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.
1. Develop your passion by doing all what it takes. Strong Passion alone will make a strong Foundation.
Motivational speakers can deliver presentations and speeches on any topic. However, what counts is your passion for the subject you are addressing. Become a motivational speaker by identifying your message and your audience, brushing up on your public speaking skills and promoting your speaking abilities. Motivational speakers don’t have to complete a specific degree or training program to prepare for their careers, but they must have a unique perspective to share and a talent for communicating and engaging with an audience. Successful speakers recommend starting out by developing your unique idea or passion. Determine what expertise, experiences, and perspectives you can share, and what type of audience can benefit the most from it. While you may have expertise and experience to share on a specific topic, you may still need to do some independent research or talk with other experts to build a stronger base of knowledge in your field.
2. Content is the King. Never undermine its importance! The internet gives you opportunities to test your content before you get on stage. Most people, however, worry that no one will hire them if they give away their best stuff for free. But if you inspire thousands–or perhaps even millions–of people online, you’ll attract attention and people will want to hear more from you.
is the key for developing new ideas!
You won’t become a successful public speaker by rehashing old ideas in the same way as everyone else. You need to develop fresh, relevant content that people want to hear. Invest a lot of time into thinking about your message and how you can deliver it in a way that will inspire, motivate, and captivate an audience. Identify Your Ideal Audience
It can be tempting to think your message will resonate with everyone. But, the truth is, a message that’s too generic won’t leave a big impact on anyone. So rather than decide you’re going to speak about sales or that you’re going to motivate all business leaders, narrow down your niche. Identify the types of groups who you really want to reach so you can create content that will resonate with them. Understand the people you will target as audience members before you get too far into the development of your career. Different groups of people need to be communicated with in different ways.
4. A story
which is relavant to your statement adds colour to the picture!
Humans relate to stories. We connect to stories. Funny stories. Sad stories. Inspirational stories. We love stories. So tell them. Lots of them. Stories will keep your audience engaged and are also easier for you to memorize. Gain Speaking Skills Having good content is only part of the battle. The way you deliver your message is more important than the words you use. Even if you think you’re a rock star speaker already, there’s a good chance you have some bad habits (from swaying back and forth while you talk to using filler words like “um” more than you know). Join a public speaking group, take a college communications class, or hire a speaking coach to help you develop better communication habits. A few little tweaks to your delivery can make or break your career as a speaker. Also, record yourself giving a speech and watch it back. It can be painful to watch yourself but it’s important to learn more about your hand gestures, body language, and speaking habits so you can improve.
is the spice of life, but it also plays the role of salt while Speaking in Public!
You don’t have to be a comedian to
become a motivational speaker, but humor makes a massive difference. Humor
works to endear you to an audience, but it’s also a big differentiating factor
in the speaking market. Many of the top speakers in the industry use humor in
6. Let the
audience also participate; Allow the audience a chance to laugh!
When you tell a joke or deliver a
punch line, give the audience time to laugh. Sometimes speakers like to rush to
the next point, but don’t do that. You need to give the audience a chance to
respond to what you just said (in this case to laugh), but also if you rush on
to the next though while the room is still laughing, nobody will hear what
the demand for your niche, if it is not in demand!
Once you feel like you have a talk ready to go, start marketing yourself. Build a website that shows you’re a speaker. Add “speaker” to your social media profiles. Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for speaking engagements. Word of mouth is often a key factor in getting speaking engagements. Keep releasing content too. Blog about your ideas, guest post on popular sites, make videos, or write a book. Release your ideas into the world so you can gain credibility as an expert. Event planners will want to see you in action as they make decisions about who to hire to speak, so at some point, you’ll want to create a demo reel that showcases you as a speaker. It may contain footage of you from several speeches, clips of you in the media, or audience reviews of your performance.
many doors and finally you will be welcomed!
