Posts Tagged ‘Public Speaking’

Public Speaking And The Language To Persuade

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
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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.

Using Facts To Convince In Public Speaking

Saturday, July 16th, 2011
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Last time I discussed hoe not use cold hard facts in public speaking. Now here are some examples on how to use facts to convince

Recently a student speaker in a business and professional speaking course said, “If all the insects above the earth, on the earth, beneath the earth, and in the waters of the earth were collected and stacked on top of one another they would make a heap three feet high over all the world!”
That’s a lot of bugs.
This speaker’s words created a more concrete picture than if he had said, “There are trillions of insects in the world.” But his statement was difficult for some of the listeners to believe. When they asked the source of his quotation he said, “It is generally known to scientists.” But his statement would have been more convincing if he could have named some definite authority .for it. Statements, to be facts, must have reliable sources. Other¬wise they are merely opinions.
Use facts. But don’t put many of them back to back. Rather, sprinkle them in with illustrations and quotations.
Try always to package facts in ways that will make them easy for audiences to grasp. Paint them red or put handles on them. For instance, instead of saying, “I’ve walked a long ways on golf courses,” a speaker said, “On golf courses I’ve walked the dis¬tance from Maine to California ten times.” And instead of say¬ing, “The death rate in China is high,” another speaker declared, “Every time you breathe a Chinaman dies.”
Round numbers like 1000 or even units such as two dozen are easier to grasp than 998 or 26. So when a speech situation does not demand absolute exactness a speaker should use round numbers or even units.
An interesting speaker will figure ways to turn numbers into things. For example, a bushel basket full of silver dollars is easier to see than a certain number of dollars. Anyone can see a yard¬stick easier than he can picture three feet. The distance from home plate to first base is more vivid than ninety feet. A couple of stone throws explains more than a quarter of a mile.
Clarify! Clarity is so necessary in any part of an effective speech. It is especially essential, when using facts.
Use clear, concrete, authentic, interesting facts to help convince listeners.

If you are looking for more information on how to be a confident public speaker who can convince others and hold their attention check out our free e-course by simply typing your details in the box to the right and have it delivered direct to your inbox.

Using Quotations In Public Speaking

Saturday, July 9th, 2011
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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.

A Tale Of Two Stories In Public Speaking

Saturday, June 11th, 2011
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You can find interesting stories to use in public speaking in newspapers. But, how do you change them to be more interesting for use in a speech?

A human interest story can be made a lot more fascinating by organizing it in a way which particularly is attractive to audiences.
Musicians know that the kind of arrangements they perform will certainly have an impact on audiences’ reception of their tunes. Similarly the arrangement of a story is essential. Occasionally a public speaker will be able to improve a story he hears or reads prior to using it in a speech.
Observe the following story as it appeared in several daily papers:

307 Pounder Drops To 170 All for Love

Atlanta – Marvin “Fat” Samples, a parking lot worker, fell in love – all 307 pounds of him.
The object of his affections was attracted but insistent. “Chop off 127 pounds,” she said, “and we will see.”
Samples did exactly that, going on a rigid diet plan and getting his
bodyweight right down to a hundred and eighty in only eight months time. Maxine, an attractive redhead, said yes and they were married.
The bridegroom did not quit. He kept on staying on a diet and today weighs a mere 170. How did he do it?
“I simply ate steak and tomatoes,” Samples said, “and drank all the black coffee I wanted.”

Here is a love story. A heart throb with a hint of humor. 300, seven pounds of human interest. It’s interesting as the reporter wrote it. However one public speaker thought he could make this story more fascinating. Here’s the way he shared it:
Marvin “Fat” Samples a parking lot attendant of Atlanta, fell in love – all 307 pounds of him, with a gorgeous hazel-eyed brunette, named Maxine.
Parked in a jalopy, beneath a full moon, and in a magnolia-scented lane, Fat took her peach pickin’ hand and just like a lovesick hippopotamus, drawled, “Max, Darling, will yuh all marry me?”
The lovelight in her eyes said yes, but pride compelled her tongue to say, “Chop off over one hundred pounds, Big Boy, and we will see.”
What exactly did Fatty do?
He ate lean beef and tomatoes rather than potatoes and fat pork. And following 8 months of half starving, the poor fellow lost 127 pounds, nearly enough lard to fill a bushel basket.
Then he popped the question once again.
She gave him the once over and said, “Yes, sir-ee!”
They were married. And he adored her so much that to please her he voluntarily lost another ten pounds. However – maybe as of this very second, Fats is at the refrigerator looking for yet another beloved pork sandwich!
How does this differ from the news story?

I’ll answer the question in my next post. If you are looking to be more interesting public speaker or presenter check out our free e course in the box on the right and get it direct to your in-box.

What Speaks Louder Actions Or Words?

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
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Are you a more persuasive speaker when you know who you are talking to?

Obviously an able persona is more effective as a persuasive force when audience members know the speaker personally. But even when a public speaker is unknown these excellent personal characteristics will create to some degree at least, favorable impressions.
Conversely poor character traits will detract from persuasiveness.
By way of example, a college student named Dean, was a red-haired twenty-four-year-old ball of human dynamite. He was neither tall nor very short yet keg-chested having a mouth just like a miniature Grand Canyon. Whenever he spoke he bounced across the stage as if he were an Indian rubber ball. He pounded the table with his freckled fists. Sometimes he hopped on to the table and shook an accusing forefinger at his listeners as he talked. He was high in volume and beneficial. He thundered, pleaded, and tried hard to convince, but most individuals, especially those who knew him would not yield to his persuasion.

The reason why? Due to the fact public speaker was animated and enthusiastic? Absolutely no. Those characteristics are effective except if they call attention to themselves rather than the concepts and emotions a speaker wants to convey.
Did Dean not convince because he was eccentric? Absolutely no, not so much because of that but mostly as he didn’t win over people as being an able, sincere individual.
He gave a talk in favor of truthfulness but while he spoke, his mail was stuffed with bills he did not intend to take care of. Among his themes was unselfishness. However , he bought himself expensive suits while his wife and children were made to wear little better than rags.
This may be an excessive scenario but it’s true, and a vivid indication of the fact that just what a someone is may well shout so loudly people will not be able to hear what is being spoken.
Another illustration of this truth is the situation of Professor Z.
Z tags him nicely, as he is the sleepy, elbows-on-the-desk-chin-in-hands kind. A Ph.D. taught to the tips of his gray, thinning hair. Frail, slightly bent, having an apologetic, slouching gait, and a “have I a right” facial expression: His tone of voice is weak and without substance. He speaks with an odd nasal twang. He is an only child, many miles away from mom, yet at the age of 35, still in her kitchen apron pocket. Unmarried.
Observe him in the college dining area, shyly eating boiled eggs sent to him from mom via parcel post! Dr. Z will need to have his special vitamins. Or see him at the merest hint of rain grab his hat, raincoat, overshoes, and umbrella. He must not expose himself to a drop of water.
Then watch him  lecturing to his class. He talks of tough historical characters and their acts, but the class can’t become excited about his speech since they can’t sense he is an able, self-assured, grown-up individual.

What do you think? Can fake it until you make it? May be, may be not. I do know you can become a confident and effective public speaker if you apply yourself. If you want some tips and hints check out our free e-course on public speaking by entering your details in box to the right.