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.