When You Speak, Are You Sure The Audience Clearly Understands Your Point?

I’ve listened to many people speak, and leave me confused, or wondering what I’d heard. Unfortunately, I’ve been guilty of this myself.
 
Patrica Fripp of taught me a critical point that helped me overcome this problem. To paraphrase her wisdom:
 
“When you speak, it’s not about what you say; it’s about what the audience hears.
At first glance, you may think, ‘What’s the difference?’
 
Excellent question!
 
It’s the intent of your message, versus the interpretation of the audience.
 
When you create foundational concept and supporting points, ask this key question:
 
“Will audience members get the points I’m trying to convey?”
 
If they’re not, who’s fault is it?
 
Hint: It’s not who we’d like it to be. 
 
It’s much easier to blame the people sitting in front of you when your message isn’t clear. Unfortunately, they’re not the problem.
 
If your points aren’t clear, it’s on you to fix the problem.

How Will You Know If Your Point is Getting Across?

Use this time-tested technique to discover how, or if, they understand what you want them to.
 
Ask!
 
When you practice before live audiences, ask for specific feedback.
 
“What are my supporting points?”
 
“What is my foundational idea?”
 
If the feedback you receive isn’t what you intend, you – not the audience – have work to do.
 
Why does confusion occur?
 
People usually speak about subjects they know well.  Because of this, they get caught in a trap. They speak in lingo, language or terminology that’s well-known with that subject matter. It’s not understood by people who don’t know the topic well.

How Do You Overcome This Challenge When You Speak?

I’ve heard several ideas; one of the best comes from the late Steve Jobs.What Does Your Audience Hear When You Speak?
 
As Jobs would prepare his presentations, he would list each of his supporting points.  He would then complete each with this ‘connector’ phrase:
 
What this means is __________ and explain the benefits to the audience.
 
For example, he may be introducing a new computer. He could present this information in his speech…
 
“This new laptop has a dual core processor that processes data at a much faster rate.  It has 2 Gigs of memory, 128 Gigs of storage, and an 8 pixel camera.”
 
For many, that information was too technical.  The audience might become dazed and begin thinking about something else.
 
Following the ‘tech-speak’ with his connector phrase, he could connect with his listeners….
 
”What this means to you is this laptop will perform three times as fast. It will connect you to the internet much quicker than your current computer.  The memory will allow you to store thousands of songs, hundreds of movies and pictures, and take the richest and crispest pictures you’ve ever seen.”
 
With that type of information, will the audience be more interested in this new computer? 
 
Yes.  All because Jobs explained “What this means is…”
The next time you prepare a presentation, use statements like “What this means is….” You’ll make a deeper connection when you sell your ideas.  If it worked for Steve Jobs, it will work for you.
 

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What Does Your Audience Hear When You Speak? ultima modifica: 2017-08-20T10:39:18-04:00 da Michael Davis

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