Early on in your speaking career, you may need to apply for speaking gigs. Be on the lookout for conferences, conventions, and gigs. Find other speakers with a similar message and see where they’re speaking. You might reach out to event organizers and ask them to keep you in mind for future events. The more your speaking career grows, the less you’ll need to apply for speaking opportunities. Eventually, people will seek you out. And if you’re doing well, speaker bureaus will want to represent you and they’ll proactively market you as a speaker for events. They’ll take a percentage of your fee, but they can help you obtain higher paying gigs.
9. The word
FREE has a great pull. Offer to speak for Free!
Once you have your content ready to go and you’re comfortable speaking to an audience, offer to speak for free. Reach out to local organizations who may benefit from your content. There are many conferences around the country who don’t pay speakers (some of them offer free admission to speakers). Apply to speak for them to help you gain practice speaking to a live audience. Some people do a handful of free speaking engagements before they feel equipped to look for paid gigs while others speak at a few dozen events before they feel comfortable charging. But be prepared to speak for free until you’re in-demand.
What is communication?
How can we define it? First of all let’s understand it’s origin and it’s
meaning. Communication is derived from the Latin word “communis” meaning to
share something or hold in common. Communication can be defined in following
Communication is the
process of exchanging information, ideas, thoughts, speech, signals, writing or
behaviour. First, let’s try to answer the most pertinent management
question. What is important in motivating people, forming a successful team,
getting all your work done? Answer is simple. Successful communication skills!
It demands efforts, it needs motivation. Motivational speaker, Tony Robin
stated that for effective communication we must realise that we are all
different in the way we perceiveg. So we must respect each other’s perspective,
then only we would lead to a successful communication.
Arguing is not
communication. It is noise. But responding without understanding is also not
communication. We all have our own choice to say yes or no. That choice is the
medium of communication. If you express that answer politely then only you can
have an effective communication. “You should know how to present your point in
front of others. There should be no chance of confusion with you.”
Winston Churchill said
“it is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look
forward to the trip”. If you qualify telling even rude words in such a way that
they turn to as good words for the listener than you are the master of
communication. This is how communication impacts the world.
In today’s fast going
world one needs to understand the importance of connecting with others and the
ways to do so. Most of us take the meaning of word communication as verbal
conversation. Does it mean only verbal communication? No, it’s half the
statement. Communication can be verbal, nonverbal or the body language. It
simply states that in today’s world what is said is important but what is not
said is equally important, Even the hidden objective is taken into
consideration. Communication skills are of more importance than anything
else, as it holds the personality of a person. As the old saying says
that there is a large difference in the word ‘having something to say and
having to say something’. They look similar but meaning of both is different.
Content, being the
king in communication, plays a major role in changing the whole personality.
Here again who takes the hold of audience or the listeners? More patient the audience
more is your benefit. But understanding audience is critical. They can
understand even what you have not spoken. You might be thinking what is the
difference? Difference is as clear. The one who understands what you have not
spoken is living in the present. He is there with his mind and soul in what you
are doing. Your communication skills including verbal, nonverbal and your body
language play a vital role here. So if the listener is impressed by your
communication skills then only he will be active in the process and further
interaction or communication is possible.
It’s not one way
process. It is open and two way path. It can be either the speaker affects the
listeners by asking questions, seeing to his body language or understanding
him/her, can be the other way round also. Again a question arises on the
lifestyle which you are living. Are you satisfied with it? Is your
concentration level upto the mark to meet the present day requirement? Or you
are still in some dreams while a lecture or another topic has started?
demands near 100% accuracy and concentration for a wonderful and beneficial
communication. The famous Management Consultant, Peter Drucker has stated that
most important thing in communication does, understand what is not said.
Observing this way, you can understand the full concept of what is being
spoken. Hence communication is not defined by its effectiveness but the
response of effectiveness. Audience plays a major role no matter it is one or
many. Until and unless communication serves the purpose of the listeners, it is
of no use. A well said quote will completely set your minds to it.
“Communication is dream more – compare less, listen more – talk less, love more
– argue less, hope more – fear less, relax more – worry less, believe more –
complain less, play more – work less.”
