Posted by: Leah | August 4, 2011

Speaking to Inform or Overwhelm?

I won’t go to an MD, who is obese, a dentist who has bad teeth, a fitness instructor, who is not in shape, a preacher or an inspirational speaker, whose life is a mess – you get my logic, right?

I will also disconnect from a speaker who overwhelms me with information. I have a painfully short attention span. I remember when I was in school, I was constantly in troubles with teachers, because I would disconnect. There are a lot of us like that out there.

However, I think that speeches and in particular informational speeches are a perfect chance for a speaker to shine rather than to bore. Why?

First of all, any informational speech is a perfect opportunity to sell your thing and to sign up more supporters. Why? You have got knowledge, whoever has the knowledge has the power – easy – you just need to use it wisely by connecting and using emotions.

Here I come to my second point – secondly, emotions are a must in any informational speech. Ideally, you start with them. A sad story or an embarassing fact will do just fine – the audience will either relate or feel sorry for you, or a very funny joke is lovely too.

Thirdly, you need to check if you lost any people on the way – ask questions, wake people up, recap, sing, jump and entertain. Anything goes as long as your listeners remember.

Finally, and most importantly tell your audience why they need your information, how they are going to use it and how it will help them. Ultimately, any speech is not about ME even when I go all personal – it is about THEM, so show your stuff, entertain and tell them why they need it and voila! a speech was aced.

As I embark on the Toastmaster manual that focuces on speaking to inform, I will for sure aim to implement all these in speaking!


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