Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The art of communication

"Speak to be remembered and repeated." Isn't that the goal of every communicator—to be remembered and repeated?

Patricia Fripp, speaking coach

The ability to speak in front of an audience requires courage but the ability to communicate well requires practice, practice and more practice. How many times have you heard a speaker on stage  keeps rambling on even though he'd losses the audience attention. How many times have you applauded to a wonderful presentation but unable to recall what he or she said, a week later.

Communication is about getting the intended message across in the simplest and most memorable manner. It takes years of practice and refining your speech material until you get it right unless you are one of those few who are bestowed with this gift since birth.

I admire stand up comedian such as Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Jay Leno because of the hours of practices behind the screen.Their delivery is superb and they make it so easy and natural. We need to practise until we become naturally comfortable with ourselves and also be able to connect with different audiences from students, auditors to CEOs.

If you want to take your speaking to the next level, I strongly suggest investing in videos of proficient speakers and even considering a speaking coach. 

On your next speaking engagement whether it is a room of 300 people or 5 people, ask yourselves this questions.

  1. If I was to summarise the message in one sentence on a name card, what would it be?
  2. What is the most impactful opening and relevant to the audience that I can use for the speech? 
  3. How do I create an instant connection with my audience?
  4. How do I make my speech easy to be remembered?
  5. What stories can I use to further illustrate my points?
  6. What actions do I want my audience to follow through after listening to me?
I hope that this questions will be helpful for your next presentation. 

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