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How to speak well

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No matter who you are or what you do, speaking well is one of the most important skills you can develop. Personal relationships, social interactions and work situations all require you to communicate to other people. By becoming a better speaker you can advance your career, enhance your reputation, boost your self-confidence and open up countless opportunities: If you would like training 'How to speak well' in your business, just get in touch, and I'll send you the training modules FREE. James Hurford | Corporate Trainer Author, 'How to write well' and 'How to speak well' Call: +27 (0) 742 545 881 Email: [email protected] Website: www.passion.za.com

Text of How to speak well

  • 2014 James Hurford. Passion. All rights reserved. Where possible an accreditation has been given to the source of photography and any original content used. In some cases this source could not be found. If you know the original source and would like an accreditation, please get in contact and Ill post one for you. Front cover image source: christians.deviantart.com 2 HOW TO SPEAK WELL Secrets to help you communicate better at work, at home and in your community by James Hurford
  • Source: Hollywoodreporter.com
  • TO BECOME A GREAT LEADER, YOU MUST BECOME A GREAT COMMUNICATOR You cant become a great leader, if you cant speak well. It's no coincidence that throughout history nearly all of the great world leaders were good speakers Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy to name but a few. Whether youre a president or a manager, your success depends on good communication. 7 tips to make you a great communicator 1. Connect with people effective communication is more about building relationships than anything else. Communicate with the emphasis on connecting with people and they will respond better to you and your message. Speak from the heart and use your own language, let your own personality shine through. Make sure your communication is genuine and true and avoid corporate mumbo-jumbo your team will respect you for it. 2. Build trust for you to become a great communicator, people must trust you. Being aware of this is the single most important thing that you should keep mind: If you want to win a man to your cause, rst convince him that you are a sincere friend. Abraham Lincoln 3. Use more than just words when we communicate we use words, tone of voice and body language to get our message across. The very best messages are those that are synchronised when theyre all giving the same message. How you look and what you wear speaks volumes about you. People judge you on your appearance before any words are spoken. Make 4
  • sure you look the part. Pay attention to grooming, style and t of clothing. Your look also includes personable qualities facial expression, good posture, a positive attitude and eye contact, all play an important part. 4. Listen well its one of the fundamental skills of success. Its hard to be great or trusted without it. When youre not listening well to someone you're communicating, I don't care. You're not worthy of my attention. Which has to be on the quickest ways to destroy anyones trust. Listen with your eyes and your body. Practice patience, empathise and most importantly be present. Avoid taking interruption calls, text messages or emails it's one of the fastest ways to show you don't really care about them. 5. Be simple, clear and concise it's always better than complicated and confusing. Simplify your communication and stick to the core point. It also shows that you have respect for your teams time. Meetings should contain a brief summary and a call to action with clear instructions. By keeping matters short, it also shows that you have a clear understanding of what is being said. 6. Think before you speak don't force yourself into a conversa- tion just to hear yourself speak. Keep your thoughts under wraps until you have something specic to say, until you understand how to proceed. Your words are a reection of who you are. If you speak before you think, you're not considering the words you're saying or the words of the person you should be listening to. Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. 7. Ask the right questions you'll get to the heart of effective communication and information exchange. Youll gather better information and learn more; youll build stronger relationships, manage people more effectively and help others to learn too. Skilful questioning needs to be matched by careful listening so that you understand what people really mean with their answers. Your body language and tone of voice can also play a part in the answers you get when you ask questions. Your ability to develop effective communication skills accounts for fully 85% of your success in business and in your personal life. The good news is, communication is a learned skill. We can all get better at it by learning what great communicators do and practising these skills until they become part of our everyday life. 5
  • Source: thegrindstone.com
