Giving Persuasive Speeches


Types Of Speeches
Have you ever given a speech before?
Perhaps you have given a speech for a wedding or a presentation to your co-workers. Probably you have given a speech in one of your English classes. What other situations have you given speeches? What other types of speeches can you think of?
__________________________ __________________________ __________________________ __________________________ __________________________ __________________________ __________________________ __________________________ __________________________ __________________________
In addition to the ones you have thought of, there are other situations in which you will be talking to someone but not think of it as a real speech. For example, you might need to talk to your boss for an extra day of vacation, or to your wife for a raise, or you might be explaining to your friends which beer is best. Put down some of these situations below.
__________________________ __________________________ __________________________ __________________________ __________________________ __________________________ __________________________ __________________________

Generally speaking there are three types of speeches. The first type is a formal speech, such as at a wedding. This type of speech is merely to reaffirm one's inclusion in a particular social setting. These speeches do not have to contain any new information, nor do they have to persuade anybody of anything. The second type of speech is the persuasive speech. The purpose of this speech is to change someone's mind about something or to get them to agree with what you believe. The third type of speech is the speech you give in your English class. Usually the purpose of this speech is only to improve your English. You do not have to convince anybody of anything, you just have to say something to please your teacher. The speeches in this class will not be the third type. We will not work to improve grammatical points (except incidentally, when the meaning is lost when speaking). The speeches that you give in class here will be type number 2; to persuade others of your ideas. Giving a good persuasive speech is one of the most advanced forms of English Language Communication. Even native speakers have trouble making effective speeches and in convincing others of their ideas. However, with the help of the techniques that you will learn in this class, you will be able to plan, write, and deliver a speech that will help you get that extra day of vacation from your boss, or to sell that billion yen deal

Section I: Before the Speech
Most of the work for a speech happens before you ever get up to say a word. A good speech requires planning and research. not just of the material but also of your goals and your audience. The First section will show you how to prepare for a speech. Chapter One will help you select the right topic to speak on. Chapter Two is about the audience, and why it is necessary to know who they are while you are preparing your speech. Chapter Three is on what angle of attack to take in convincing your audience. In this section we will work through an example topic about how to persuade your boss to let you organize a company Ski Trip. Also, you will work on a class topic with your teacher and the other students in your class. In addition, at the same time, you will be working on your own individual topic.

Chapter One
The Theme
What do you want to sell?
The most common mistake in writing a speech has to do with the selection of your topic. Almost everybody makes the mistake of picking a bigger topic than he can handle, or starts his speech without a clear idea of what he is going to say about his topic.
Ways Do yourself a favor from the very beginning; specify what you want to say. Know what the main point of your speech is going to be and what point you want to convince your listeners of. This point is the theme of your talk. First, research the topic carefully. If you are giving a talk on frogs, study about frogs. You will not be convincing to anyone, including yourself, if you are underprepared with the basic facts of your topic. But, even if you are the world's expert on frogs, you may still make the mistake of not knowing what you are talking about. You have failed to decide what exactly you want to say about frogs. Ask yourself: What do I want to sell? This is your theme. This single point is what your entire talk should be built on.
Methods The secret of a good topic is to be specific, identify the main point (the theme), and the points that will help support you in communicating that point.
Techniques There are five things you should know about any topic. These are the answers to the five questions: What? Who? Where? When? How? These questions will help you to refine your topic down to the specific theme you want to address in your speech.
What? The answer to the What? question is your theme. This must be specific enough so that you can handle it in your letter or report; it should not be too complicated or have too many new ideas. It should be one sentence of one main idea. If there are too many ideas, they should be covered at another time.
Hint Sometimes you may not be sure of what exactly you are trying to say. In these cases answer the other questions first and come back to ask yourself What?
Example Topic A Skip trip.
What? We should all go on a company-sponsored ski trip
Hint After you have answered this question, look at your theme. Think about whether you can support it and whether it is interesting or not.
Example Topic When? The 15th and 16th of next month Why? There is a major deadline on the 14th. Who? Members of my work group Where? Ura-Bandai Ski Area Why?

  • It is very beautiful there
  • It is convenient
  • They give a group discount
How? By Bus
  • It is cheap
  • We can all leave together from Shinjuku
After you finish answering these questions, go back to your What? question. If you were unable to answer that before, you should be able to do it now. Even if you knew your theme from the beginning, however, you should check the answer to this question to make sure that it is specific and only covers one point.

Exercise A
Decide on a theme for each of these topics. Make sure that the theme is specific. 1 Japan-US trade imbalance.
2 Women's role at work.
3 The best way to learn English.
4 How to improve sales.
5 My favorite book.
Class topic: Now write here the answer to What? for your class topic: Class Topic What? Now ask yourself the other questions. Sometimes you may have to ask Why? to make the answers more specific.
Class Topic When? Why? Who? Why? Where? Why? How? Why?

