These 3 speaking techniques will give your words more power.
Professional speakers pay attention to every word they utter from the stage. They know their words have power and whether it’s to motivate, encapsulate, or inspire an audience, they listen to their words more closely than they anticipate their audience will.
Your words have power. And from that power springs reactions, responses, and action. Do you use the power of your words or do you let them leap forth from your mouth like a frisky bunny? Here are three ways to rein in your words, boost their power, and speak publicly about your message in a way that best conveys your meaning.
Craft a meaningful message
Whether you are presenting a breakout session at a chiropractic conference or conducting a report of findings, your audience is listening for a message.
Some will wonder what you want them to do with your information. Others will want a sense of hope or inspiration. Often, whatever you say, it will be something that someone in the room needs to hear—if you have taken the time to get clear on your message. It’s a big if.
The time you spend refining your message will sharpen your focus, and it will provide the creative ideas and direction for the words coming out of your mouth, even if you haven’t written them down in your notes.
Do you want your audience to do something? Do you want them to change their beliefs? Do you want to persuade them to consider a new approach or perspective? How do you convey your passion in your own belief and the reasons why adopting this approach has value?
Clarity here will give your words even more power and keep you from running around like a rabbit.
Let them ‘get’ you
No, they are not out to get you; they want to “get” you, figuratively speaking. Your audience wants to share a mutual understanding, a common set of beliefs and opinions, and a connection with you. As a result, the words you use need to be those that your listeners readily understand and to which they easily relate.
If your audience did not learn English as their first language, stay away from the bigger 50-cent words. If your audience is not technical in nature, use words that describe what you wish to share in layperson terms. Make it simple to connect.
Even consider using fewer words at times, making a rhetorical pause. This powerful tool draws people in and keeps you from talking yourself out of a sale, even if it’s only your words that are on offer.
If your audience is a professional one, made up of fellow practice owners and chiropractors, pay attention to their personalities. Do you know them to be more analytical, with perhaps a dose of “get-it-done” tendencies? If so, use words that are actionable, logical, and less fluffy.
Your audience wants to feel as if you are talking to each of them as individuals. Of course, words are merely one way to achieve this level of connection. Eye contact, proximity, and expressions are another, but primarily, your energy should be spent on boosting the power of your words.
It can be a tough lesson to watch the reaction of an audience that has not connected with a speaker’s message because it wasn’t the right one. In these situations, the presentation will seem flat and the energy will evaporate from the room like someone sucked it out with a vacuum.
Those new to the speaking profession or who present infrequently often succumb to the belief that they can speak about anything asked of them. They employ methods to fake enthusiasm when they have little or no interest in the topic—and it shows.
No matter who asks or how big the opportunity, only agree to give presentations that you are genuinely passionate about. Either identify an authentic connection to the topic and those in the room, or gracefully decline. It is far better to be human and authentic, even if you skip a paragraph, sweat bullets due to nerves, or lose your place in your slide deck, than to force your way through insincerity. The times when your speech flows in perfect rhythm will be more frequent and memorable if your presentation reflects items, needs, beliefs, or actions about which you have personal passion or at a minimum, strong interest.
Most people fear public speaking more than getting a root canal. It’s a powerful opportunity to share a message with a room full of people, and some people make it look glamorous and easy. Most successful speakers have spoken more than 10,000 hours and taken 10 or more years to hone their craft.
Those who speak professionally, motivationally, or publicly for a living make it look easier than it is. No, it isn’t easy, but it is doable when your message is clear, you connect with your audience, and you are able to be who you genuinely are.
Monica Wofford, CSP, is the CEO of Contagious Companies, an Orlando, Florida-based training and consulting firm and a consultant in the chiropractic industry. She works with chiropractic practices, healthcare, retail, hospitality, and government industry leaders to develop their leadership skills. She can be contacted about training, coaching, or consulting at 866-382-0121 or through contagiouscompanies.com.