Weekly Thought – March 10, 2015
Fred’s generosity of thought and spirit created a fertile environment for mentoring. He liked to keep “running mental files” of material for others. His analytical approach to subjects enabled others to develop their skills. This week will focus on basic presentation skills with Fred’s unique take on the points.
The Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute is working on the 2016 schedule. Please pray as we begin meeting with the steering committees. Thank you for your continuing support.
Imperatives in Effective Speaking (Part 4)
There are a few basic techniques which make listening and assimilating easier.
1) Fire in the voice. This is the most important of all for a speaker. Fire is contagious, clearly identified, yet difficult to describe. It is a proper combination of enthusiasm and conviction… enthusiasm about the subject and a conviction that requires expression. Fire commands listener attention. When the fire is gone, so is the audience. It must be alive, never synthetic. Be sure your volume is appropriate to the subject and the size of the crowd.
2) Rhythm. Rhythm is cadence. There should be highs and lows, peaks and valleys, changes in volume, words, and tone so they never become sonorous or drone on. Be particularly careful in repeating old material to maintain a fresh rhythm. Old content without fresh rhythm sounds like a broken record. Proper rhythm helps to place the emphasis at the right places.
3) Pace. This is important for both ideas and words. The larger the crowd, the slower the pace. The heavier the idea, the slower the pace. This largely determines the ability to receive. Pitch the ball at the speed the audience can catch it comfortably. Familiar material can be presented more quickly. The less familiar the hearer is with the content, the more time it will take for assimilation. Generally, emotional material can be given faster, for you are creating a feeling, not a rational response. A great example of this technique is the auctioneer who generates more and more excitement by his increasing pace.
4) Clear enunciation. Words must be heard to be comprehended. When there are question marks on the faces of the listeners, the speaker must repeat the material. When there is an accent, extra precaution must be taken. Avoid affectations. A theatrical voice makes people think of you as an actor and your message as part of your act. Remember, an effective communicator creates a personal relationship, not a performance.
5) Gestures. Use only natural movements – ones that agree with your words. Use what you have; unnatural gestures detract from the communicator. As you add to your movement vocabulary, make sure they fit you. Uncoordinated gestures are a distraction.
6) Appropriate words. Select words fitting for the subject. Small subjects don’t need big words. General ideas don’t require great precision. Holy ideas are best presented in reverent phrases, not slang. Unless you are attempting to shock, there should never be conflict between words and ideas.
Think about this week: 1) How careful am I with my speaking? 2) Which point do I need to improve? 3) Who can help me practice my speaking techniques?
Words of Wisdom: “Remember, an effective communicator creates a personal relationship not a performance.”
Wisdom from the Word: “When the Lord heard you speaking to me, he said to me, ‘I have heard what these people have said to you – they have spoken well.’” (Deuteronomy 5:28 NET Bible)