In public speaking, it is your obligation to order, intensify, and clarify your message for your audience. This includes, addressing your audience’s unspoken questions. These will vary depending on the situation, the purpose of your meeting, your area of expertise, or topic. Even in a situation where your audience is able to ask questions, as part of your preparation you should consider, “What is probably on their minds?” My colleague, Sims Wyeth author of The Essentials of Persuasive Public Speaking, shares these excellent points on speaking to create understanding:
Tell Them What You’re Not Saying
by Sims Wyeth
Every word you utter evokes the idea of its opposite. In other words, when you express one view, the odds are high that your listeners will reflexively think about other, unmentioned aspects of the topic.
For instance, if you say, “We need to commit resources to long-term projects,” mention also that you do not mean to imply that such commitment means cutting back on investment in current needs.
Clarify your point. Tell them what you’re not saying. Speak to create understanding, and to prevent misunderstanding.
To watch fast, fun “Tip Clips” on “How to look confident when speaking,” “How to gesture while speaking,” and “How to slow down while speaking,” visit the Sims Wyeth & Co. bookstore.
Sims Wyeth is the president of Sims Wyeth & Co., an executive development firm in Montclair, NJ devoted to the art and science of speaking persuasively.
Thank you Sims!
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Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.