The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Speak Convincingly

To speak convincingly, whether before a group, in the media, or when delivering a sermon, there are certain skills that will win listeners over to your side and keep their attention.

When speaking in public, you need to be well prepared. The better prepared you are, the smoother your delivery will be and the more confidence you will project. If you appear or sound nervous or unprepared, your listeners will never hear your message. They will focus merely on how nervous you are, how much you stammer, how often you lose your place. If you are preceived negatively, this is all your listeners will remember. If you project confidence instead, you will be listened to and your message will be remembered.

Speak in a lively manner and with a well modulated voice, varying tempo and pacing regularly. If you speak slowly in a monotone, you will be ignored. Speak quickly and strongly and people are much more likely to listen to you and believe what you are telling them. You may be speaking absolute truth, but if you speak it too slowly, too tentatively, nobody will believe you.

When speaking, make sure to ask questions of your audience or in some way engage them every eight minutes. Television has trained the listening public to expect some sort of break at eight minute intervals. Since you won't be providing commercial breaks, make sure to engage the listeners every eight minutes as they expect. Their attention will be maintained and refreshed.

However, that said, limit your presentations to 20 minutes (approximately) as that is about the extent of the TV trained attention span. The age of multi-hour orations is long past.

Provide very solid, well researched information of use to your listeners. Everyone's time is precious and you should not waste your audience's time or your own.

Finally, and this is sad, loud voices are considered to be telling the truth. Strident voices are believed by many to be the voices of truth and reason, even when they are delivering nothing more than propaganda or provocations they are paid to provide, no matter the consequences.

Take note: all of the pundits on the air today use each and every one of these techniques expertly. Many believe what they say to be the truth, no matter how foolish.

Speakers of truth: use these techniques to provide messages of true value and worth, messages of peace and love, faith and reason.

Listeners: be aware of these techniques and consider whether the skillful orator is using these skill sets to deliver truth or to deliver lies that seem like truth. Today it pays to know the difference.

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