Public Speaking – Care About Your Audience

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The next time you’re tasked with giving a presentation, forget getting it right! Think about it. You do your best to prepare for a presentation you must deliver internally or externally. You’ve created a myriad of Power Point slides and have practiced each and every word over and over. You get up in front of the group to present and your become weak in the knees, you begin to sweat and your voice seems to have dropped to a whisper. What happened? Public speaking ranks as the number 1 fear of the human being. We already know this. But, what else do we know? Every presentation is made up of 3 components. We call them the 3V’s.

1. Visual 2. Vocal 3. Verbal

These components together convey the total believability of the message you are delivering. Let’s define them. The Visual component is everything you see or don’t see. It included movements that begin with the way you get out of your chair and how you return to it. It included how you are dressed, how you stand, walk, gesture and appear in front of the audience. It included any visual aids you use as well. The Vocal component includes not what you say but HOW you say it. It compromises the tone of your voice, the volume at which you speak, the rate at which you speak and the pauses you include or don’t include in your material. The Verbal component is comprised of the actual words or verbiage that you say. The words that you spent so much time writing and preparing and that are probably on the page you have in front of you to read.

Unless you are on the phone and have no visual appearance to the audience, your presentation will have these 3 components. They are the tools you have to deliver 100% impact and believability to your audience.

Now, we also know something else very important. Each of these 3 components has a completely different weight in the overall 100% believability of your message. They are astonishing!

The weight of each component follows:

VISUAL 60% VOCAL 30% VERBAL 10%

Surprised? These numbers are absolutely critical to your delivery of an exceptional presentation. It means that your visual appearance and how you say what you say matter 9X more than simply the word you speak. No wonder politicians with great poise, charisma and a convincing tone get elected so often!

The problem remains that we invest our energy in getting all the words and sentences right without paying attention to our skills in the preparation and delivery. This simply can and does not work based upon how we know human beings take in and digest information. We must follow the rules of the 3 V’s to deliver a presentation that has impact. Yes, it is work for us as a speaker, but there is a payoff.

An old, wise and very seasoned speaking coach once conveyed one of the most important messages I have ever heard on delivering presentations. This has been some of the most valuable advice I have ever received on the topic. I will share that advice with you now:

“The audience can never and will never be more excited about the presentation than the presenter.”

If you expect the folks sitting in front of you to stay with you and take an interest in your material, then you best heed the rules of thumb we are discussing here. I didn’t invent them. No one did! We just must deal with them as a presenter to deliver excellence. Most presenters want to go up in front of the audience and simply do what they feel most comfortable doing and deliver their own way. The audience pays with disinterest and boredom. You must deliver an audience centered presentation. The presentation is after all for them isn’t it? If it doesn’t work for the audience, then you are wasting their time. And time is something no one seems to have a lot of these days. You can’t change the rules. But, you can change the way you deliver your material. Practice these skills by taking a presentations skills course to drastically improve your effectiveness. It will be one of the best things you have done for yourself both personally and professionally!

About the Author

With more than 20 years experience in corporate turnaround environments, John Males brings expertise to clients in the areas of management, sales and negotiations. His customers include some of the world’s most successful firms and recognized brands. John can be reached at info@fathomtraining.com or http://www.fathomtraining.com

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