1st speech: 11/27/2018
Second speech: 1/22/2019

Time Limit: 5-7 minutes
(Evaluation and Feedback)

Purpose

The purpose of this project is to present a speech on any topic, receive feedback, and apply the feedback to a second speech.

Overview

Choose any topic for your first 5 to 7-minute speech. After your speech, carefully review your feedback. At a future club meeting, present a 5 to 7-minute speech in which you incorporate feedback from your first speech. You may choose to present the same speech again or a new speech. Your second speech should reflect some or all of the feedback from your first speech. Finally, after you have completed both speeches, serve as an evaluator at a club meeting and deliver constructive feedback about another member’s presentation.

Main Points

  1. Effective communication isn’t just being a good speaker.
  2. Improving nonverbal communication can greatly impact the quality of our conversations.
  3. Your message is more than just the words themselves.

Goals

  1. Use nonverbal communication to draw the audience into my speech.
  2. Make use of space in the speaking area. Don’t just stand still.
  3. Use vocal inflection and tone of voice to make the speech interesting.

Opening

Have you ever been misunderstood while communicating via text message, email, or social media? The majority of human communication is based on nonverbal signals. Two studies in the 1960s concluded that 93% of our communication uses nonverbal cues. Studies show we communicate only 7% of our message through the words themselves.

Transition

Let’s discuss these aspects of communication so we can learn how to send the right message.

Body

We show others how we feel about a situation, how we plan to respond, or even whether we’re really interested or not, using nonverbal communication. Incorporate some of these strategies and you’ll be amazed at how much more effective you become as a communicator!

Mirror Positive Body Language

People are much more likely to listen to, and agree with your message if you mirror their own body language (provided they aren’t falling asleep). All you have to do is notice their body language and recreate it, to reinforce their positive movements. Keep your movements subtle, so they don’t feel like you’re mocking them!

Recently, while browsing luxury vehicles, I caught myself nodding in agreement with a skilled saleswoman. She continued nodding while she got me to agree on features of the vehicle I loved. The combination of her positive vocal inflections, confident body movement, and nodding in agreement until I followed along helped me to agree with the reasons I needed this fancy new automobile. I already loved the car, but she persisted in getting me to nod in agreement. As we discussed it, she helped me to feel as though the things she was saying were my idea.

Your Eyes Tell A Lot Of The Story

In Western cultures, people watch your eyes to make sure that you’re paying attention and you understand them.

Friendly eye contact is an easy way to establish trust with others. Avoiding eye contact may lead people to believe you’re shifty and untrustworthy.

We can all think of someone whose eyes light up a room. Many skilled speakers communicate emotions with their eyes.

If you aren’t familiar with this skill yet, here’s a good thing to practice:

  1. Start off by looking in the mirror and think of a situation that made you happy.
  2. Smile gently and focus on smiling with your eyes. If you see crow’s feet, that’s a good thing.
  3. Hold your hand or a piece of paper between your face and the mirror.
  4. With your mouth and nose covered, try to smile with your eyes.
  5. If you’re doing it right, you will actually feel happier as you make this subtle facial expression.

Smiling with your eyes shows that you’re friendly, approachable, and confident.

Confident Posture Commands Respect

A straightforward and open posture tells others that you are bold and ready to take on the day. Your posture will also influence your own confidence! Psychologists tell us that simply taking “power poses” (standing or sitting in an open and relaxed position) decreases stress hormones. It also increases behavior associated with confidence and authority.

Your Tone Of Voice Frames The Message

How you speak communicates your attitude. It can color your words with emotion and clarity.

We train our Best Cellular employees how to answer customer service calls to make sure each caller receives a warm, inviting welcome.

When the phone rings, our employees stand up and smile before starting each call. I often receive feedback on how friendly our customer service specialists are, and a large part of the reason customers feel this way is because our employees smile and show excitement to speak with each caller.

Let’s Talk About The Proper Use Of Timing

One simple trick to get your audience’s attention is to actually stop speaking

This causes a break in the stream of words flowing at them, which makes people retarget on your message. Naturally, they want to understand why you stopped. You can use the silence to give them a chance to digest a difficult concept, or a “pregnant pause” to give suspense before you drop a bombshell.

The secondary benefit of a well-timed pause is that you have a moment to gather your thoughts. Sprinkle a few pauses into your speech the next time you have to give a presentation and see how well it can draw in your audience.

Phrasing Can Bring Your Message To Life

Authors often rewrite their thoughts many times, not to change the message, but to make sure they use proper phrasing.

For example, compare “Thanks for your business!” versus “Thank you for choosing Best Cellular!” One sentence tells the customer that we appreciate them for their money. The other one says that they had a choice and we’re glad that they chose our company. This simple change can make a world of difference in how your message comes across.

Give Others A Good Reputation To Live Up To

In the book How to Win Friends and Influence People Dale Carnegie says something that I try to think of often.

“Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to. Use encouragement.”

Make it a habit to point out the good in others. If you’re constantly telling someone that they’re a winner or they are good at something, they will often work to match the good you see in them.

Conclusion

As you can see, the focus of your speech, the tone of voice you use, and your body language all combine to get your message across. Some of these techniques will take practice over time, but with a little bit of effort, anyone can become a positive and powerful communicator!

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