What makes you a good speaker? Well, that is the question! When you hear a person speaking perfectly and engagingly, his/her words and voice fascinate, persuade, and motivate. However, what does that “perfectly” hide, and how to come closer to that art?
As we are social beings, all of us have developed speaking habits. They are formed by the environment we used to live in, people we met, interests we have, and thousands of other factors. Four rough categories of speakers are:
- Incoherent – people with a lack of empathy and contextual understanding of the dialogue; they usually tell something irrelevant and not very interesting because they don’t understand the audience;
- Coherent – these people understand the context and show relevant reactions; they usually connect facts and opinions easily;
- Articulate – speakers able to deliver meaningful information and explain themselves, but they usually lack confidence and emotional appeal;
- Eloquent – these are successful speakers that use bright and memorable phrases plus body language.
Of course, different situations require diverse patterns of behavior, depending on your audience and the type of interaction occurring between you. However, for all of them, four aspects are relevant: tone, intelligence, emotions, and thoughtfulness.
To sound clear, make sure to use the language everyone understands and avoid discussing topics unfamiliar to them. Even being tempting, buzzwords, memes, and jargon are the enemies of an intelligent speaker! Make sure that your tone is comfortable for you and your audience – speak loudly enough without extra-force in your voice. Track various vocal modulations you are used to – “uptalk” and “vocal fry” can ruin the impression. Try to sound smooth, and don’t irritate your listeners with the spikes and valleys of your voice.
Also, don’t forget that silence is also a part of your speech. Make meaningful pauses to emphasize something important, and don’t be shy to stay silent when you don’t have anything to add. Just like the silence is a part of your speech, your body is a part of your self-presentation when you talk. Body language can help you sound more persuasively and attract people’s attention to the points you would like to highlight. With relevant gestures and postures, your speech will communicate better. Mind your pose when speaking, and don’t overdo it when throwing your arms about!
This infographic will help you memorize the basic rules of efficient speaking. Take a look!
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