Posts Tagged ‘effective’
Saturday, August 27th, 2011
Here are 10 ideas on how you can develop more interesting stories for including in your public speaking or other oral communication occasions. These will help you whether speaking one on one, in meetings, ingroups or more formal events.
1. Listen to a speaker, such as a teacher, minister, social worker, politician, or any other speaker whose purpose is to persuade an audience for some purpose. As you listen, take notes on the illustrations the speaker uses. Were they interesting? The kind that really stimulated the audience mentally and/or emotionally? If so, why? If not, why not?
2. If the speaker you heard did not use illustrations find or recall at least one human interest illustration he could have used to support the theme of his speech. Tell this story either to a real or imagined audience and state the point it supports.
3. Listen to another speaker. Compare and contrast the illustrations this speaker used with those used by the other speaker. Always analyze why a story is weak or effective.
4. In a section of your speech notebook keep notations, or clippings of human interest illustrations on a theme of your choice.
5. Write in your own words a human interest illustration from history, biography, literature, a magazine, the news, or any other reading source.
6. Do the same from any oral source, such as other speakers, television, radio, and so on.
7. List the themes of a few stories which you think have been told so often they have become trite. Choose one of those themes and see if you can find a story which will not be trite to support it.
8. Tell the most interesting story you ever heard or read. Take only from two to five minutes for this (depending upon the amount of time the instructor has for it.) Keep the story moving! Put in interesting details but don’t waste words. Try for a dramatic effect upon the audience.
9. Study a few daily newspapers. Select several human interest illustrations. For each illustration write the theme it would support best. Choose the most effective illustration you found and tell it to other peopl. After others have done likewise frankly discuss the merits or weaknesses of any illustration used.
10. Read a biography of some person you admire. Relate orally the incident from this biography which impressed you most vividly.
If you do want to improve public speaking and reap the benefits that effective public speakers receive, you can get started straightaway with our free e-course on effecive public speaking by entering your details in the box to the right.
Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
When you speak in public is being very well-spoken or more down to earth more effective?
School teachers found fault with Dizzy Dean’s baseball broadcasts because he said, “Me and Paul,” or, “He slud in at third!” But ol’ Diz is a highly effective sports announcer. Not because he makes, grammatical errors, however, but because he is informal and enthusiastic.
One of the disk jockeys at- WSM, Tennessee, is called Mr. Country Music. His style ot speaking is unusually informal.
“Well, now, how are all my pedal-pushin’ (truck driving) buddies tonight?” he’ll say. “I jist got a letter here from a feller way down in Georgie. Him and his little sugar-burger (what?) are listenin’ to us tonight. And we got a long-handled call from Montana. Way out yonder! Well, I’m sendin’ you my little red garters (regards). Hey, how about hearin’ from some of you fellers down there in Alabama? If I don’t hear pretty soon I’m comin’ down there and slap you across the face with a wet squirrel! I’m comin’ down there anyway pretty soon. I shore like them cat-head bis¬cuits and I want to sop gravy with you.”
Along with Mr. Country Music’s chatter are plenty of big hearty Santa Claus laughs. He has a tremendous following, not because his speaking is ragged, but because he. is a warm, friendly, informal, come-shake-my-hand personality.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, with highly cultured language, got the same effect. He didn’t make straight A’s in college, but he was well-educated, brilliant. And he was a master in the art of understanding. In that subject he would have made A plus. FDR knew the great masses of people like the “common touch.” He didn’t call his radio addresses White House lectures. They were fireside chats and, when he talked, listeners felt as if a friendly uncle were really chatting with them in their own homes.
When President Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” he didn’t voice a new idea. Plato expressed the same thought many years ago. Others have echoed it through the years, but Roosevelt made it especially persuasive by clothing it with human qualities such as warmth, optimism, and confidence. “From the very first his self-assurance was convincing, nearly blinding with the great white light of promise it shed over the vast surrounding gloom,” said H. V. Kaltenborn.
Many dyed-in-the-wool Republicans surely didn’t vote for Franklin D. Roosevelt because he was a Democrat or because he was well-educated and used proper grammar. He was unusually persuasive rather because of excellent personal characteristics such as1 warmth, understanding, informality, friendliness, and optimism.
Some years later these personal qualities became evident in a Republican president. The simple statement, “I like Ike,” and the persona] qualities that made it true — those three little -words.—-”were far more persuasive than a book about. Eisenhower’s” education or military career would have been.
