The Secret To Delivering Bad News So That It Doesn’t Hurt So Much

by drjim on October 13, 2015

There are ways to make bad news not hurt so much

There are ways to make bad news not hurt so much
Image Credit: re_birf

I wish that I could tell you that every speech that you’ll give will be bright and happy. However, I won’t tell you that because you know as well as I do that life simply is not that way. There will be times that because of the importance of public speaking we are called on to deliver bad news to your audience. This puts you in a very difficult position – how you deliver this news is going to have a big impact on how it affects your audience. The good news is that there are two things that you can do that will make it easier for your audience to deal with what you are telling them.

No Tricks

I must confess that I do not like delivering bad news to an audience. If there was any way that I could get out of doing it, I would. This is where the concept of using tricks to downplay the seriousness of the bad news comes into play. One of the most popular tricks is to try to load your speech up with lots of good news. This way you can point to the good news and tell your audience that the bad new is really not all that bad.

This kind of misdirection will end up doing you no good. What’s going to happen is that your audience is going to see through your clever words and they are going to lose trust in what you have to tell them. You will come off as being weak – you say one thing, but you are really delivering a message about something else. Look, bad news deserves your respect and when you play games, you end up looking like you are making fun of those people who are being told the bad news.

There Are No Secrets

There may have been secrets once upon a time, but these days very little ever remains secret for long. What you need to realize is that there is a very good chance that your audience already knows or at least suspects what you are going to be telling them. Don’t for a moment think that you are going to be able to keep any secrets from them.

If you try to hold back important information or, even worse, lie to your audience it will come back and bite you hard. I’m sorry to have to tell you that no matter what you tell your audience, there are going to be people who are not going to be happy with what you are telling them – it is called “bad news” for a reason. However, if you lie and try to change the story, members of your audience are going to spot your deception immediately and you will be quickly and permanently identified as someone who can never be trusted.

What All Of This Means For You

None of us ever wake up thinking “I’m looking forward to giving a speech in which I’ll be delivering bad news.” However, we can find ourselves in a situation where we’ve been asked to deliver a speech like this. In order to make it easier for our audience to deal with what we are going to be telling them, we can use the benefits of public speaking and make use of two things that will make it easier.

When it comes time to tell an audience about bad news, as a speaker you need to make sure that you stay away from any misdirection or resorting to trickery. If you try any of these things, you’ll lose the trust of your audience. You need to remember that in this modern time, there are no longer any secrets. If you try to hold back any information it will eventually get out and you’ll end up looking very bad.

Delivering bad news to an audience is all about respecting your audience. When you have to give them bad news, understand that how you deliver the news is going to have a big impact on how they end up dealing with what you tell them. Use these two tips to make sure that the message that you are giving to them is understood loud and clear. No, this kind of speech is never easy, but you can do it and you can do it well.

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

Question For You: What should you do if your audience wants answers that you can’t give them during your speech?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
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 public speakers it seems like we’ve been told forever that using stories as a part of our speech is a powerful tool. Stories are part of the importance of public speaking. However, what’s been missing from this advice is just exactly how to go about using stories in our speech. I mean, do stories need to take over our speech in order to be effective? Should we only tell short stories? What’s the right way to go about using this powerful tool?

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: