Speak to Connect: Public Speaking Demystified
Most people fear public speaking and try to avoid it at all costs, but in today’s world, you must be comfortable speaking in front of groups, or risk being passed up for promotions, being misunderstood, or being ignored. Speak to Connect: Public Speaking Demystified helps readers identify the ingredients of strong presentations so that they can hone their speaking skills, gain confidence, and ensure that they connect with their listeners in order to achieve a change in their thinking or their behavior. In Part I, the authors explain how to construct logical arguments that are clear and persuasive. Separate chapters outline the creation of a catchy and interesting introduction, a logical body, and an effective conclusion, and include practical strategies for creating and delivering a basic speech or presentation. Part I is extremely valuable to people who fear speaking to groups, but also serves as a strong refresher for people who are more experienced with giving speeches and presentations.
Each chapter is followed by an easy overview of dos and don’ts. In Part II, the authors discuss their proven A-PLUS method for strengthening a presentation: Audience, Passion, Learning continuously, Uniqueness of you, and Stepping out of your comfort zone. Audience: you cannot just give a speech because somebody told you you had to; you should keep your audience in mind and make sure you not only speak TO them, but also FOR them. What will the listeners get out of it? What is your message? Is your goal to inform, persuade, entertain, or motivate? Do you want to leave your listeners with a lesson or a plan of action? Remember that listeners come with a WIIFM attitude, so make sure you deliver. Passion: you must be passionate about the subject you are discussing, but you also must be passionate about sharing your message. Audiences tune out when speakers stand at the podium without moving or without having any vocal variety, no matter what the experiences or expertise level of the speaker is, so you must learn to deliver your presentations with all the passion you can muster. Learn continuously: go beyond what you learn in classes, workshops, or manuals.
For example, if you want to spice up your presentations with some humor, read some books about stand-up comedy. Consult outside resources on a regular basis to ensure exponential growth. Unique: each speaker has his or her own style, and his or her own stories. Incorporating personal stories into your speeches is critical, because it establishes audience connection and audience interest.
Learn how to tell a good personal story. Step out of your comfort zone: take risks in your speeches and try some techniques you’ve never tried before. Add some humor, sing a song, do something DIFFERENT. You may find that you like it, and that the audience responds with a lot of enthusiasm. Practical knowledge is illustrated with real-world examples, providing an educational and interesting read. Together, the 12 chapters assist both novice and seasoned speakers in creating strong presentations that create a connection between the speaker and the audience in order to achieve more effective communication that results in a deeper understanding or a compelling need to take action. Speakers who use the A-PLUS method outlined in this book will create an impact and be remembered by their audiences. Part III is filled with resources that allow readers to continue their journey towards becoming better speakers.
Appendix A lists many strong speeches for readers to enjoy and analyze, and Appendix B directs readers to other sources for further information. This book is a must-read for those who fear public speaking and for those who want to improve their speaking success!