Sunday, March 30, 2008

To make a good speech: concentrate on the audience

Today's NY Times has advice about giving speeches:

Research has shown that visualizing yourself being successful at giving a speech can lead to actual success, Professor Beebe said.

And the experts are unanimous on this point: Concentrate on the audience — who they are and what will interest them — and not on yourself. After all, this isn’t really about you and your insecurities.

“You’re speaking because you have valuable information to share,” the National Speakers Association says. “Recognize that your true goal is to help the audience and make them understand your message.”

This focus takes you away from your own anxieties and towards the listeners. If you don't know them, greeting an audience before a speech makes connections and alerts you to their interests. Besides, you can then make eye contact with and speak to those you have met beforehand during the speech itself.

1 comment:

Tay Moss said...

Actors sometimes talk about "landing" a line on audience members--which goes to the intangible sense in which a word is spoken to be received, and not merely heard. I always thought giving new preachers (or teachers) the advice to speak to the back wall was a mistake--preaching (and teaching) is a relational act and is most successful when understood as such. -t

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