Have you ever watched a movie that made the tears fill your eyes with overflowing empathy for the character or the situation that immersed the character dragging you in too? Have you ever read a book that so involved you that you didn’t want to put it down until you found out what came on the next page, and the next, and the next, and on the last page, wish there were more? Have you ever heard something that ignited an infernal within you that moved you to find out more about the subject? Well, those are the types of communication experiences that you should strive for with your speeches and presentations. Anyone can give a speech; some good, some begging for more work, but giving a good speech, now there is the issue for which we will attempt to uncover a method.
Basic communication comes easily for most of us. We can let people know when we are hungry, hurt, sleepy, sad, or happy. Those are the easy ones. How do we express our thoughts? How can we explain something so abstract that there aren’t words that truly explain the thought or idea? No one can see within our minds to comprehend the exact meaning of our attempt to convey to them a meaningful abstract idea or needed information? The question is, do we understand the message we want to send?
The difficult element of giving a speech has been grossly misunderstood. Standing in front of a group of people is the easy part. Even speaking to a group of people is easy. The hard part comes in eight parts: 1. Determining the topic 2. Collecting the supporting information 3. Determining what will actually be covered in the speech 4. Organizing the order of material 5. Coding the information (how will the information be transmitted) 6. What will the audience hear us telling them? 7. How will the audience interpret the information they receive? 8. How to get feedback that suggests an understanding of the message
In addition, these five points are usually given little attention, because we tend to spend most of our time dreading standing in front of people and then confidently speaking to them. Our presentation would be so much easier if we: 1. Knew exactly in detail what we want to speak about 2. Have enough information to fill two or three times the amount of time allotted for the presentation 3. Map out the path our speech will follow 4. Identify and practice the staging, equipment, and delivery that will build audience curiosity to learn more about our topic 5. Know what action we want our audience to take or what we want them to think
Covering these points will move you to the advanced level. Here you will find that the real anxiety is in the preparation not in the delivery. Once you have control of your presentation much of the fear will be erased. You will be able to present with confidence. Your audience will never know that you are nervous and your knees are knocking because you will look and present like a professional. Good job! ###
? Professor Marvell Lawson is an author, communication coach and professional speaker who works with individuals and organizations wanting to improve their speech preparation and presentation skills; and communicate more effectively to grow their business, make more money, and build personal and professional credibility. Prof. Lawson is an Affiliate Professor lecturing on Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, and Leadership. Visit my website at www.centerforinformationdesign.com