These quotes can be
taken as the steps to a successful communication. Author of the book ‘Seven
Habits of Highly Effective People’, Stephen Covey has well said that often
people have character strength but they lack communication skills. And that
affects the quality of relationships. Generation gap is the best example to
support the above statement.
Communication must not
be complicated. It may not use very extensive vocabulary, it may be as simple
but as clear as possible. If ideas are not drawn into action, they just turn to
be simple paper work. Only with the help of communication skills ideas can turn
the dreams to a reality.
Possibilities of Communications
Let’s examine four
possible combinations of speaking & listening. This will enable us to
understand what communication can do to our lives and to our organisations.
1.Effective speaking but poor listening. If this is the leader’s
characteristics the results could be as under:
It will increase your
focus. You may have generated good followers & good soldiers. But the
potential leaders will leave. There will be practically no innovation. Stress
level will increase.
2.Effective speaking and active listening. That is the perfect combination for
the leader. The focus of the leader and of the organisation will remain in the
forefront. Things will happen fast. Loyalty of employees will increase.
Appreciation of mind and ability to enjoy the work will bring in more
breakthroughs, more innovations. People will collaborate with each other and
also compete with each other. The best will blossom with the leader’s effective
speech and active listening. An atmosphere of sustainable leadership will
Possibility 3: Poor
speaking but active listening. It will amount to lack of focus. Also, waste of
time & money. There will be thrust on management by committees. People
might get an impression that anything goes.
listening will also result in the positives. The employees will become more
self-expressed. Application of mind by them will increase. There would be
Possibility 4: Poor
speaking and poor listening. It will be nothing but a slow death of the
enterprise. The death of textile mills in Mumbai & Ahmadabad can be
attributed to this syndrome. Misunderstanding and conflicts will rule.
Opportunities will be missed. There would be high rate of attrition. Isolation
will result in fragmentation, and finally extinction.
Just perusing the
above possibilities would shake our slumber. Importance of communication will
then be fully realised. So, I will deal with both aspect of communication- good
speaking and good listening.
What should one do to
become an excellent Communicator?
First of all it is
necessary to have strong content. Content is the king. Effective communications
take this into account more than any other aspect of management or even life.
Content means domain knowledge. You can’t fool people with shallow thoughts.
Much less you can impress them. Lot of hard work goes into acquiring knowledge.
The biggest problem is seen when you have worthwhile knowledge but you can’t
use into your advantage due to lack of effective speech. Your expression
remains impaired. People would barely know that you are a storehouse of useful
Then what should you
do? Become a good speaker. Practice the art and science of speaking clearly,
confidently and convincingly.
How do you speak
clearly? You must understand that speech in the result of decision to
communicate. You must also understand what goes into making voice and the
speech. The process in simple words is as follows. First of all ‘thinking’
clarifies the idea you want to project to the listener or a group of listeners.
Then brain sends a signal to the lungs and some breath is released. Breath
strikes the vocal cord to produce sound. But the words are created by the
speech organs. So in order to speak clearly, think clearly. Cultivate habit of
deep breathing. It enables to have sufficient breath to support strength of
your voice. This will also enable you to speak longer sentence without
breathing in between. The flow of speech will enable ideas to flow smoothly.
Listening intently is
equally important for good communication
Communication does not
mean only effective speaking. In fact, it is the beginning point. But even more
important is active listening. Active listening will bring about the results
that you are looking for. You communicate with someone or a group of listeners
with an objective. How can you influence others? By listening to them actively
or with your speech. How do you find whether you are a good listener or not? I
give below a checklist which is self- explanatory.
You must always use
this checklist to prepare for any important meeting particularly when you have
to speak to an audience!
1. Don’t think of what
you are going to say next when another person is speaking. Just focus on
understanding and assimilating what he/she has to say.
2. You must listen
with an open mind. Don’t try to relate with your own experience, similar
experience. When someone is relating a story in support of his argument, your
tendency to evaluate should be given a pause. Never be judgmental, as they say.
