Maybe you’re conversing one-on-one to convince a client or inspire productivity from an employee. You might be called on to address senior executives in the board room or make an informative presentation to team members. Perhaps you find yourself in front of the entire industry at a convention, or talking to millions of people on television.
How do you hone your speech to make it more concise? What techniques can you incorporate to keep your listeners interested and energized? What’s the secret to magically influential speaking that prompts people to immediate, measurable action?
There are three primary elements to convincing communication, namely your VOICE, your STORY, and your PERSUASION. Let’s look at how those work and what you can do to master them!
Voice Dynamics (Verbal and Nonverbal)
- “Dynamics” is a musical term that refers to the loudness of an instrument. Singers use voice dynamics to add color, emphasis, and power to a melody. What makes your speaking more dynamic? Amplification! But remember that speaking is breathing. So take a deep breath and then dial up the volume! Speak with enthusiasm and passion!
- Most people speak too softly, especially when they are speaking to a larger audience. Why? Because we are accustomed to speaking in our natural tone of voice, which is not strong enough to carry to the back of the room. Also when you feel stage fright the voice becomes more timid, shy, and small.
- Raising the volume of your voice not only captures the attention of your audience, it also gives you more self confidence. Speaking louder will help you overcome those jitters and it will also help remove the quaking and trembling sound from your voice.
- We also communicate with our bodies. Just as our sound has to reach the whole audience, so do our gestures. So the larger your audience, the bigger your gestures! Give your words physicality. Select key words and punctuate or emphasize them with natural gestures. The technique is easy and will make your talk much more entertaining.
Themes and Stories
- The rich tradition of sharing oral histories, nuggets of wisdom, and personal stories with others dates back to the advent of humankind. But when you open your mouth to speak you are actually putting a modern spin on that ancient tradition!
- Use a story, an anecdote, or a tidbit from your personal narrative to illuminate your message and give it color, context, and imagery. Give your talks a theme your audience can latch on to and take away with them. Incorporate vivid analogies and interesting examples to engage your listeners and make your message unforgettable.
- These powerful stories are 21st century proverbs with the ability to build memorable bridges and inspire your audiences. They also allow your listeners to get to know you on a more personal level. Engage them in your autobiographical story about how you got to where you are today despite your own unique challenges and hard-learned lessons.
- The key to success as a business leader, corporate executive, or entrepreneur is to utilize your daily interactions with others to convince them to take action. To do that your messages need to be unambiguous, crystal clear, and easy-as-pie to grasp.
- Convey what it means to them. How will they benefit and what problem will it solve? Explain the pain. Then deliver the remedy. Give them practical evidencefollowed by actionable answers or advice. Help them make the decision you are trying to influence!
- No matter what audience you address or what the venue, topic, or goal may be, CLARITY is the key to successful communication. So learn to FOCUS your message for maximum impact that ENGAGES and CONVINCES!
As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Consulting, provides leading-edge image and brand management strategies for top leaders and high achievers who wish to take their career to the next level. She also delivers innovative and inspiring corporate workshops to assist large organizations in strengthening their corporate brand.
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS
1-800-267-3245, [email protected]
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