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Invite Some Technology To Your Next Speech – The Accidental Communicator

Invite Some Technology To Your Next Speech

Speakers have access to tools that can make them a better speaker
Speakers have access to tools that can make them a better speaker
Image Credit: stekelbes

How lucky we all are. We get to live in these modern times with all of the advantages that technology can bring to us. Yes, giving a speech is still a difficult thing for any of us to do. However, it turns out that if we’re willing to invite some technology to our next speech we can make the whole process a great deal easier and do a better job of sharing the importance of public speaking. I’m sorry to have to tell you that you are the one who is still going to have to stand up there in front of the audience and deliver a speech. However, there just might be ways to better prepare you to do that and to provide you with some assistance while you are up there.


Use Technology To Change How You Speak

As speakers we all know that the best speeches contain only the words that we want them to have. What they don’t contain are a lot of so-called “filler words” – you know words like “umm” and “aww” that we say when we can’t think of what we want to say next. Teaching ourselves to stop saying filler words and just be quiet has been a real challenge for most of us. However, now technology is coming to the rescue. There are new apps that can run on our smartphones that will listen to what we have to say.

Once they’ve done this, they can use artificial intelligence to analyze what we’ve said. The software has the ability to determine if we are using words like “ah”, “err”, “you know”, “I mean” and let us know about it. These applications have the ability to analyze the speech that they have recorded. They can provide you with a score that will tell you how many filler words you used. They can also tell you how either fast or slow you spoke. With this kind of feedback you can eliminate your use of filler words and you can get a better handle on how fast you are talking.


Start To Use A Teleprompter

I’m pretty sure that we all know what a teleprompter is – a device that will show us the next words that we are supposed to say. As a speaker who has lived in fear of one day forgetting my speech in the middle of giving it, a teleprompter would be a god send. The modern ones that are available to us can run on our smartphones. These new apps use voice recognition technology to control how fast the speech text on their screen scrolls.

What this means is that as you speak, the teleprompter app moves the displayed text forward. It will pause when you pause. If you choose to ad lib, the app will stop and wait for you to get back on script. All of these apps allow you to change the size of the font that is being used and to control how fast the program scrolls.


Manage Your Pace And Your Timing

One of the biggest challenges that we all face is trying to control how fast we speak. Sometimes we’ll blow through a speech and finish up in record time only to discover that our audience was not able to keep up with us. Other times, we’ll speak slowly and we’ll quickly run out of time. We’d like to be able to avoid both of these situations. In order to make this happen, we’ll need a little bit of help.

Apps exist that can provide us with a large, easy-to-read display that can show us LED digits that will allow us to know both how much time we’ve used up so far and how much time we still have left to speak. These displays can be read from the stage no matter where we are standing. Some of these apps can provide you with a ‘traffic light”: displays that move from green, to yellow, to red as you get closer to the end of your available time. Some apps can provide you with a graphical countdown of your remaining time and still others can provide a metronome function to help you manage your pacing.


What All Of This Means For You

All speakers understand that they could use a little help in becoming better speakers. What we’d all like to be able to do is to eliminate bad habits and get some help in forming new good ones so that we can show off the benefits of public speaking. The good news for us is that in the modern age in which we are living, there are a number of applications that can be used to let our smartphones help us to become better speakers.

One of our biggest challenges is trying to eliminate “filler words” from our speech. Apps exist that can allow us to record our speech and then, by using artificial intelligence, they can review our speech and count the number of filler words that we are using. In order to not forget where we are in our speech, a teleprompter is a handy tool to make use of. The good news for us is that these days our smartphone, with the right app, can be transformed into a teleprompter that will help us to stay on track. Keeping track of time so that we don’t go too fast or too slow is always a challenge. However, there are apps that will now help us to stay on top of the time that we have for our speech.

Becoming a better speaker is not something that we can do overnight. However, with the arrival of modern apps that we can run on our smartphones we now have the tools that we all need to become better speakers. Get some of these apps and give them a try. Let’s see if we invite technology to our next speech if it can help us to become better speakers!


– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™


Question For You: Do you think that the audience will know if we start to use apps to become better speakers? Will they care?


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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As speakers, we all know that creating a great speech is hard work. All too often we can sit down to start to create a speech and have no clear idea where we are trying to go or just exactly what points we want to be making while we deliver our speech despite our understanding of the importance of public speaking. As we put our speech together, things just tend to go from bad to worse – our words start to fall over each other and we end up with disjointed ideas and incomplete thoughts. We all understand that our problem is not that we can’t write words down, rather it’s that we can’t get our words to make sense. The reason that we are running into this problem is because we are not being clear in our objective. Instead, we find ourselves trying to say too much and, as result, ending up saying nothing.