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The Signpost Newsletter
Second Quarter 2018
Know What You Are Trying To Say
An Initial Speaking Tip
by Ethan Rotman, iSpeakEASY, Performance Speaking Coach and 2018 Conference presenter
This first speaking tip is so basic, that people sometimes laugh when I say it: Be clear on what you are trying to say and what you want your audience to know when you are done.
It sounds so basic, but a common mistake is not being clear on what we are really trying to say. Think about it - if the speaker does not have a clear idea of what they are trying to say, how is the audience supposed to figure it out? We feel rushed or, worse yet, we believe that since we are just
"speaking for a few minutes at a staff meeting" or "having a quick word with the boss (or spouse, kids etc)" that we don't need to prepare.
Speaking without knowing your point can be likened to driving without a destination (except it lacks the romance of the free-wheeling spirit heading down the road). You veer right, then turn left, go straight for a bit, you double back, take a side road that leads you no where. You end up talking about all kinds of things that really are not pertinent to the message you are trying to deliver, the audience tries to follow you but ends up lost and takes a "mental vacation".
The next time you are going to speak, whether it is in front of a group or one-on-one, ask yourself this question: "What is the one thing I want them to know when I am done speaking?" When you can answer this question - organize your thoughts and then you are ready to begin. Being clear in your own mind on your objective will go a long ways in helping you present your thoughts in a clear and concise manner that will be effective.
Treat every conversation with care and respect. Before you speak, put yourself in the driver's seat and say, "where do I want this to go"?
© 2017 – All Rights Reserved. Rotman is an interpreter with more than 35 years professional experience who provides training and coaching for Park Rangers, Interpreters, Managers and other professionals. firstname.lastname@example.org(415) 342-7106, www.iSpeakEASY.net