How to deliver a message to an audience

by Cecilia Magnergård on January 3, 2014

clip_image002When it comes to professional situations the way we speak including pitch, self-confidence, tone, body language and volume, dramatically affects how our audience perceive us. Predominately, however, individuals tend to spend a sufficient amount of time thinking about what to say in business, but not on how to say it.

Along with spiders and death, public speaking is what people fear most. However, being an effective and professional presenter is critical for anyone who is in a leadership position. Fortunately, researchers in rhetoric’s commonly agree that almost everyone can learn how to be a great speaker and presenter. There are important strategies to learn for speaking in front of an audience or to reach success at your sales meeting. In accordance with an article published in Business Insider here follows some of the most common speaking mistakes and how to avoid them in order to go from a speaking regular to a professional.

Record yourself and identify bad habits

A virtuous step to become a boundless speaker is to understand how you sound to other people. Recording your speech and thereafter listening to it will provide powerful feedback. Identify the things you like as well as dislike about the way you speak, and thereafter think through how you can use the things you like from another perspective and even more frequently. Make sure to isolate what you dislike about the way you speak and subsequently start breaking it down.

Monotonic speaking

One of the worst, yet most common, speaking mistakes is to use a monotonic voice throughout a presentation. Allowing for some degree of variation in the colour and tone of the phrasing makes ones voice sound relaxed and enthusiastic with a pleasant assertiveness. Something that mirrors on to the audience keeping them eager to further listen to your message.

Embrace the silence

Filler words such as “hm”, “like” “er” and “um” are regularly used in casual conversations making them easy to put into professional settings. Research shows that filler words and repeating’s tend to find their way into speech as people fear letting silence interrupt their phrases. Yet, pauses and silence is one of the best-used tricks of great speakers. Well-placed pauses and silence provides the audience with a moment to process what you have already said, and it intensifies their interest in the next step of your presentation.

Quiet speaking

clip_image004Correcting for the right volume when speaking to a small or large group of individuals is a common problem when transferring a message. Present research shows that ones ability to develop a suitable speech tone depends on the specific individuals type of voice. High-pitched voices naturally project further than low-pitched ones. However, breathing is known to be an applicable tool for correction of volume, as complications with projection seem to appear when individuals constrict since it is tightening up their vocal chords inhibiting an even flow of air.

Hasty speaking

As hasty speaking is a common effect of nerves, novice speakers tend to rush through their words making them hard to follow. Rushed speakers tend to end up swallowing, rustle and mumbling their words, which will affect them negatively during a presentation as clarity is of importance. A common advice to quick speakers is to take a deep breath as when they start to speak. The ingenuous action generates a natural break in the speech helping the speaker to slow down. There is, however, no word-per-minute count that can be recommended as the ideal pace. Nevertheless, one should attempt to speak in a level known as the rate of no mistakes, referring to the rate at which the presenter can transfer its message without stammers, filler words, or errors and keep the flow of the speech constant.

Body language

clip_image006They say actions speak louder than words, and sometimes we can communicate messages without the aid of a single word. Therefore, it is important to think through your body language. Some of the things we say with our bodies helps us reinforce why we are saying it, however, untrained speakers regularly tend to shift their weight uncomfortably, twiddle and behave in ways that shows defensiveness or that they are nervous. To get this in order, the speaker should identify a couple of natural, comfortable and open positions that he or she can shift between. Furthermore, one should try to use hand gestures for emphasis and avoid speaking or standing with crossed arms as it is considered a defence pose. Remember that much of the communication is nonverbal, and a warm, easy smile and calm body immediately tell the audience that you are comfortable and confident. When the speaker is comfortable, the audience is too.

The power of enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is the most essential element in any successful speakers delivery. The ability to feel and express enthusiasm is immensely empowering, and it can take any speaker from being ordinary and forgettable to being a compelling and memorable. Nevertheless, enthusiasm requires preparation. Enthusiasm is the result of an intense engagement with your topic, a conviction that you have an important message to transfer. It is your job as a speaker to identify that message, feel its importance and thereafter communicate it effectively.

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About Cecilia Magnergård :

Analyst with deep knowledge in Economic Strategy, Innovation Management and Business Developmed combined with a profound interest in complex problem solving and the global financial markets. She has an BSc in economics and a Master of Science with a major in Engineering and Management specialised in Economics of Innovation and Growth from the Royal Institute of Technology.

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