Speakers who are facing a challenging speech or challenging audience often ask themselves what they could do in order to be more successful. Sure, there are a lot of tricks out there that one can use to capture an audience’s attention and make them laugh a few times. However, if you really want to deliver a successful speech then you are going to have to share the true you with your audience – you’re going to have to show them your personal speaking style…
Just What Is A Speaker’s Personal Style?
No two speakers are the same. What makes each one of us different is our own style of speaking. It’s your style that your audience will both experience as you speak and will remember longer after you have left the stage.
We modify our style based on how we feel about the audience that we are talking to. Just like every person out there, we have a deep set need for approval from our audiences and we want to be accepted by them.
All too often speakers will try to modify their speaking style in order to change themselves into what they think that their audience is looking for. The problem with doing this is that all of a sudden we are trying to share a personal style with our audience that is not authentic and it’s going to show.
What Makes Up Our Speaking Style?
Our speaking style is a complex thing: it’s made up of a number of different interconnected parts. Because there are so many different aspects to a speaker’s style, we all have different and unique styles.
You do have control over your style. Once you are aware of what makes up your style, you can work on individual parts and transform your style into an even more authentic representation of you.
Here are the components of a speaker’s style that each of us can control:
- Tension: How tense are you? The more relaxed you are as a speaker, the more relaxed your audience will be as they listen to you. Some tension is a great way to get off to a good start, but too much will take away from your message. Find ways to relax and deliver a great speech.
- Make Sure You Are Smiling: as speakers we often forget just how much we communicate to our audiences through our facial expressions. Smiling is a huge part of this. You’ve heard the expression “smile and the world will smile with you” – it turns out that this is true. By smiling we relax our audience and put them at ease. Do it more!
- Focus, Focus, Focus: as we build our speeches it can be all too easy to get caught up in our own words. Don’t let this happen. Make sure that you communicate your points in as few words as possible – it’s less likely that you will lose your audience this way.
- Look At Me: We all know that maintaining eye contact with your audience is a critical part of making a connection with them, but are we doing it? Looking at your audience is a key part of connecting with them. By doing a good job of this you are showing them that you don’t have anything to hide
What Does All Of This Mean For You?
In order to win over your next audience, you’re going to have to share the real you with them. This means that you’re going to have to show them your speaking style.
Your speaking style is not something that you can just point to. Instead it’s a whole series of personal characteristics that come out while you are delivering a speech. Being aware of what makes up your speaking style allows you to refine it so that it will work for you during your next speech, and not against you!
Question For You: Which component of your personal speaking style is the most important to you?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
When we think about speaking in public, we normally think about one thing – ourselves. However, it turns out that that we really should be thinking bigger: how can we help other speakers do better? Since we know what it’s like to stand in front of an audience and try to give a speech, we have a special obligation to use this knowledge to make the speeches that we attend become better speeches. Read on and find out what your new assignment is…