Certainly- education, and the ability to think, can contribute definitely to persuasion. But a person may have the’ combined wisdom of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and not be a persuasive speaker unless he also has personal qualities that inspire listeners to say, “I’m with you!”
Lack of warmth and human understanding kept Woodrow Wilson from being persuasive. No one would doubt his brilliancy. His logic was compelling, his arguments flawless, but he lacked that human touch which is so necessary for active per¬suasion.
One can never guess accurately what might have happened in history of course, but Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations, after World War I, might have become a reality if his human qualities had been as excellent as his brilliant mind. Persuading depends upon both feeling and thinking. And an effective speaker stimulates both. If it is ever a question of one or the other, a persuasive speaker knows people are far more likely to act because of feeling rather than thought. A combination of the two processes, however, is always highly desirable.
Effective public speaking takes some more application in using feelings and thinking to persuade an audience. But the rewards are worth it. If you want to be a more effective speaker and see the benefits for your career and/or business check out our free e-course on confident speaking by typing you details into the area to the right.
Saturday, July 9th, 2011
So what makes a good quotation to use in public speaking to build credibility and convey your message?
Answering the following questions may help a speaker choose suitable quotations:
1. Will most of the people in my audience know by reputation the person I quote?
2. Will they accept him as an expert or an authority on my subject?
3. Is the quotation I plan to use closely related to my subject? Does it really support my point?
4. Is the quotation reasonably short? Does it make good sense? Easy to understand?
5. Is this quotation too well-known; has it been used so often -it has become trite? (Examples: “Birds of a feather flock together — Honesty is the best policy,” etc.)
6. Are these the most effective quotations I can find? With a little more effort could I find better ones?
Usually the most useful quotations are statements made by authorities on a subject. At the best, a quotation is merely an opinion, and to be most effective it should be expert opinion.
Willie Jones, the “juke-box kid,” may know as much about dancing as Arthur Murray. But a quotation from Murray on that subject would probably be more impressive than one from Willie.
A local pastor, William Smith, may know as much about dy¬namic preaching as Billy Graham. But a quotation from Graham would probably be more effective.
When a speaker does quote an unknown or little-known per¬son he should tell the audience briefly why this person’s state¬ments should be accepted. For example: Jim Evans, who, by actual count, caught five times more fish last year than anyone else in town, says . . . Or, Lowell Abbott, who has just completed his fortieth year as a banker, says . . .
A quotation may have the wisdom of a sage or the beauty of a symphony, yet if it is not accepted by the audience it has no value for that group. Prejudice, immaturity, or closed minds may cause an audience to reject authoritative statements. Many peo¬ple are especially touchy, even unreasonable, when listening to speeches about politics, religion, or social customs. “If he said that I wouldn’t believe it, even if it is true!” springs from a closed mind. But a wise speaker will understand his audiences, and will quote from authorities who will cause his listeners to nod yes instead of no.
Quotations should be reasonably short and to the point. Long ones tire an audience. Besides short statements are more easily remembered.
Quotations are a powerful way to persuade your audience when used effectively. If you are want to be a more effective speaker at work or in public enter your details in the box to the right and receive our free e-course over 7 days to help you achieve that goal.
Saturday, June 18th, 2011
Here is a great tip on how to make stories come alive when giving a speech.
A few speakers have discovered that substituting, through creative thinking, persons they really know for characters in a story helps make those characters more realistic and vivid for listeners.
Take the story of Fats for example. Most likely you already know at least one Five-by-five, don’t you?
Is he called Charlie, Jack, Tubby, Buster, Bill? In your thoughts observe him at length. Hear him talk, see him walk. Sense his character as totally as possible. Next as you talk about Fat Samples keep visualizing your Buster.
Good-by, Buster. Look at you parking cars in Atlanta.
And who couldn’t see the attractive Maxine on Mental Television? 120 delicious pounds, nicely curved and packaged. A dazzling, brown-eyed, honey-combed, Atlanta peach.
Perhaps she is the girl across the street. Or somebody you knew once . . . Britney . . .. Jean . . . Cheryl . . . Penelope?
Next by means of imagination, the public speaker senses the situation as Cupid fires his arrows. As he visualizes and feels as vividly as he can while he discusses Fats and Maxine, the story “is brought to life” for him and for his listeners.
Obviously the theory would be the identical for any other story.
A speaker ought to change a published story in his own words, not like a formal composition or perhaps a legal document, but just like a person would really talk to a buddy over a backyard wall. A successful public speaker makes his stories live by showing them in natural talking-pictures of living;
Observe this story which was told by Tom, a freshman in a university speech course:
Last week I was surprised to get a ‘phone call from one of the most popular girls on the campus.
