Speak Clearly:

How to Speak Clearly and Make Yourself Heard

How many times have you tried to render a message, but instead of people understanding what you were trying to say, they understood almost the opposite? Disappointed, you ask yourself why that occurred. In order to express a certain thought the way you want it to come accross, you have to keep a few things in mind.

  • First off, before stating something important, take the time and meditate on it. Find out if you're really convinced about it. Don't rush to any conclusions, because your decision has to be the correct one. Then, think about all the perspectives someone else may entertain, when reflecting on the issue in question. You wouldn't want to express something you agree with, in a manner that would make the others believe you're against it, as well as, you wouldn't want to look interested in something you're not.

  • Once you are sure of your position is, focus on when and how to present your thoughts to the others, a form of execution to a plan, if you will. Bear in mind that every single detail is critical to the whole of the idea.

  • If you have to present something before your colleagues at work, remember that clothing puts a bearing on your presentation. Gray or black are two colors commonly recommended -- a standard but smart business outfit -- this way, people won't be analyzing your clothes while they are supposed to be paying attention to your message.

  • Remember your voice is your ally. Since you stand convinced of your verbal delivery, don't be afraid to show it. Speak with conviction, do not rush, take breathing breaks and articulate the words as best as you can. Show no hesitation and, even though it's an oral presentation, don't leave out the punctuation marks. Remember that a structured speech is always easier to follow and using rhetorical questions helps the audience stay involved and immersed in your presentation.

  • Another important technique is establishing and maintaining eye-contact. Do not stare at only one or two people in the presentation room because they are your bosses or the special guests, but try rendering your attention to all the people in the room. After all, you can tell your mind, since they took the time to come and listen to you, you should consider each of them important. Also, the movement of your eyes and eyebrows can mark a point of importance in your speech.

  • Mind your body language. When you want to convince and attract your audience, slightly bend forward, toward them. Also, be careful what you do with your hands -- don't inadvertantly scratch your nose while you're bringing up an important issue.

  • Keep the words you are using in mind; they are the vessels within your fleet of delivery to your audience. Adapt the vocabulary of your speech to the people listening. Don't use specialized terms for non-specialists and try to make your message easy to follow.

Meditating on the tips above mentioned will help you improve the manner in which you make your opinions known to others. So, take a deep breath, keep your head up and give the speech.

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