Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Magic of the right words

Hi All,
Today I thought I would focus more on what you say, even though the words by themselves are just 7% to 10% of your message.

So I do not duplicate what I wrote on the one on words, I am taking a different angle.

First, it is important to establish rapport when you open. Some ways of doing this are the point of this blog.
I will also revisit some of my favourite things to do with words.

Ask them a question. As soon as you ask a question most people will start to reflect on their answer. Try to make it a relevant question. So, if you are speaking about something to do with health,you might ask, "When was the last time you had a complete medical check up?" They will start to think about it and perhaps realise it has been quite some time. Or, they will pat themselves metaphorically on the back, because they had one recently. Either way they will listen t the next thing you have to say.

You can establish rapport by telling a relevant story, either about you or someone else. You might start off with a story like this. "When I had my complete medical check up three months ago, I was delighted to find that my cholesterol was down to 5.5. But I was not happy with my weight loss." I can assure you that most of the women in the audience will sit up and listen. They are interested in weight and how much people have lost or gained, especially compared to themselves.

Another great way of connecting is to make a statement like, "Did you know that the three main killers in western societies are more connected to our lifestyles than anything else?" Death is a real connector and shock is too.

During the body of the speech, use plenty of inclusive language. The words "we", "us" and "our" and especially "you: and your" should be used about 10 times more often than "me", "my" and 'I". Remember, a speech is all about them.

So, moving along, you have their attention and you have signalled where you are going. The next best way to use words effectively is to employ a metaphor. As soon as your audience can picture what you are talking about, the sooner they will relate. I once heard a great speech where every part of it was compared to a bike. It had five parts and each one was a metaphor related to bikes and bike riding. It was clever and memorable. The speaker even came on riding her bike.

If the metaphor is not coming use a simile. "Life is like a chocolate. You do not know whether you have a hard or soft one, until you bite into it." Okay, it's not original, but very few similes and metaphors are.

My other favourites and they will be of the audience too is to use plenty of alliteration. It not only tickles the brain it delights the senses, if used well. So the sentence from Churchill, "I have nothing to offer you but my blood, toil, tears and sweat." works so well because the words go together, create a picture and are metaphoric and ,of course, it;'s full of alliteration.

So, although the words are the least important part, they are also very important. It's what you say and how you say it as well as what you do with your body, that all make a brilliant speech..

No comments:

Post a Comment