We begin as children striving to communicate first with our parents and then the world around us. We constantly test what works and what doesn’t work with our conversational styles. An example of this asking something in a grocery store, when we were a child. There are several ways to approach the subject matter. We may hint or be more direct by just asking for that piece of gum. This shows that we can adapt based on situational circumstances.
As children we learn to adapt by judging, interpreting and internally dialoging a situation whether consciously or subconsciously know it or not. Public speaking and normal conversation goes through the same process. To be a powerful speaker we need to be aware that there is an actual relationship linking a casual conversation and speaking to a group of people. By recognizing the similarities we can attain amazing results by capturing an audience’s attention.
First, you can organize or ideas and thought process to a more conducive manner of persuading your audience. You can slowing build to a point where the listeners cannot peal themselves away from your words and the story you are sharing with them. The relationship is subtle but we have all told a joke at one point or another. Most jokes are situational, in my opinion, so we may choose to share a different kind of joke with one person and not the same one to the next. The same subtle principal applies to talking to larger groups.
The second concept is tailoring your message to your audience. What does this mean? Well, if you were talking to a 73 year old woman, would you talk to her about playing hockey? I think not. The same is true if you were talking to an audience of financial advisors. You would focus on what would be important to that group, not telling going into a long winded explanation how to do the classic 4 step approach for bowling.
The last relationship idea is extremely important. When you are talking to a person you can tell by body language and facial expression what your message is doing to them emotionally. You may be causing people to be happy, confused, have anger or any other range of emotion. Gauging an audience is the same as reading a single person and essential for effective speaking. By reading your group you can tailor your message even further for that group.
You may say, “Hey Fran, this sounds like manipulation.” It does and yes, your right! You are trying to get across a message. I am not talking sugar coating what you say. Being more concise and to the point with your audience is always appreciated. You may be trying to sell something, trying to get them to act on something. You may be trying to get them to vote for you.
People who communicate well personally with other people will have the advantage in a large group setting. The three relationships between the two styles of communication are subtle but so connected. Master these three concepts with interpersonal communication and your public speaking skills will instantly increase.
My name is Francis Murray I have been public speaking for over 25 years. My website offers free tips and how-to’s on Public Speaking. Visit now http://www.ExpressivePublicSpeaking.com
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