Effective Communication and Speech-Giving
The need for improvement in effective speech and lecture communication is expressed in all segments of American business. About four years ago, public leaders in the state of Washington ranked communication skills first on their list of skills they were looking for when selecting (to hire) executive personnel. Who doesn’t remember George W. Bush and what some citizens referred to as his “Bush-isms?” No one wants to be known for their inability to communicate effectively in public!
And if that’s not convincing enough, communication is used in every function of any business or industry. Effective communication is needed to make business plans, policies, agreements, to read and sign contracts, to give orders, to develop websites, to write letters, to acquire a decent career, etc,. This, in and of itself, is one of the most important functions of communication. Unclear orders simply waste businesses and people time and money.
How many times has a boss or parent given you instruction that you followed in a manner you thought was correct, only to find out it wasn’t, and you had to start from the beginning or do something unrelated to what you were doing? It can be very frustrating and a waste of time.
Good communication stems from good organization. Large corporate companies often have a Human Resources (HR) department. The HR department deems that creating good employees is their mission. In order to create a good employee, HR must hire a person who is a good fit for the position, treat them well to ensure comfort and longevity, and train them well. When a person is effectively trained, the communication process is streamlined and formatted. Therefore, if something goes wrong, it is easy to decipher where/how the incident happened and even easier to solve through effective communication.
Public speaking is also the most effective form of marketing a product or service. A real, live person is extremely convincing, but a horrible speech is extremely distracting! In fact, it is so important that some companies hire people to do just that, while others train their employees in-house! There are some companies, as well, that would not thrive without successful speech-givers. They would simply collapse.
There is a long list of what not to do and what to do when speech giving. For example: what not to do is give a sales-pitch. This is because it is too-rehearsed and sounds monotonous and, plainly, no one really wants to know that someone is trying to sell them something. If, instead, you speak verbatim and speak from what you already know, you will sound more natural and convincing. That is not to say that you can’t have notes or note cards, you just shouldn’t be reading them word-for-word. That’s also why thousands upon thousands of telemarketing businesses no-longer exist today: not enough people were willing to sit through the sales pitch in order to make a donation or buy a product. Besides that, people are less-likely to believe in a product or service if they don’t see real, existing evidence.
There are also the questions that a person must ask him/herself before developing a speech. These include: who is my audience? How long will my speech be? And, why am I speaking? How will I organize my speech? How do I keep it interesting?
There are pitfalls, as well; you could stumble across while writing the initial speech. Sometimes a person, in the business world, is told to give a speech on an extremely broad topic. Then you might ask, how do you streamline a topic? And, if you have a speech impediment, how do you make it sound like you don’t? And what do you do if you have an accent? And what if you are told to give a speech but don’t have a topic?
Before embarking on taking a speech class or giving a public speech, consider your knowledge of the English language. Without an extensive vocabulary and a good ability to pronounce most of the English language effectively, you might end up being the distraction I mentioned earlier. If you want the audience to pay attention to the content of your speech, instead of the quality, focus on your English skills first!
Experience in a smaller-setting might be a better option for a person still struggling with their knowledge and experience while using the English language. That way, you attain the experience, with half the embarassment. The best thing you can do in this situation (for any level speaker) is to video or tape-record your speech. When you listen to it again and again, you will hear your own distractions in your speech-giving technique. Idiosyncrasies simply come out; they can’t be hidden. Eventually, you will come closer and closer to giving a perfect speech, and you will excel in your efforts (and maybe your promotions) too!