6 Techniques to Make Your Speech Excel

Public speaking has become extremely important today. While the content is the king, speaker has to be choosy about the language. We find that language used by some of the speakers is so compelling that listeners are highly influenced. I am detailing below 6 language techniques which make the speech highly effective: 

1. Using clear spoken language: Spoken language is not the same as written language. Its sentences have to be short. The long sentences may work well in the written essay but in speech short sentences are better. Further, concrete words should be used rather than the abstract ones. Verbosity needs to be avoided, totally. Above all, greater use of restatement is recommended. But the same should not be repetition the words which you have already used.


2. Concrete language: The language when the listener can create images in his mind. e. g. we say “the legs of speaker were shaking and repetitively he was wiping perspiration on his face.” The above statement is far more effective than saying that the speaker was extremely nervous and did not know how to proceed with a speech. 

3. Specific words: It’s better to use specific words rather than generic. e. g. when we say a president of a company it is specific but if we just say manager though president is also a manager, but it is not specific. Manager is more specific than saying an administrator. Indeed, the manager is also an administrator.

ii) Hyperbole: when we exaggerate anything for emphasis that would be known as hyperbole. The following are the examples of hyperbole in views.

  • An obvious and purposeful statement of exaggeration used for emphasis, dramatic effect, and to make a clear poem.
  • How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
  • “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

iii) Personification: The attribution of human character to animals/inanimate objects or abstract notions is known as personification. Examples:

  • Time leaps forward
  • The starts winked at me
  • The Sun smiled on the city as a new day began.
  • The piercing look almost broke the glass

5. Art of restatement: The restatement is an extremely effective way of putting across your point. However, it is important that you should not use the same words or the same sentence again and again. Use language which expresses the same idea but in different words. Imagination and application of mind will do the trick.


6. Creating emphasis: The speaker may use contras. Rhetorical questions can be asked to create a dramatic effect on the listeners. Contras are when you talk of totally opposite things together. Likewise rhetorical questions are such, which leave the audience aghast.  

One of the most popular speeches of 20th century is ‘I have a dream’ by Martin Luther King. In this speech, he uses all types of figures of speech. In fact only their adept use has made the speech so popular, and so effective.  

I have a Dream!

I have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr.

In the history of American politics, yesterday, the 28th August was a memorable day. It was on 28th August 1963 that Martin Luther king delivered his famous speech – “I have a Dream.” It was a great speech that will be remembered by all progressive societies for many decades. Not only did it motivate the black American to rise and demand their citizenship, but it is also regarded as one of the greatest speeches ever written and delivered to very large audience with unmatched enthusiasm and great alacrity.

The contribution of Martin Luther king for securing equal rights for African Americans is greater than anyone else. But for him it would have been impossible for Barrack Obama to become the 44th president of the most powerful nation on the earth.

The greatness of a leader is seen and recognized from the high degree of passion with which he/she is devoted to the cause. That becomes the force which is difficult to be faced and fought with by the opponents. Great leaders with great passion and total selflessness can bring about sweeping changes every society needs from time to time.

If we were to select main qualities of great leaders, I would list the following in order of importance.

  1. Selflessness
  2. Passion for a cause
  3. Excellent Public Speaking abilities
  4. Unending coverage

How I wish that today we may also have some leaders with some semblance of what a great leader Dr Martin Lither King was.

Can you spot one?

'Wani Yoga' Lesson 10

Resonance

Resonance in your voice is a quality that adds richness. Here, I must say that Resonance is gender specific. It is a quality which makes male voice ‘Rich’. So far as female voice is concerned, sweetness of the voice is a sought after quality. Needless to say that clarity, confidence and poise in the voice are important both for females and males.

What is resonance? It is the echo effect. Resonance can be added by the sound engineer. But that is inorganic resonance. It may create a good effect in a song or even in a speech but it is not the resonance in the voice.

How do we achieve Resonance?

Is it a quality of the voice the person brings with birth? Or, can it be cultivated? Both questions have the same answer- ‘affirmative’. Each person is endowed with a unique voice box. Here, voice box comprises vocal cord, cavities in the mouth and nose. These are formed by the shape and muscles of the mouth nose, face and even the skull. To this extent the ‘resonance’ in the voice is an inborn quality. But resonance can also be cultivated by activating the muscles in the mouth, throat and nose.

Among male singers the voices of K.L. Sehgal, C.H. Atma and Kishore Kumar are more resonant as compared to other singers. But we must remember that resonance is one of the many qualities of a good singer.

It adds richness to the voice. The singer is able to enthrall the audience with the ease of his singing. Though C.H Atma and K.L. Sehgal have now become obscure, Kishor kumar’s songs are still very popular. Many times you have the possibility of listening to these on your favorite FM radio channel. Next time, you listen to his song, observe the resonance and consider the unique quality it renders to his songs.

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                                                                  K.L. Sehgal

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                         C.H. Atma singing with his very resonant voice

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                                 Kishore Kumar the evergreen versatile singer

 

Resonance is a great quality of voice not only for singers but also to public speakers. The quality is abundantly evident in the speeches of the following distinguished leaders:

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                             Martin Luther King addressing his followers

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                                           Bill Clinton former president of USA

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                         Swami Vivekanand making his impact full speech  

 

The speeches of these great leaders are available on ‘You Tube’ Videos