The Key to public speaking is the balance between the intellectual content and the emotional connection to the audience.
Speeches will fall into the 3 broad categories: to inform, instruct or inspire. Speaking to inform – to transmit information, explain a concept or idea. Speaking to instruct – give directions, tell how things work or what needs to be done. Speaking to inspire – to convince, enthuse and motivate.
Knowing the type of speech you are going to deliver will allow you to decide on the balance between the intellectual content and the emotional connection.
At this point many of you are maybe saying well why should there be a balance? Does it really matter how I put the speech together? I just want to tell them how to do something – why should I make an emotional connection? Or Hey I want my staff to commit to the values of the organisation – it’s just a motivational speech why do I need to tell them any facts?
Well let us look at some examples of speeches you may have heard. With advance apologies to university lecturers and at the risk of losing some of our readers, think back to the times you have attended lectures or think of those boring annual finance reports – all of them full of facts and figures, all the information you need but delivered with little or no emotional connection. Often monotone, slow or so fast that you haven’t time to take in the information. Many times read with no eye contact. No interest in whether the audience is understanding or even if the audience has fallen asleep! You come out of the presentation knowing the facts, perhaps, but asking yourself well great – what does that mean for me, why should I be involved?
On the other hand think of those great motivational speeches – the ones at 2am in the morning for example – great charisma, lots of passion and you are so excited and involved and walk out on a high. Only to stop and think well that’s great but what did they really say – all emotional connection but no substance – no facts to back up the emotion.
To be an effective public speaker you need to have a mix of emotion and intellect. You need to be able to tell the audience the facts and what you want them to do with those facts. To your great speech organisation, the research and the facts add the emotional connection by use of body language incorporating eye contact, gestures and voice to sell your message.
It is simple really – know the Key and use it to unlock your speaking potential.
Trish @ Trischel