By Goke Ilesanmi
Last week, we said as a politician, for instance, you need to master the art of effective public speaking and persuasive communication to succeed because you must be able to convince the electorate and even win opposition over during electoral campaigns so that they can vote for you.
We added that research shows that the fear of speaking in public is more than that of death, yet, speaking effectively in public or making business presentations is inevitable if we must succeed in our business or career.
We explained that gaining self-confidence and courage as well as the ability to think calmly and clearly while making a presentation is not one-tenth as difficult as most people imagine.
We said the fact is that many great public speakers often claim that their brains become more functional whenever they stand before an audience.
We added that you can also become an expert too if you are determined to get over your fear through constant practice and training.
We educated that one major skill of presentation is self-management, the ability to remain composed in front of an audience.
We said learning this skill makes a huge difference not only to the quality of your public presentation but also to your enjoyment.
We said truly fantastic presenters are quite a rare commodity because most people have never taken the time to learn. We said success in public speaking depends a lot on good preparation, which guarantees self-confidence.
We examined the important steps for preparing an effective speech. We also discussed three stages of writing your material for presentation and these are Pre-writing, Writing and Rewriting.
Applying essentials of good writing in your speech-writing
Conciseness: Be brief and direct to the point. Avoid unnecessary repetitions and/or wordy expressions, etc. However, being brief does not mean that completeness must be sacrificed.
Completeness: This involves covering all necessary areas in a piece of writing so as to offer readers detailed and relevant information.
Correctness: A piece of writing must be correct or accurate in information, style and structure. That is, apply the right language, format and factual information.
Clarity: Here you avoid word-order-induced ambiguous statements such as “New staff problems”, which can mean “Problems faced by new staff” or “New problems faced by existing staff” should be avoided to achieve clarity of language.” Also, an ambiguous expression such as “He loves you more than me”, which can mean “He loves you more than he loves me” or “He loves you more that I love you” should be avoided.
Equally, an expression such as “Give me more quality products”, which can be interpreted as either “Give me more of these quality products” or “I need better products not these substandard ones” should be avoided. You also avoid an ambiguous expression such as “He is an English Teacher” which can mean “He is a Teacher of English Language” (not necessarily from England) or “He is a British Teacher” (not necessarily teaching English Language).
Apart from the ambiguity (double or multiple meanings) leading to lack of clarity; it is noteworthy that misuse of tenses, concord, etc., can equally cause lack of clarity through complexity.
Consideration: Here you put readers in mind at all times. That is, you consider their socio-intellectual interest, emotions, needs, challenges, personality, likely response, level of understanding, etc., in your speech-writing.
Courtesy: To build goodwill for yourself and/or comfortably sell yourself, you must avoid use of discourteous language or direct/confrontational tone (through use of “you”) in your hypotheses and other illustrations, e.g., “If YOU steal, YOU can be killed” Instead, apply impersonal, indirect and courteous language and tone through the use of the pronoun “one”, thus: “If ONE steals, ONE can be killed”.
Positive language: This is very close to courtesy. It also builds goodwill like courtesy. But the two are not semantically-co-extensive, that is, not always inter-changeable, as positive language goes beyond respect (courtesy) and also involves using positive words instead of words that sound negative to communicate positive expressions.
For instance, instead of saying, “We do not use sub-standard materials for our production”, you say “We always use best quality or very standard materials for our production”. Here, you also avoid litotes, that is, use of negative two or more words to realise a positive expression, e.g., “It is NOT UNcommon”. This is structural redundancy or verbosity. Simply maintain brevity by saying, “It is common”.
Concreteness: Here, one needs to be specific not obscure or vague. For instance, say “I will see you by 10 a.m. on Friday” not “We will see very soon.”
Sincerity: We must avoid exaggerations, fabrications, etc. A tone of sincerity builds goodwill for one and one’s organisation, while one’s message will achieve its objective.
GOKE ILESANMI (FIIM, FIMC, CMC), CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Professional Public Speaker, Career Mgt Coach and Certified Mgt Consultant. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant.
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