Speech Smarts

What’s your reason?

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All that you need to do to give a great presentation is to stand up, share something of value and say it well.  Sounds reasonably simple, doesn’t it? 

If it is so easy, then why does Toastmasters even exist, and why do people just like you attend the meetings?  Perhaps it is to find your own reasons.  When reason is offered as the crowning achievement of humanity, we often neglect to see that it floats upon a sea of emotion.  Reason creates logical structure,  colors the context and often cools your audience‟s comprehension of your presentation.

“Be reasonable,” often means “just agree with me”.  People don‟t care how right you are until they grant you the right to care.  Logically flawless arguments do not sway audiences that cannot see how or why it applies to them.  To make your point effectively you must frame it in light of your audience’s emotional perspective.

Your perspective, like everyone else‟s, is unique.   Using reason alone to define the context of your message usually alienates those whose perspective differ.  When you say, “Of course any reasonably intelligent person knows ‘x’.” is a statement which puts down those unfamiliar with ‘x’.

Reason‟s strength is in its ability to help you organize your thoughts.  When your presentations follow a logical path it is
easier to follow your reasoning which helps your audience feel good about your message.

Use reason to structure your message so you say it well.  Frame your reasoning within an emotion context to make your
message valuable; so when you sit down your audience will thank you for giving them a reason to be reasonable.


About the Author:

David Nemitz has designed and delivered over 10,000 sales presentations, professional development programs and executive coaching sessions for corporations and governmental organizations such as the US State Department, The French Consulate, and American Express. When he is not helping others define and refine their strengths, you can find him watching the sun set over The Magic City or strolling through The City of Light where he lives with his wife Ninette.