3. When you are
listening, try to recreate mentally what the other person is saying
4. Try to see things
from the speaker’s point of view. Empathise and be compassionate while
5. Try to uncover the
intent of the speaker. All speakers may not be terse. Their verbosity may
require a little extra effort on your part to understand the intent. Make this
6. Think what results
you can produce through listening rather than speaking. If you want to
influence people, you will be amazed to observe how listening comes in handy
7. Listen a minute
longer than it is comfortable. That extra minute will give you extra input. In
any case, you are having a dialogue for understanding the other’s point of
8. Last but not the
least; you must remember that your words of advice will be seen as unwanted
noise. Never give an advice unless asked for. If you are not convinced and the
solution demands that you must express your views, do that and say we agree to
our lives in more ways than we know.
Right from the time we get up in the morning,
we start communicating. We speak to our people at home. Each word that we speak
has some kind of signification. Either we request for help or we do something
for others at home.
We receive telephonic
calls. Our talk on telephone is either verbose or we are to the point. We
efficacy of our words determine to what extent we can influence the people we
If we word to list all
the jobs that we have to do during the day, our productivity will be reflected
in the complication of our tasks. Normally one would not relate productivity
with our speech or with our communication.
If you are a team
leader, you’re expected to motivate your team members to perform certain tasks.
Your success as a leader depends on how successful your team members are in
If you are working for
someone, your performance will depend on how best you can assimilate the
instruction. Evidently you may need some clarification on the job assign to you
this will also require you to communicate.
communication has certain prerequisites. These are:
1. Language: you must
have adequate knowledge of the language. These include grammar a reasonable
vocabulary and ability to make perfect sentences to express exactly what you
want to convey.
2. Body language: If
you are talking in person your body language plays an important role in your
3. If you are talking
on the telephone the clarity of your speech and be efficacy of expression will
determine your effectiveness.
4. I f you are
sending a written communication making some request, again the result will
depend on the effectiveness of your letter or Email.
5. If you’re
communicating with a group of friends through social media, the success of your
task will depend on the words that you use while communicating.
6. If you are making a
presentation to a group of people, your objective will be archive partially or
holy depending on your performance during the communication.
7. If you are a
teacher and teach the students. The knowledge that your students may acquire
depending on how effective you are in your expression.
8. If you are an
advocate you will be able to convince the judge about you clients in a since
provided you use the language effectively. Otherwise even your solid evidence
can sometimes be our looked.
9. As a journalist you
are supposed to report the news as it may happen. You are not expected to
include your opinion in your report. But if you don’t have adequate control
over your written or spoken language, you will not be able to remain objective.
10. There is no scope
for any letup or fault by the General or the officer who is leading an
What has been said
above, when assimilated, will empower you to always use the ‘Double Edged
Sword’ of Communications to make you a winner.
Life has many facets: habits, aspirations, goals, significance etc. It is rare that there has been an artist who was also a good householder and a progressive human being. When I say a good householder, I mean one who facilitates the family in all respects. He not only provides for them materially but also emotionally. This is so, typical for a family man. But when we talk of an individual who doesn’t have a family, they too will have to find out their goals; what they want to do in life by controlling or changing their habits. In these circumstances it is difficult to imagine an artist who is totally devoted to his/her passion for art putting similar emphasis/importance on all the other aspects of life, as said above.
Therefore I think we must understand and practice the ‘Secrets of Happy Living’.
The first secret, according to me, would be ‘Self Awareness’. An individual needs to be conscious of his own body, state of mind including thoughts, actions, ideas, feeling and interaction with others. Besides, self awareness has to be a continuous process. It’s only then that you can mould your thoughts, actions and relationship with others. Without doubt, this requires a constant review. The process teaches you how to go about finding solutions to the problems.
The second secret is setting priorities. It is not only fixing the priorities but also scheduling them according to their relative importance. We must remember that when we schedule a task and provide a time slot, it is not necessary that time allocated will always be found sufficient. Time management is another important aspect to be reviewed from time to time. The discipline that you require for constant follow up requires a logical approach. It should have nothing to do with the moods of the person. When a particular task is not finished as per schedule you need to provide the next slot and abide by it. This protocol alone can bring about the desired results.
