WHEN SPEAKING … CONSIDER WHAT REALLY COUNTS

The proof of the message imparted by a good presenter is the life changing impact that can happen in and for the lives of others. Words are powerful artefacts of social and cultural expression.

WHAT MATTERS

It matters not if your audience is big or small. All those who come to hear you are paying you respect. Respect them in turn by offering the best delivery possible.

Should the development of speech and speaking programs be part of the curriculum available to children and students of all ages? Is ‘speaking and listening’ becoming an extinct form of expression?

WHEN SPEAKING

When speaking convey your RESPECT to and APPRECIATION of the audience. You commit to present and they commit to listen. Within every auditorium and lecture hall should exist a positive partnership.

It seems to me that school leaders, teachers, support staff and students are the ACTORS. The school and classrooms are stages. ‘Education’ is the plot and the future in life’s world the conclusion.

Can it happen that a speaker presenting the same content to a number of different audience groups can stereotype the presentation so those ending the speaking chain are unimpressed by the delivery?

SPEAKING ‘SUPPORTS’

Consider developing and including a MISSION STATEMENT of 25 words or less on the reverse side of your business or personal card. I did this from 1983. It can make a significant impact when shared.

When speaking to an audience be meticulous about acknowledging your sources if using quotes or referring to a particular thesis of thought. Plagiarism may not be intended but can be a speech blot.

Know your AUDIENCE CONTEXT and speak in a genre with which they are familiar and therefore feel comfortable. Talking above the heads of the audience would be unfortunate. Research audience background.

EDUCATIONAL POINTS TO PONDER

Teachers, students and parents used to have only a one week break between term three and four. Next week used to be ‘back to school’. Thanks to the holiday reconsideration by former Education Minister Peter Chandler ( who thoroughly researched the question length of this break), a change in structure allowed an extra week at this time. Mr Chandler deserves credit for orchestrating this much appreciated change.

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One of the fallacies practised by contemporary leaders of government departments and key support organisations, is to studiously avoid appreciating departmental and organisational history. Management and leadership practice is to trash established processes, the preference being to ‘start over’ with ‘renewal’ practices ( rather than building on what has gone before). Little wonder so much mediocrity abounds within key institutions.

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Education needs a return to good, old fashioned, effective teaching and learning, especially in secondary schools both public and private. For far too many students, concepts and new learning are hampered by ‘vague’ teaching. Modern teaching methodology is about landing students with huge, (often irrelevant) assignments with a focus on self styled learning without meaningful, focussed teaching.

WHEN SPEAKING, HAVE A SUPPORT PERSON

Think of having someone as a CRITICAL COLLEAGUE offer you feedback on your presentations. Ask for recognition of your strengths and constructive criticism on things you might improve in future.

The presentation challenge is everlasting. We never reach the pinnacle. If we feel we have made it, with nothing left to learn, our slide into the area of lesser effectiveness begins immediately.

Encourage those in your workplaces, to consider speech and speaking development. So many people are frightened of dealing with the public because they lack communications confidence. Help them up.

AFTER SPEAKING … SELF REFLECT AND EVALUATE

After presenting, take a few minutes to self reflect and evaluate your delivery. Be analytical. ‘Self-praise’ – and also reflect on things you might do differently. Make a few notes on pros and cons.

Keep a notebook or a running file in which you note things being done well and mastered. Also note speech and speaking challenges that continue to confront you during your development.

Appreciate the speech efforts of others and where appropriate commend them on strong points of delivery and impact of message. Have the confidence to offer advice in a non – threatening or ‘put down’ manner. People can only improve if they know where areas of challenge exist.

SOCRATIC DISCUSSION … A SPEAKING OPTION

A SPEAKING OPTION

Consider SOCRATIC DISCUSSION. It is a method of engaging presenters and recipients in great discourse methodology. It is superior as a way of developing shared learning and understanding.

The Socratic method of discussion helps students think logically and in a problem solving way. It focuses on issues and messengers rather than messengers. It uplifts debate and brings everyone into the conversational frame. If the discussion area is appropriately set, it ensures everyone is on the same level, with all participants able to see each other’s faces. There is no talking to the back of hears, rather the opportunity to engage in meaningful visual and eye contact.

WHEN SPEAKING… IT’S YOUR MESSAGE THAT PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR

I think it important that presenters are about ENHANCING THEIR TOPIC and selling their message, rather than big-noting themselves. Self aggrandisement should not be a prime aim.

We need to work on building the speech and speaking skills of YOUNG PEOPLE. World-wide, there is an atrocious lack of speech confidence and accuracy shown by our next generation of adults.

As a leader consider SPEAKING AND LISTENING development for those working with you. Their gaining in confidence will impress and value add through perceptions held by those engaging your organisation.

WHEN SPEAKING IT’S YOUR MESSAGE THAT PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR

I think it important that presenters are about ENHANCING THEIR TOPIC and selling their message, rather than big-noting themselves. Self aggrandisement should not be a prime aim.

We need to work on building the speech and speaking skills of YOUNG PEOPLE. World-wide, there is an atrocious lack of speech confidence and accuracy shown by our next generation of adults.

As a leader consider SPEAKING AND LISTENING development for those working with you. Their gaining in confidence will impress and value add through perceptions held by those engaging your organisation.

WHEN SPEAKING … DO AS I DO

MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKERS often encourage audience members to follow particular courses of action. Don’t spruik if not prepared to do those things advocated for others. Avoid hypocrisy.

During or after presenting, aim to engage audience by INVITING QUESTIONS and responses relating to the topic. Allowing time for audience engagement helps reinforce the message that has been shared.

STORY-TELLING is a great entertaining option. Ask the audience to go into their mind’s eye, picture and visualise the story you are telling, so they too own what you are sharing. It is engaging.