Let’s face it: we all want to talk about politics, religion, and sex. The TV shows that we watch, what our politicians seem to spend their time doing, and what we read about in the paper all clearly show us these are the three topics that interest people the most. However, if we don’t go about doing it correctly, we can cause some serious problems…
Know What You Want To Accomplish
Every time that we deliver a speech, we’re doing it for a reason. There is some goal that we want to achieve and the only way that it’s going to happen is if we’re able to get our message across to our audience. What this means for you is that when you’re getting ready to talk about a controversial topic, you need to know your audience. The benefits of public speaking can only happen if you deliver the right message to the right audience.
The reason that you’ve got to take the time to understand who you’ll be talking to is because when you are talking about a controversial topic, you need to be able to predict how your audience is going to react to what you are saying. This all gets back to the point that when we give a speech, we’re not doing it for ourselves, but rather for our audience.
Every audience will have their own set of sensitivities. As speakers, it’s our job to determine what these sensitivities are before we take the stage to deliver our speech. Our goal here needs to be to make sure that we don’t end up exceeding our audience’s limits because if we do, then the message in our speech will be lost.
Keeping It Clean
When we are faced with the challenge of creating and delivering a speech that has to do with a controversial topic, the words that we use in the speech can take on special meaning. No matter how trendy or cool we might think that it would make us, we need to be careful to stay away from using vulgar language in our speech. Using language like this can damage our reputation.
Vulgarity can take on many different forms in a controversial speech. It can show up as profanity or even as sexual innuendo. You need to know your audience and you need to know where you’ll be presenting your speech. In some cultures hand gestures that may mean nothing in your country, may take on a whole new meeting that you never intended.
What is all too easy for a speaker to forget is that the intent of a speech like this is for the subject matter of the speech to be controversial, not the way that you deliver it. The key to success with this type of topic is to make sure that you’ve done your homework and you know your topic very well. This will prevent you from making generalized or inappropriate statements that might be incorrect.
What All Of This Means For You
Some topics can appear to be off limits because not everyone in your audience will share your opinion on them: politics, religion, and sex fall into this category. The good news is that you can talk about these topics, you just need to be careful about how you go about doing it.
The most important thing that you’re going to have to do before you talk on a controversial topic is to make sure that you know why you are doing it. This will allow you to anticipate how your audience will react to your speech and you can build that into your speech. How you speak about this topic is also important. You need to be careful to not be vulgar – it will take away from what you are trying to communicate to your audience.
Playing with dynamite is how some might refer to trying to give a speech on a controversial topic like politics, religion, or sex. These are important topics that do need to be discussed and that is what the importance of public speaking is all about. It’s just that you have to be careful when you cover them. Be careful and you can deliver a great speech even when your topic is too hot to handle!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™
Question For You: Do you think that you should ever take questions after a speech on a controversial topic?
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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
p>Hey, are you looking for a fight? If so, then why not stand up and deliver a speech on a controversial topic? The importance of public speaking means that we have the tool with which to tackle this tricky subject. You’re sure to tick off 50% of your audience by the time that you sit down. However, you’d think that there has got to be a better way to go about talking about a topic that not everyone sees eye-to-eye on. The good news is that you’d be correct. It turns out that there are a number of things that you need to do when you pick a controversial topic to talk about…