The third secret is necessary to develop a keen sense of focus. To my mind doing only one thing at a time is the best approach. As far as possible there should be no interruption. Equally important is your total mind and soul into what you are doing. One has to start living in the present, moment to moment. Deliberate effort may be required for some time but then it becomes your habit and you start navigating you life as if you are flying an airplane.
Lastly, the fourth secret is your speech. It is critically important. Because we have to interact with colleagues, family members and the society at large, we must choose our words and use them effectively. Any wrong choice or casual approach towards this very important aspect of human personality can be disastrous. Speech must always be clear; words should be chosen with discretion and spoken effectively. Speech helps to maintain and improve our relations in any environment.
To conclude I would like to say that a successful life in modern times requires us to know and practice these and any other secret that works for us.
Thanks for reading.
Speech is, perhaps, one of the most important aspects of communication, today. Speech comprises the words that you speak and more importantly how you speak these words. Speech is not taught in schools and colleges. We just pick it up – from our parents, teachers, friends and others in the society with whom we interact. Some of the mistakes that people make in our circle are also adopted by us, though unknowingly. When we set out to improve, we have to unlearn many things. Just because we have been committing these mistakes again and again these form a part of our speech habits. Speech blemishes can be corrected with knowledgeable guidance and a lot of practice. In this regard let’s deal with the following six items:
Knowledge of language grammar.
Your vocabulary in that language.
How you construct your sentences.
Clarity in your voice.
Your knowledge and ability to pronounce the words correctly and clearly.
Pace, pause and tone of your speech.
Knowledge of grammar Normally, it is assumed that knowledge of grammar is only bookish ability and it’s useful only for written communications. This is a fallacy and totally incorrect. You can make nice sentences easy to understand only if you are adequately comfortable in the grammar of the language. Learning or building of vocabulary is a lifelong process. It should never cease. Difficult, fancy or fashionable words need not be a part of your vocabulary. In fact, simple is beautiful. Your construction of sentences, in a way, defines your speech. The efficacy of your speech depends on it. Short sentences of varying length may be intertwined to bring out a beautiful style. Voice plays a major role in your speech. Voice need to be pleasing to the ears of your listeners. Voice can be made very attractive by proper breathing and desirable use of the speech organs. Pronouncing the words correctly and clearly shows your style. Importance of clear and correct pronunciation should never be undermined. How you speak is as important in conversation and speech as the content and language, if not more. Power of your speech depends on the judicious use of changing pace, pause and tone etc.
Thanks of Reading.
I did my masters in English Literature long ago from Government College, Ludhiana. My friend Ajit Prasad Jain and I shared the same bench in the class – in the last row. One of our lecturers who taught us kept us engaged in a rather unusual manner. He had a habit of repeating two words – ‘well’ and ‘you know’, almost in every sentence.
We did not have a counter at that time. Nor did we have a stop watch. But we gave ourselves a task of keeping track of how many times the lecturer would repeat the word ‘well’ and ‘you know’ during the period of 45 minutes. The wager was simple. If the professor repeated ‘well’ more than ‘you know’ Ajit would pay for our tea and samosa in the tuck-shop (college canteen) and in case ‘well’ left ‘you know’ behind, I would have to foot the bill.
It appeared to be a never ending game; and it kept our interest high in the prose lecture of our dear Professor. None of us or any other student in the class had the guts to point out and say to him, “Sir, 15-20 % of what you speak in class comprises just of two words – ‘well’ and ‘you know’.
These days too I find that a lot of professionals who come to me for improving their communication skills have similar habits. Filler words, are intruders who reduce the efficacy of speech. I still encounter, ‘You know’, though ‘well’ is not commonly used these days. But the most repetitively used words these days are – ‘like’, ‘basically’, ‘actually’ etc. Besides, other common intruders are – and, eh, uh, etc. In the first session itself I ask my students to remove these intruders (filler words and sounds) from their speech.