  • 20 TIPS TO BEING A BETTER SPEAKER No matter who you are or what you do, speaking well is one of the most important skills you can develop. Personal relationships, social interactions and work situations all require you to communicate to other people. By becoming a better speaker you can advance your career, enhance your reputation, boost your self-condence and open up countless opportunities: 1. Talk with your listeners not at them use a conversational style. The same as you would if they were sitting across a table from you. Dont use jargon and stuffy words, keep it simple and direct. 2. Paint pictures with your words see in your mind the story you are telling. Youll have more excitement in your voice when you bring it alive. 3. Put energy and re in your voice if your voice sounds nervous or timid, you sense it, the audience will hear it and youll see their discomfort. Use energy and youll come across as more condent. 4. Set the tone your condence, emotional state and attitude is often revealed in your tone of voice. You would use a different tone at a funeral than you would a wedding. Make sure your tone is right for the topic youre talking about. It will set the stage for your whole presentation. 5. Dont give long talks twenty minutes max, any longer than that is a test of peoples endurance. Remember, it takes more time to write a short talk than a long one. Keep it direct and to the point. 6. Dont write your speech word for word youll end up reading it. Write it like a short script. Use phases to guide you and jog your memory. Itll sound more natural and youll come across a more spontaneous. 7. Practice your talk out loud if it sounds right it usually is right. 8. Prepare and rehearse too many people think all they need to do is rehearse once before they go into the presentation. If you want to hold attention and command authority you need to practice. Again, again and again. 9. Get and hold attention take command straight away by striding to the lectern with purpose. Start your talk eyes-up, in a conversational style, with energy and enthusiasm by doing this youre saying, Im in control. 10. Dont dget put pens, paper, phones or anything else distracting to one side. Fiddle with these things at your cost. Youll come across as nervous. 7
  • 11. Look your best your appearance sets the stage. Make sure you use it to your advantage. Dress one step up from the best dressed in the room. 12. Make eye contact after your voice, your eyes are the most powerful tool for communicating. When presenting, establish eye contact and click from one person to another in your audience, pausing briey between each set of eyes in the room. This click gives your listeners the feeling you're relating to each one individually. 13. Stand tall how you stand speaks volumes. A balanced stance with weight even but slightly forward says the speaker is engaged with the audience. A slumped stance says the speaker doesn't care. 14. Let your gestures ow theyll make you look more natural and theyll actually reinforce your words. But dont over do it. 15. Make a connection empathy builds trust. When you can read other peoples feelings and share your own you make a much stronger impact. Its critical for effective communication. 16. Show condence your body language and facial expressions communicate as much as your words. Attitudes, feelings and emotions are sent like telegrams to your audience. Make sure they are in sync with what you are saying. 17. Smile you communicate joy and ease. A frozen or neutral face communicates absolutely nothing. Show warmth, sincerity and feeling by keeping your face animated. 18. Conquer nervousness over come your fear with preparation. The more you prepare, the less nerves you will have. Begin preparing your talk at least three weeks ahead of time. 19. Check out where you are speaking it will prevent last minute surprises. Practice standing at the lectern, re-arrange chairs, check out the sound system its your stage, not just a room. 20. Be yourself the more you try to act like someone on stage, the more people will see straight through you. The more you act like yourself, the more natural and condent you will come across. 8
  • Source: hufngtonpost.com
  • PUBLIC SPEAKING CAN GIVE YOU THE WILLIES We've all seen it happen the stumbling over words, the awful hesitations and lost lines making you squirm in your seat or simply wishing the speaker would disappear down a hole. Why is it people fear public speaking so much? Some people will go to the extent of avoiding public speaking altogether. Others will pass up promotions and assignments which require speaking. It may even lead some to choose a career that doesnt call for public speaking at all, rather than following the one they really want. Others dont go that far, but will go to great lengths to avoid making presentations, or just speaking in a meeting. They may even deliberately arrive late, hoping to miss the customary introductions Hi, errrImummmJ J JohnThe Gibbering Idiot. The fear of being rejected its so strong that were not only afraid of being ridiculed, laughed at, ashamed or judged; were also afraid of being excluded from a social group. Facing your fears You have to remember that everyone gets a bit nervous. Its how you control your nerves that matters: Conquer uncertainty the more uncertain you are, the more nervous you will be. Fear of the unknown, uncertainty, thats what makes people panic. The more you can reduce uncertainty the less nervous you will be. A few tips to help conquer uncertainty 1. Dont shoot in the dark think about the purpose of your talk, your audience, the occasion. Talk to people, nd out what they want you to present. Don't give a surprise presentation, it could backre on you. 2. Be prepared dont wing it. The more you prepare the more condent you will be, and the less nerves you will have. Begin preparing your talk at least three weeks ahead of time. 3. Give it structure there are three parts to your talk or presentation; introduction, body and conclusion. Write an outline of your main points. This will give you a roadmap to follow before you get bogged down with ner details. 4. Don't memorise everything youll sound like a droning robot. A talk or presentation whether to ten or a hundred people must be 10
