The Language Abraham Lincoln Spoke Is Still Never-To-Be-Forgotten Even Nowadays A Dozen Ways to Improve Your Speaking

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A Dozen Ways to Improve Your Speaking

Over the years I have listened to all kinds of speakers, trying to figure out what makes them great. Many preachers have developed their skills to the point of mastery, such as Charles Swindoll or Joyce Meyers. With rare exceptions such as President Barak Obama or, depending on what happened, Sarah Palin, politicians and political leaders often lag behind religious leaders in speaking and polishing. Regardless of who they are, leaders would do well to improve their communication skills.

Here are a few nuts and bolts:

Speak up. The first rule of communication is communication, so if you want people to hear a message, deliver the message. And you must speak in words – as simple as possible – in a way that others can understand. Don’t do what other professors try to do, impress the audience with a few syllable words. it doesn’t work. When the crowd goes home, the only thing they remember is your hubris. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life;

Don’t apologize for speaking up. It’s one thing to hear a frequent speaker deliver a nervous apology in a church pulpit; it is quite another to hear this from a leader. If speaking makes you nervous, you can find another job. Your apology for being uncomfortable puts everyone else at ease. The more comfortable you are “in your own skin” the more comfortable your audience will be with your story.

Show confidence. Manage opportunities to speak and treat the audience with respect. Say, “Thank you,” but don’t rush. Do whatever it takes to build your confidence: prepare well, prepare, use notes, etc. Stand comfortably and avoid showing muscles with odd gestures or moving around.

Connect with the audience. Smile. Look directly at individuals and groups. Capture the entire audience in a natural and measured way so that everyone feels that you are speaking to them. On the road or at an event, pay attention to the specifics of the event, not mention it at the beginning of your story. Former President Gary Bauer is an expert on this. Every time, an old high school auditorium or a Waldorf Astoria, he finds something to say that is different and interesting to his audience and their environment. Know your audience and connect directly with them, their town, or their events today. Make them feel special – why are comedians coming out on the left saying, “You’ve become a great group.”

Prepare a few suitable liners that work everywhere. The old stand-up-with-a-liner-that-you-are-comfortable-will always be there for you as a best friend. They reduce your anxiety, help you project confidence and connect with the audience, and help engage the audience and help them relax. One of my favorites goes something like this: “I’ve been wanting to talk about XYZ. (pause) Just think now I can die happy.” That one never fails to laugh.

Don’t read your speech. It may be appropriate to read a short formal announcement or quote from someone else. But reading your content is the fastest way to lose your audience’s attention, put them to sleep, or lose them as they vote and walk out the back door. I once sat on the floor of the Michigan State Capitol listening to Governor John Engler’s State of the State Address. Although I appreciate him and his many ideas I had a hard time not moving as he read line by line. You can imagine what the opposition party was doing. To the credit of the Governor, he got better with time, according to his few relatives, with the help of experts. Good for him. Good for his district.

Be brief. FDR’s “Be honest; be brief; be concise” is a good rule for any speaker. In November, 1863, Edward Everett delivered the keynote address at the dedication of the new military cemetery at Gettysburg, followed by President Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.” Everett later wrote to Lincoln, “I should be glad if I could please myself that I came as near to the main idea of ​​the event, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.”

Tell a story. Jesus often spoke to his multitudes of followers in parables, which are short stories from everyday life that convey deep spiritual truths. While more than thirty parables are written in the Gospels, in the book of Mark it is said that Jesus used many other parables in his public speaking ministry. Indeed, “he said nothing to them without a parable.” ( Mark 4:33-34 ) Surely people are interested in people and that is what the good stories of a leader should be.

List key beliefs and/or clearly state goals. Put your beliefs and goals into every big show. Why? Because the most important way to motivate people is to make sure they know where they are going. Goals and objectives are part of a vision statement. Share them, or better yet, as the leader joins them. Lead them by example.

Be positive. “Negative motivation” has become very common in American life. But a leader is better served by taking a broad approach. Ronald Reagan gave us an example of this, his 11th Commandment: “Don’t speak ill of your fellow Republican.” Define who you and your team are, not who others or competing organizations are not. Being quoted in the media and biting others is more about selfishness or revenge than advancing your organization’s vision. No one follows a flamethrower for long. Very hot.

Use props to reinforce your speech without changing it. PowerPoints, video clips, graphics, audio, and other technology can be very effective tools to engage your audience. But you’re still a talker and, for my money, you should be. There is no media outlet that is as compelling as a passionate person who truly believes what they are saying. Use tools wisely, but don’t forget the natural power of going “untethered.”

Use your same (good) vision words over and over again. Leadership expert Barry Z. Posner’s strategy for effectively communicating a vision: “Repeat, repeat, repeat!” Richard Nixon famously expressed this point, “The moment you write the line you write so often that you want to throw it away, that’s when the American people will hear it.” Communicate the vision persuasively and persistently whenever possible. And don’t worry if you’re sharing visions often. Management consultants Thomas Werner and Robert Lynch encourage leaders to communicate their vision seven times in seven different ways. I would say much more than that.

These things are ideas born out of experience, not rules. Some will use it all the time. Others will apply at other times. It’s your judgment call.

You are the leader. Lead them with your words.

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