“Either say something better than silence or be silent” Euripides

I came across this quote on a recent trip to Greece and thought how appropriate. So often I hear speeches that are muddled, poorly organised and/or poorly presented. You can not only apply the thought behind this quote, to actually deciding if you have something worthwhile or meaningful to say, but also to how well you put your thoughts together and how well you present them.

Firstly, deciding whether to speak or not. This usually does not impact on most of the people we train in Trischel. Their issue is that they have something important and meaningful to share and are concerned that they present their thoughts in the best possible way.

However, there are many times I have sat and listened to people speak and have walked away wondering what was the purpose of the speech. There was no message just a meaningless jumble of words spoken for the sake of speaking. To these people I commend Europides’ sage words.

So, once you have established that you have something worthwhile to say the next step is to ensure that lack of confidence or a poor presentation does not get in the way of your message.

Ensure that you structure you speech so that it flows seamlessly from one point to another. Don’t try to put too many facts into your presentation. Be aware of smothering the main message with too many supporting facts. Follow the basic organisation of speeches incorporating an opening where you grab the audience’s attention, a body where you establish your message and a conclusion where you leave them with a call to arms or establish the point you want to convey.

Complement your great organisation with body language, using gestures and eye contact. Add in some vocal variety to convey your passion and mesmerise your audience. You will then have a great medium to assist you establishing rapport with your audience to spread your message.

Practise and perfect your presentation. Give yourself opportunity to build your confidence.

To be better than silence therefore requires you to fulfil two things: have a message or say something worth listening to and present that message in a manner that will ensure your message is conveyed professionally, competently and with confidence.

Trish @ Trischel

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