Exercise B
Answer the questions for these topics:
1 The best age to be. 2 The best place for a vacation. 3 The most important point about a woman/man. 4 The most important aspect of doing business in Japan. 5 Japan's relations with China 6 Introducing a new product to your customers
Individual Topic. Now answer the questions for your own topic: Individual Topic When? Why? Who? Why? Where? Why? How? Why? What?
Discussion Note: You are at a seminar on public transportation. There are two lectures being given at the same time on the same topic:
Subways and trains in Tokyo should run all night. One of the lectures is going to explain that this will be convenient for Tokyo citizens. The other lecture will explain how having the subways run all night is good for the economy. Which one do you go to?
Are you more likely to read an article that states an opinion you do not hold? Are you more curious about why someone thinks differently than you as compared to someone with the same opinion? Why? Many people think that strong, provocative themes are the best ones. Stating an extreme or different position challenges the audience. They will want to listen to see why you think that way.

Chapter Two
The Audience
Who are you talking to?
Imagine this situation; you have worked long and hard to prepare a speech making fun of the way Americans do business in Japan. But when you arrive at the show to give your speech, you find your main American contractors seated in the front row. Obviously you have made a major mistake. But even if you have never or will never make this large of a mistake, you may fall into the same trap on a smaller scale. You might tell a dirty joke in front of your fiancée's parents, or insult conservatives in front of your conservative boss, or any number of other mistakes because you failed to research your audience carefully enough.
Ways Research on the audience is just as important as research on your topic. A wrong approach and your speech could have the opposite effect that you want; your audience may refuse to buy your product, your fiancée may stop seeing you, and your boss might fire you instead of giving you that raise.
Just knowing who is in the audience is not enough, you must know what they are like. Find out their personality traits, their likes and dislikes, their needs, and you will have the necessary tools to start convincing them of the worth of your ideas.
Methods First, think about your audience in general terms. Picture them in your mind. How many people are there? One, one hundred, a thousand? If it is just one person, how well do you know him? Do you know him personally? How can you find out more about him? How old is he? What is his job? His educational background?
How can you find out more about your audience? Can you talk to someone who has spoken to them before, or knows them personally? Maybe you can find reports they have published or papers they have written. These will give you clues as to the type of people they are.
Hint Your audience may only be one person or it may be a large group. If you are writing for a large group, then either make generalizations about them, or pick one person as a representative of the group.

Exercise A
Think about the methods and answer the above questions for the following people.
1 Your boss
2 Your best friend
3 The Prime Minister of Japan
4 Iemitsu Tokagawa
5 Brooke Shields
6 Your Teacher
7 A meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan
Techniques Once you have identified generally what kind of audience you have, you need to be more specific about his character and what needs motivate him.
Personality What image does he have of himself? (kind, brave, strong. . .) What is his decision-making style? (Does he make decisions quickly or does he ask for a lot of information before deciding?) Is he aggressive/withdrawn? Does he like to take risks?

Exercise B
Answer the personality questions above for the people in Exercise A
Needs Advertising executives have found that the most effective advertising appeals to needs that people may not even know that they have.
Term Explanation Ego-gratification: Feeling confident in yourself. Self-fulfillment The satisfaction of having accomplished something in life or during the day. . Emotional security Knowing that people like you. Re-assurance of worth Feeling that you are special; that it is important to be alive. Creative outlets The pleasure in making or building Power Control over life, one's self, others Roots Respect for tradition, family background, country, race. Respect Having people look up to you personally Status Having a high position in a group Recognition Having people notice you favorably. Wealth Money or possessions; cars, toys, books Sex-appeal Physical Attractiveness, especially being attractive to the opposite sex. Comfort Free from worry, pain, or hunger. A feeling of well-being. Pleasure Enjoyable sensations. Love Having people love you. Affection.
In addition to the above general needs, the person that you are talking to might have some specific material needs that he wants met. For example, your friend may need to borrow ¥2000 on a Sunday until the banks open. Or your company may need one-day delivery of a package, or perhaps a particular type of machine part in order to fill an order. Specific material needs are very powerful motivators to get people to agree with you, so always be on the look-out for them.
Now work out the needs for your Example Topic, Class Topic and Individual Topic.
Example Theme This company should let us have a company-sponsored ski trip
The Boss
His Needs
Fill in the answers for your class topic.
Class Topic:
Audience Needs

Exercise C
Try to pick the needs that are the most important to the people in Exercise A.

