Speaking Impact: Changing because life changed

time-for-a-change

Long-time readers (and there are several of you out there—thank you!) know that I have gone through periods of not posting much. You might think that I’ve just gone through one of those and that it’s related to the loss of my son, which is the last thing I wrote about here.

You would be partly right.

On the other hand, you would be very wrong, and I need to update you, therefore. Continue reading “Speaking Impact: Changing because life changed”

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The three-fold cord of speaking will keep you strong

Rope

There is a bit of wisdom that sticks with me from childhood, from Ecclesiastes 4:12, that says, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Even if you don’t do a lot of manual labor (I certainly don’t), you still know that a typical rope isn’t just a bunch of threads. It consists of fibers twisted into yarn, yarn twisted into strands, and strands twisted into lays. A typical rope consists of three lays.

That metaphor serves well in thinking about improving effective speaking. It takes competence in three areas woven together: effective delivery, effective organization for the ear, and effective content. Continue reading “The three-fold cord of speaking will keep you strong”

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False dichotomy: Content vs. Delivery

Content or delivery?

I hear this argument all the time. Which is more important? Solid content? Or solid delivery?

My definitive answer: both are more important. Continue reading “False dichotomy: Content vs. Delivery”

photo by: lisaclarke
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Only as Good as the Material: How to Write a Great Speech

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The following is a guest post from Katheryn Rivas.

The human psyche is a place of many quirks, idiosyncrasies, and phobias.  But of all the fears that loom in our collective minds, the fear of speaking in public remains the most terrifying to the average American, and is considered worse even than death by most.

Volumes upon volumes could and have been written about this peculiar fear, but what is often overlooked in these studies and inspirational tomes is the content of a speech and how it relates to the confidence one feels while delivering it.

It is true that a dull or timid performance of a speech can diminish its power, a bad speech spoken badly is even worse.  Examples of this abound, especially in popular media.  Consider a movie you expected to be excellent, given the actors and directors starring in it, but turned out to be trite, melodramatic, and cliché, even despite good performances. Even the most talented actors can only do so much with a poorly written script.

And the same holds true for a speech.  You might not be a brilliant orator, but if you craft an excellent speech, your audience will be much more likely to forgive your delivery, and will admire your rhetorical skills all the same. Continue reading “Only as Good as the Material: How to Write a Great Speech”

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