persuaded with invective. But this method requires delicate handling. And, per¬aps wisely, it is not commonly used. Such an approach may backfire even when used by an expert. Most listeners like a challenge and they will endure some gentle pushing, but antagonizing remarks are usually resented.
A persuasive speaker needs strong emotional force in his speaking, although he should never let his feelings run wild or cause him to make untactful statements.
Sometimes emotional speaking which is intended to be persuasive may stimulate the opposite effect. For instance, shortly after America declared war on Germany the first time, a Hoosier politician who was running for a county office, declared in a
burst of patriotism, “If I had a drop of German blood in my veins I’d have it cut out!”
This statement was made in a community of American citizens where about three-fourths of the people were of German descent. They didn’t sympathize with Germany but they could not help having “German blood” in their veins. Even the speaker’s wife was of direct German descent!
Actually this speaker injured his listeners’ self-respect. His tactless remark was passed around, and hundreds of people who did not hear the speech, did learn one thing the speaker had said. Some people concluded that his lack of tact cost him the election. His statement was indeed tactless. He could have expressed patriotism in a way that would not have insulted those good American citizens who disliked German despotism as much as he.
Why hurt people? Words which create an “area of good feeling” are far more persuasive. Expressing sincere appreciation and praise is usually a persuasive influence. Flattery, however, is like a counterfeit coin, more often refused than accepted. And it is always unethical.
A characteristic of able showmanship is a speaker’s ability to adjust his thinking and action to last minute, or unexpected changes.
For example out on the street a loud fire siren started just as a speaker had been introduced. The speaker stood quietly until he could be heard. Then he said, “I didn’t expect to start a fire so quickly!”
Upon another occasion a chair collapsed suddenly causing a big man to fall sprawling into an aisle. The audience laughed. And they laughed again when the speaker said, “Well, I see I’m slaying them in the aisles.” But then the listeners, having had a good laugh, listened attentively to the speaker again as he continued talking seriously.
Using humor and positive emotion is an effective way to persuade people in any form of spoken communication whether it is one to one or to groups of any size. Unfortunately, today not everyone is that successful at this spoken communication especially when speaking to a group or audience of any size. If this is you and you would like to be a better speaker to groups of any size, check out our free 7 day e-course by entering your details in the box to the right and have it sent direct to your inbox and get started straightway.
July 27th, 2011 / Author: admin
In my previous post I gave an example of a speech of Lincoln’s showing off his skills as master at persuasion in public speaking.
This approach is truly a masterpiece of persuasion. It appeals to the listeners’ better nature, makes them justly proud of their heritage and fairness. They are called “friends, fellow citizens, brave and gallant people” by the speaker. He identifies himself-as one of them —”just a humble, honest person trying to get along.” Being approached by such sincere, effective persuasion how could they refuse the speaker a fair listening?
Through disappointing and “bitter experiences” Lincoln learned that honest tact is far more persuasive than bluntness or high-pressure methods. Suppose he had used the following approach in the situation referred to above:
I understand that some of you ignorant people here tonight have threatened violent harm to me. Don’t you know who I am? Evidently you are so illiterate you don’t know the law will sup¬port me in my demand for free speech here tonight. And anyone who tries to stop me will be thrown into jail for disturbing the peace. I’m going to speak whether you like it or not, and you’re going to listen!
You can imagine the negative response such remarks would get. Always it is much better to persuade as Lincoln did rather than try to force ideas upon people. “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” (Samuel Butler) Listen again to the master persuader:
. . . We don’t like to be made fun or laughed at, belittled. We aspire to a decent sense of dignity and self-respect.
Therefore, never say to listeners, “Since you don’t know about this subject I want to discuss it,” or “How many of you stopped to realize that . . . ? or “Please quit being prejudiced,, and listen to reason.” Such tactless remarks hurt the listeners’ self-respect and pride. They hurt the speaker’s chance of success. The tactful speaker reverses this. He uses self-respect and pride. Says he: “You remember so-and-so,” or “I’m sure you would rather listen. to pleasant facts than to pleasant fancy.”
An able persuader is not a yes-man or a namby-pamby individual. He is a positive, active personality who supports firmly, yet tactfully, the ideas and ideals which he feels are right and honest.
“Telling people off” may afford some speakers a bit of mor¬bid satisfaction, and occasionally this method may bulldoze listeners into submission, but it is not persuasive. Genuine persuasion is a process whereby listeners are led, willingly, often eagerly, to comply with a speaker’s suggestions.
Hows your approach to persuading people when you speak to them one on one or in a group, in a meeting or public speaking?
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