Have you ever listened to a speaker deliver a rote or memorized presentation and were left feeling empty? A memorized delivery, be it for a speech, a presentation, or the telesales phone call, is definitely a performance; but, it is not a means of communication. And, it is cold to boot!
The other day, a young man phoned me trying to sell me something. When I first answered the phone, he asked me how I was and what the weather was like where I live. He was being himself. After I responded to his questions, he then proceeded to speak at me from a memorized script. I stopped him and explained that I would be willing to listen to him if he put the script away and just talked to me. He replied that his company required him to use the script. That young man lost any possibility of business from me because I want the conversation. Speaking from a script does not allow for that.
It is important to understand that public speaking is the art of communicating with an audience. Notice the word with.
When you are public speaking, your goal is to communicate with your listeners. This then becomes a two-way street. Their response to you is part of the communication process. This is where the human touch comes into the picture. If you speak to your audience, making eye contact with them and acknowledging their reactions to your message, then you are communicating.
- Being able to identify how they receive your words is only possible if you are talking to them and not spitting out a pile of memorized words.
Part of the human touch is being yourself and not trying to emulate someone else. Your audience came to hear you. If you are honest with them, then you must be yourself, speaking with color, with life, with emotion. Memorization does not allow for that type of expression because your heart is not involved in your delivery. It is entirely your mind doing the work and this is why it is cold and indifferent.
While you absolutely need your mind involved in the process, if your heart isn’t working in tandem, then there is no human touch. If you want your audience to listen, to accept, and/or to agree with your words, never forget this most important characteristic of dynamic public speaking.
The Voice Lady, Nancy Daniels, offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. To get started improving your presentation skills, click Voice Training and Presentation Skills for Nancy’s free ebook.