Exercise D
Compare the different needs for each of the following 4 groups.

Japan's Rice Farmers should be protected against foreign imports.
1 American Businessmen 2 Japanese Businessmen 3 American Businesswomen 4 American Politicians
Audience Needs
Fill in the answers for your individual topic.

Individual Topic
Audience Needs
Discussion Note: Different cultural backgrounds tend to lead to different personality types. Americans are more likely to take more risks than Japanese, and the latter will value security more. Westerners tend to be more outgoing than Japanese. Although these stereotypes are not always true, for a general audience, the use of these stereotypes can help you determine more closely what they want. What are some stereotypes you can think of of different cultural groups? Do you think these are valid? Are they generally true? Can you think of specific examples to support your opinion? Can you think of reasons why groups tend to have different personalities?

Chapter Three
The Angle
How do you sell your idea?
In business, the only way to sell a product is to bring the product and the customer together. When giving a speech, you sell your idea by bringing it and your audience together. This is your angle. It is the combination of the topic that you picked in Chapter One and the audience from Chapter Two. Somehow, you must connect these two so that the audience will buy the topic because it meets their needs. If you can came up with a way that you can present your idea so that your audience immediately likes it, then half of the job of giving your speech is done already.
Ways How do you fit your audience and your selling point together? Pick out the most important needs of your audience. This need must be important enough to your audience to cause them to undertake action, and it must somehow be able to relate to your topic.
Method You can pick two or even three needs, but no more. From these, select the need that is the most important. If you do not do this, then your talk will be too complicated and you will not be able to emphasize your points or to build a strong enough case. All other needs beside the main idea should support the main one directly, and they should somehow be related to the main idea, or else your talk will sound like three talks instead of one.
Techniques Consider all facets of the problem; not just the idea and the audience, but also outside factors such as: How do others perceive your listeners? Who are these others? Are their opinions important to your audience? What are the limitations of your audience? Do they have to make a decision? By when? Is it an either-or decision? What are the competing ideas? Is someone else trying to sell something to your audience? Compare your idea to it and find out what your advantages are and when and where and what will the audience hear about the others ideas. Think about time. By when will the audience have to decide? What time of day are they listening to you? When will you make your back-up presentation? What other circumstances are there? Are there any items in the news that might affect them? Where is the location of your talk?
Examples Look at these examples of how to find an angle. Theme: You want an unscheduled raise. Person: Your Boss Need: Ego-Gratification Angle: He has done such a good job in training you that you feel you are worth much more to the company than they are paying.
Theme: You want your supplier to let you have a longer time to pay for goods purchased, Person: Your supplier Need: Wealth Angle: If they give more lenient credit terms, you can order more goods from them.
Theme: You want your client to buy your computer system. Person: A client Need: Respect Angle: Your computer system will establish your client as the most innovative company in their field.
Example Topic Topic: A Ski Trip Theme: We should take a company sponsored ski trip Audience: The boss Needs: 1 Ego-gratification: 2; wealth Angles: 1 Employees will greatly appreciate it: 2; morale, therefore productivity, will increase.

Class Topic: Topic: Theme: Audience: Needs: Angles:

Exercise A Figure out the needs and angles for various topics and audiences. Topic Theme: Person: Needs: Angles:
Topic Theme: Person: Needs: Angles:
Individual Topic: Topic Theme: Person: Needs: Angles: Discussion Note: Some salesmen try to persuade people by telling you the bad things that will happen if you do not buy their product or support their idea. Often this happens in politics where someone might argue for a proposal by telling the bad things that could happen if their idea is not accepted. What are the advantages and disadvantages to this type of selling? Is it better to try to scare people or to make them feel happy or better? Does this type of selling work?

Section II: The Language
Imagine two twins giving the same talk. They both have the same opinion and they both say the exact same thing. But one of the audiences falls asleep while the other listens eagerly to every word of the speaker. What is the difference?
The way in which you say something often matters more than the ideas behind it. Delivering a speech with blank eyes, short sentences and in an even tone puts both the speaker and the audience into a coma. Take that same speech spoken dramatically, with different types of sentences and with emotion and you will be a success.
The first chapter in this section, The Opening, will demonstrate how to write the most important part of your speech, the introduction.
The next two sections will show you how to turn a dull talk into a sparkilng speech. The second chapter, Form, will explain the importance of using the correct words in sentences in such a way that the audience likes to listen to the speech. The next chapter, Tone, deals with how to put across the proper feeling; how to avoid offending your audience and to speak to them on a personal level.