She invited me to take her to a big party – a campus affair.
I ran out and bought her a fifteen dollar orchid.
And when we got to the party she asked me if I knew why she had wanted me to bring her.
I told her I didn’t know.
Then she said it was because she had been going with two fellows and didn’t want to ask either of them for fear of hurting their feelings.
“Where I came from they’d call me the ‘fall guy’ in this situation,” I said.
“Oh, don’t feel that way about it, Butch,” she replied.
Then she said, “Your orchid is nice, Butch, but it is rather small.”
Small! A fifty dollar orchid small?
I had a miserable time that evening.
Then, when I took her home, I looked at my watch and exclaimed, “Oh, it’s past twelve o’clock, and I promised my wife I’d be home before midnight!”
In my next post I’ll speak about the point of story and compare it with other ways to tell this story. If you want to learn to speak with confidence check out our free e course by entering your details in the box to the right.
Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
How do you start your speeches? And, how do you keep your listener’s attention?
A few speakers begin their messages with an interesting illustration or a series of jokes, then think they can be as dull as a rusty axe throughout the remaining amount of presenting time, yet keep the undivided attention of listeners.
But the nature of attention is such that it won’t continue to be active except if it is continually stimulated. Attention is rather like an auctioneer’s cry: Going -going -gone!
The average span of attention is from 3 – 8 seconds only. Therefore if a public speaker does not say or do something to maintain attention, the typical listener’s mind are going to be elsewhere in just a few seconds. Many subjects, other than the one the speaker has selected, invite attention. A listener might be looking directly at a speaker but contemplating yesterday’s ball game, tomorrow’s date, next weeks vacation. A public speaker, to be highly effective, must grab a persons attention so securely they cannot, or perhaps do not want to turn their attention from his speech.
To achieve this, of course, all the material a public speaker uses has to be intriguing. And this interest will be increased when public speakers present their material, in as far as possible, in words that create vibrant mental pictures in the listeners mind.
As an example, Brad Jnr said, “I saw Mademoiselle Minnie Curves wiggle-walking to the apple polishers’ row.” The term “wiggle-walking” illustrates Minnie much more obviously than a page filled with phrases such as: Her manner indicated that the young lady desired the interest of men; she moved in a manner designed to appeal to the interest of men, or, she was a young lady who indicated by the voluptuous way she manipulated her external extremities that she had a promiscuous perspective toward members of the opposite sex.
Next is a genuine human interest tale. However it is told in a general, non-picture-making, dull manner:
Once upon a time a person stopped at a restaurant for refreshment.
As he neared the cafe he noticed the owner standing in the entrance. Evidently the proprietor was unhappy about something. Her manner was not at all good-natured as the prospective patron neared. In fact, the condition of human interaction was so inharmonious that ultimately the potential customer left without purchasing anything.
Here’s the very same tale in a talking picture framework:
During the great depression of the 1930′s, when a nickel could buy a box of aspirin or get in touch with your sweetie on the telephone, an adolescent guy known as Roy stopped at a small restaurant in the suburbs of a city in Texas.
As Roy started to go into the cafe he observed a large lady standing right in the entrance, right behind the screen.
He believed she would step aside and let him enter. But instead she demanded in a standard irritated mother-in-law’s voice: “Just what do you want?”
Roy’s brown eyes widened and his young mouth parted in astonishment. But he was able to ask, “I would just like a cone of ice cream, please.”
“We ain’t got any!” the woman snapped.
Roy looked at her for an instant, and that was enough.
That woman would have to sneak up on the dipper to get a drink of water. Her large hatchet face had a scowl on it that could have put a Texas “norther” to shame.
However , Roy did not give up – yet. He tried again with, “Then I would like a bar of candy.”
“We ain’t got any of that either!” was the reply. And click! She secured the screen door right in his face.
Roy looked up at the Pepsi Cola sign on the restaurant, but he thought, what is the use in asking about?
As he turned to leave he overheard some other female in the cafe say, “I wonder what he really wanted, anyway?”
“I have no idea,” said the large lady in the doorway, “but I’d my rifle ready!”
The power of picture talking can help you be a more effective public speaker. This is what the two examples used above were to show. You ma not like the examples, but I think you may agree they illustrate the point. Any how, if you want to know more about using picture talking and become an effective public speaker, check out our free e-course by entering your details in the box to the right.