Friday, March 4, 2011

Help your audience hear what you are saying

 Are you contributing to better listening?

How do we increase the effectiveness of our message and get the listeners to listen better?

Six strategies will help your presentation be dynamic and memorable. All strategies involve analyzing your listeners. Take the time to get to know your audience, then apply the following strategies:

One, make it interesting to that group by personalizing your message for them.

Two, use visual aids to make your talk memorable, interesting, and clear. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. Visual aids are especially effective with a group of International listeners.

Three, change your voice tone, pitch, and volume during your presentation. Nothing puts people to sleep faster than a monotone voice or a tired presenter.

Four, use movement when delivering your presentation. Try not to pace, but move around the room and engage the audience.

Five, make eye contact with as many listeners as possible. Give each listener the feeling you are talking to each one personally.

But, that was only five, what about the sixth one, you may be asking right now. Good observation. I have separated the sixth one out because it is the most important.

Six, use REPETITION in your presentation.

There is an old maxim for public speakers: Tell them what you are going to say, tell them, then, tell them what you said. This maxim is so true and so powerful. Many folks resist this because they think it will be insulting the listeners; however, you will never insult the listeners this way.

In fact, they will appreciate this strategy.

Don’t do this in your writing because if the reader doesn’t understand something or “drifts off” while reading, s/he can go back and reread. However, when “drifting off” while listening, the listener cannot go back and re-listen. So it is the responsibility of the speaker to say it again.

So the strategy of repetition has three parts:

Introduction: tell the listeners what you will be speaking about.

Body: tell the listeners your information with clear points all supported by evidence.

Conclusion: tell them what you said with one example to jog their memory back to what you said.

The Pay Off:

It is so important that we understand why listeners do not hear or understand everything we say. With this understanding we can use the six strategies to help them understand our message. We will have more patience and the listeners will be more informed.

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