  • spoken, not read or memorised. Write your presentation with your ear as well as your pen. Read it out loud as you write it. If it doesn't sound right, it usually isn't right. 5. Keep it short some of the best talks I've ever heard have been short. It takes more work to write a short, tight talk or presentation than a long, rambling one. Cut, chop and edit. Make it tight, direct and to the point. Your audience will thank you for it. 6. Practice your presentation record it and play it back. Listen to yourself. Re-edit your talk and record it again until you're satised. It will help you put the shine on your talk and make your words come naturally. Also, nothing will build your condence as much as practice. 7. Keep up appearances people judge you by the way you look. Some will decide before youve even opened your mouth whether they are going to listen to you. The way you look, the way you hold yourself, your presence (or lack of it), all play a vital role. Pay attention to your appearance, it will help you build your condence. 8. Calm yourself knowing you've done most of the work already will help you over come some of your nerves. The rest is condence and a sense of authority. Stop thinking about yourself and your fears, remember that the audience wants you to succeed. 9. Get approval approval is what we all want when presenting and we're afraid we won't get it. That's what makes us nervous. Just before you start talking, pause, make eye contact, and smile. Nothing will relax you and your audience more. You'll gain a sense of approval and it will give you time to relax and get in control. 10. Start strong your opening must be totally eyes-up. You want to sound calm and at ease, with a sense of joy to be there. You'll see your audience visibly relax as they realise have what it takes to make a good presentation, which in turn will relax you. Remember, every great speaker started out as a poor one. What made them a success was their willingness to take a chance, try again and view every opportunity as a step to becoming a better speaker. 11
  • Source: buckleyschool.com
  • WHILE YOURE SPEAKING, WHATS YOUR BODY SAYING? Like it or not people judge you by the way you look. Your facial expressions, the clothes you wear, how well groomed you are and your body language. And, theyre even more important when youre presenting and all eyes of an audience are on you. More than half of all human communication takes place nonverbally. You are constantly sending out messages. If theyre not in tune with your words nobody is going to take you seriously. To become an effective communicator you must understand how your body speaks. You cant stop sending out nonverbal messages, but you can learn to manage and control them. 1. The power of facial expression and eye contact Your face communicates your attitudes, feelings and emotions more than any other part of your body. The movement of your eyes, mouth, and facial muscles can have a signicant impact on your ability to connect with your audience and they can undermine your every word. After your voice, your eyes are the most powerful tool for communicating. When presenting, establish eye contact and click from one person to another in your audience, pausing briey between each set of eyes in the room. This click gives your listeners the feeling you're relating to each one individually. Your face should be animated, not still like a stone statue from nervousness. Unfreeze your face right from the start. Introduce yourself with a smile. Itll make people relax and smile back a sign of approval. 2. Your stance speaks volumes How you stand can tell the audience if you're happy, scared, condent or uncomfortable. A balanced stance with weight even but slightly forward says the speaker is engaged with the audience. A slumped stance says the speaker doesn't care. 13
  • If you use gestures, let them ow with your words. Gesturing doesnt only help you look more natural, but it can actually reinforce your verbal message. Keep in mind that gesturing is different from dgeting. Avoid holding papers, pens or remote controls when you are speaking. By removing objects from your hands, youll remove distractions and look more open and condent. 3. Make a good rst impression How you look and what you wear is your packaging. It sends a strong visual message even before you open your mouth. Get it wrong and you could lose your audience before you start. You cant change your age, height or facial features, but you can enhance your appearance by dressing well. Make sure you use it to your advantage. You can enhance your authority in any presentation situation by dressing up rather than down. Always dress as well or slightly better than your audience and make sure you think about how it makes you feel. If you feel condent, that will come across in your presentation. Actions speak louder than words Engaging an audience is more than just the words you speak. Showing condence through your body language is an important skill to develop. Its important to come across as natural as possible, so while these tips will help, you must make sure you only use what makes you feel comfortable. Be yourself copying other peoples gestures or body language might look awkward if they're not something you would do. To be an effective speaker, you must convey sincerity, warmth and condence by making your mannerisms and actions afrm what you're saying. Develop empathy its critical for effective communication. Your ability to understand and share feelings with people will signicantly impact on your success in both your business and personal life. Empathy builds trust. Without it you can't be a leader. 14
