Speak With Confidence – How to Persuade and Inspire

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To speak  with confidence in public speaking it is important to be thoroughly prepared. In this series on speech preparation I have covered finding out how to benefit your listeners and researching your topic. The next step is to select the type of speech you are going to deliver. There are four types of speeches – informative, persuasive, inspirational and after dinner speech.

In my previous post I discussed the information speech. In this post I show how to persuade and inspire your audience.

To persuade
When you have to persuade people to do something which they may not want to do, or who are not certain what action they should take, you have to remember that most of us react more to sincerity than to blud¬geoning. You may be able to persuade by a purely factual appeal, but that is doubtful. These points should be remembered:
(a) Don’t only appeal to reason. Remember thatost of us can also be persuaded via our emotions.
(b)    When presenting facts, make sure that they are accurate.
(c)    Build up your case as a lawyer works out his brief. Think out every logical argument, and then try them out on someone before the speech.
(d)    Prove something. Prove that, as A happened once, B is bound to happen now because you are asking them to take the same course as
applied when A happened.
(e)    All your reasoning must be based on benefits to the listeners if they are to be persuaded to take the line of action that you advocate.
(f) Bring out as much evidence as you can. For example, if you are talking about cruelty to animals caused by traps, give evidence by eminent authorities on the suffering that these things bring to animals.
(g) Give the opinions of others. If you are trying to persuade people to vote for prison reform, give the opinions of prison wardens, psychia¬trists, members of Congress, visiting authori¬ties—anyone or any group of people who have expressed opinions favorable to your own case.
This is the easiest kind of speech of all, because only when someone is really inspired by his subject will he attempt to inspire others. Do remember, however:
(a) The inspiration of a speech will last only as long as the speech lasts, unless some points or facts are brought out which the audience can remember. If you want to inspire members of a community to work for Civil Defense, for example, your inspirational appeal to their loyalty, or your reference to those who fought and died for us, will hold the audience, but they may not take action subsequently. Dur¬ing the speech you must coldly tell them why, for their own good, they should do something about Civil Defense, and ally your inspirational talk to this.
(b)    You cannot be inspired or give inspiration unless you feel strongly about a subject.
(c)    Keep your speech short. None of us can be inspired for much longer than fifteen minutes.

If you can’t speak with confidence and have not mastered your subject you will not be able to speak to inspire or persuade. Being properly prepared will give you the confidence to speak convincingly.  You must also be convinced that the reason you speak is worthwhile otherwise it is difficult to get your point across and the audience to take action.

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