  • Source: Statesman.com
  • 20 POWERFUL SECRETS OF PERSUASION Your ability to persuade and inuence people, to get them to understand, accept and act upon your ideas is crucial to your success. People who speak persuasively have greater personal power, get more things done and achieve their goals faster. By learning how to persuade and inuence people it will help you to be more successful in every area of life your home, your work and in your community. Two important things to remember Persuasion is not manipulation manipulation is control and coercion through force, to get someone to do or believe something that doesnt benet them. Persuasion uses reasoning, sound argument and compelling benets to get people to do things that are in their own best interest and yours. Dont try to persuade the unpersuadable choose your ground. Identify those who are more open to your ideas, point-of view, products or services and focus your energy and attention on them. The power of persuasion 1. If people dont trust you, they wont listen to you trust underpins everything you say and do. Your reliability, condence, credence and assurance without them, you are lost. 2. We like people who are similar to us people prefer to say yes to people they like. Thats why, before getting down to business, it is best to talk about who you are, what you do and, if possible, nd some common ground or pay a genuine compliment. 3. Put yourself in their shoes if you think about yourself and what you want all the time, youre never going to persuade. Learn how to consistently talk to people about them; do that and youll have their attention. 4. Give a little something to get a little something in return were all wired to return favours. The rule of reciprocity is so strong that by giving something, doing a favour, making a concession, providing small gestures of consideration to others, youll nd that others will feel compelled to return your kindness. 5. What we see is just as important as what we hear like it or not, people judge you at rst glance. Your body language, behaviour, character, gestures and the way you are dressed all come into play. They have a lasting impact on your ability to persuade others make the most of them. 16
  • 6. Condence and certainty are compelling we all have a need for certainty, and condence is the outward sign of inner certainty. You will always be able to persuade others if you really believe in what you do. 7. Have authority people listen to experts. They give their trust, and money to them everyday. Because our reaction to authority is so powerful and immediate, by having it you can to a get yes quicker and more often. 8. Knowledge is power know your stuff. 9. Build your reputation your reputation is based on your past. Your integrity, accomplishments and character are all important when you are trying to inuence. When it comes to inuence, your reputation is your biggest asset. 10. Physical attractiveness theres no getting away from it, people like to identify with attractive people. While you dont have to be a model (which can be distracting) you should make the most of how you look. 11. Make it scarce people want more of the things there are less of. If you want somebody to act, you have to make them feel they will lose out if they dont, even if that object is you. 12. Instil a sense of urgency you have to persuade people in the present. If they dont do what you want them to do right away, then theyll never do it in the future. 13. Establish rapport when people feel more comfortable with you they are more open to your suggestion. Listen, ask open ended questions, empower people, pay compliments, use humour youll nd people will warm to you. 14. Be persistent if you want to persuade someone, dont give up. Ultimately, the one who persists will be the most persuasive. Persistence an essential element of persuasion both in business and in life. 15. Be exible with your response the person with the greatest exibility of behaviour will have the most inuence in any situation. Flexibility will enable you to achieve your outcome. 16. Stay calm, keep your emotions in check people turn to those in control of their emotions, especially in times of conict, pressure or stress. Would you look up to a leader who panics under pressure? 17. Pick your battles persuasive people understand that most conversations dont require getting someone to do or accept something. Aggressive pushers put people on the defensive, while truly persuasive people understand their power and use it sparingly. 17
  • 18. Listen more than you speak you cant persuade or convince others, if you dont know the other side of the argument. Persuasive people are constantly listening to you and not themselves. Theyre listening for objections, connections and moments of agreement common ground they can capitalise on. 19. Engage with people smile, establish direct eye contact and speak rmly and clearly, at a slow pace all of this will help them relax and engage with you, which in turn will make them more receptive to you and your ideas. 20. Try to eliminate fear whether youre speaking one-to-one, to a group of people or a large audience people pick up on nervousness. It creates a barrier to persuasion. Stop thinking youre not good enough or you havent got what it takes. We can all get better and no one is perfect. 18
  • Source: rte.ie
  • FOUR SECRETS OF THE WORLDS GREATEST SPEAKERS John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Ronald Reagan they all learnt that if you want to inspire and motivate people your spirit has to enter the soul of the listener. To enter the soul of your listener you need to convey four important qualities. Do just one of these well and youll notice a big difference and so will everyone else. 1. Relax and enjoy it When the speaker is at ease and seems to be enjoying the presentation, the audience will be at ease. People want to listen to someone who's interesting, relaxed and comfortable. In everyday conversations we have no problem being ourselves. Yet when we stand up to give a speech, we change. We focus too much on the audience rather than what we're saying. Take the pressure off yourself, think of your presentation more as a conversation between two people. Make it personal, talk directly to people and make a connection. If you can carry on a relaxed conversation with two or three people, you can also give a great speech. 2. If people don't trust you, they won't listen to you Building credibility starts even before you've had a chance to open your mouth. Self presentation is crucial to your credibility. Visual impact is at least as important as verbal impact, people will very quickly make assumptions based on your facial expressions, the clothes you wear, how well groomed you are and your body language. Dressing well will enhance your credibility and convey professionalism. Most importantly, it will make you feel more condent.Condence plays a key role in establishing credibility and giving a successful presentation. If you look good, you'll feel good. 3. Speak with re in your belly Enthusiasm is contagious. Speak with passion and you'll get people excited. You will naturally be more animated and you'll create energy in the room. People are drawn towards people who are enthusiastic about what they are speaking about. Theyre more interesting, more believable and more likeable. Energy is created by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm is created by a genuine interest and passion about the topic you're speaking about. You can't fake enthusiasm, it has to come from the heart to be effective. Just the act of speaking with enthusiasm makes you come across as more condent. Speak about something that you truly believe in 20
  • such as a product or a business idea or a cause that you're passionate about, and it'll be easy. 4. Take ownership of the room Speaking from a place of strength and authority is mostly a mental game. Once you're in the room, recognise that you belong there. Don't approach meetings or presentations as if its a test. Don't put your head down or nervously ick through papers be there in body and mind. Giving a presentation or making a speech is physical. So when you're asked to take the limelight make sure you take it. Stand upright, hold your head up, put your shoulders back, lean slightly forward and smile. What you're saying with your body language is I'm glad to be here. How you speak matters. If you don't sound like you expect respect, you won't get it. Your eyes, your face, your tone, all play a part theyre the message givers. Establish eye contact with several people in the room as you talk, it will help you connect with your audience. Even better, get people to nod their heads as you speak its a sign of approval. Speak clearly and calmly, slowing your pace it increases your authority as well as your clarity. If you stumble over your words, you're speaking to fast. If you sound hesitant or unsure, people will assume that you either don't have the authority or that you're not willing to use it. Learn from the great speakers If you want to become a better speaker its worth looking at great speeches, the ones that connect with the audience. Youll nd they all have empathy, credibility, enthusiasm and authority and their spirit touches your soul. 21
  • James Hurford specialises in training people in organisations How to write well and How to speak well. With over 25 years of experience working for top international advertising agencies, he brings a vast amount of knowledge and expertise to every organisation he works with, such as: Thomson Reuters (Worldwide) Pricewaterhouse Coopers (Johannesburg) Momentum Insurance (Johannesburg) Hollard Insurance (Johannesburg) Absa Bank (Johannesburg) Standard Bank (Johannesburg) Peregrine Investments (Johannesburg) Bridge Loans (Pretoria) NSFAS (Cape Town) Old Mutual (Cape Town) PPS Investments (Cape Town) Call Direct Personal Loans (Cape Town) South African Government (Cape Town) James Hurford | Corporate Trainer Call: +27 (0) 742 545 881 Email: [email protected] Website: www.passion.za.com LinkedIn: za.linkedin.com/in/jameshurford/ 22 ABOUT THE AUTHOR