Chapter Four

The Opening
What is the first thing you say?
Description The opening is the most important part of your entire speech. A good first line grabs the audience's attention makes them want to hear more. A bad opening line will turn the audience off and they will not hear any of the rest of your speech. If your opening is no good, your speech is no good.
The opening not only tells your audience what you are speaking about and your opinion of that subject, it also sets the tone of your speech (light, serious, fast-paced...). In addition, it will show the audience the structure of your speech and what direction your argument will take.
Ways Many times you will not be able to write a good opening from the very first. You might struggle over it for years and never get past the first two sentences. In this case, you should go back and write the opening after you have finished the rest of your speech. But, beware, the opening has to be in the same style as the speech itself. If you delay writing the opening , you may find it difficult to fit it in smoothly with the tone and substance of the speech. So write out a comprehensive rough draft of the opening before you write your speech, and be prepared to rewrite your entire speech after you go back and change the opening.
Methods How do you get someone interested in your talk? Here are some suggested directions to take when planning your opening. Arouse Curiosity: Say something that makes the audience want to find out more about what is going on. Description Describe a scene or a circumstance that the audience has experienced; give them something to picture in their mind. Provocation Say something startling, something the audience will disagree with strongly, or something that is difficult to believe. Opinion Tell them your opinion in strong terms. Whether or not they agree with you, they will want to know your reasons for thinking the way you do.
Now, with these general methods in mind, can you think of different techniques for starting your speech before going on to the next section?
_____________________ _____________________ _____________________
_____________________ _____________________ _____________________
_____________________ _____________________
Techniques These are some of the more popular techniques used for getting the audience's attention.
1 Ask a question or pose a problem.
If you ask a question or pose a problem, your audience will try to figure out the answer. This technique gets your audience thinking along with you and starts them cooperating with you. Changing a straight opening into a question can make a lot of difference. For example "Does the way you dress affect your chances in love?" is more interesting than " The way you dress affects your chances in love." And "What is the best way to learn English?" attracts more interest than " The best way to learn English is with Interlink Systems."
2 Refer to a current event.
Everybody is interested in what is happening in the world now. Try to see if there is something in the news that relates to your subject. A good way to open a talk is by finding some interesting and novel connection between a recent news story and the subject you are discussing. Sometimes, you may have to stretch to make the connection, but this will cause the audience to pay more attention, as they will try to see the relationship as you explain it.
For example "Recent Japan-U.S. relations are a lot like last Saturday's airplane crash". Immediately the audience wonders how? and they will listen to the next few sentences in order to answer their curiosity
3 State an alarming or amazing fact or opinion.
Startle your audience. Tell them something that they disagree with or that they will not believe is true. Then they will listen to hear you explain what you mean.
A good speech is a series of shocks. Facts and opinions.that are hard to believe are easy to listen to. Most people like to hear about the unusual; not about the ordinary life they live every day. Give them something to worry and think about. A sentence starting with "The standard of living in Japan is one of the lowest in Asia" will certainly get everybody to listen to what you have to say.
Even an old idea expressed in a new way is often enough. Instead of opening a talk on smoking with "Smoking is bad for your health," try "Every three minutes somebody in Japan dies of cigarette smoking".
4 A funny opening
Funny openings are a good way to relax the audience while letting them get to know you and the subject. The best funny openings are usually short and refer to the audience or the speaker himself. There are two important things to remember with a funny opening: make sure it really is funny, and make sure you can tell it clearly. Before you give your speech, practice your story on a close friend or a tape recorder. Make sure that you give your audience enough time to understand what is going on.
Hint The opening is the most difficult part of the speech and it should be, more than any other part, be planned out in advanced - perhaps even to the exact words used.

Here are some examples of how these techniques can be used to start a speech.

Example Topic Topic: A Ski Trip Theme: We should take a company sponsored ski trip Audience: The boss Needs: 1 Ego-gratification: 2; wealth Angles: 1 Employees will greatly appreciate it: 2; morale, therefore productivity, will increase. Opening:
Class Topic: Topic: Theme: Audience: Needs:
Exercise A The teacher will give you some speech topics, pick one and start it using one of the techniques in this chapter.
Individual Topic: Topic: Theme: Audience: Needs:

Chapter Five
How do you say it?
Description Your English sentences may be grammatically perfect, but still they are not good English. Good English is the use of words and their combination in sentences to interest your listeners. Often, proper grammar is not as important as the way your words and sentences move and describe your ideas. Good speakers may sometimes use sentences that are not grammatically correct in order to make a point or show a certain feeling. This is called style.
Ways What makes a good style? A speech is made interesting by the way you put words together, emphasize certain points and lead your listeners through your ideas to reach your conclusion. It is the way you use language to support your ideas. A speech is not just a list of points, it is how the points are connected together and presented to the audience.

Methods Be clear and direct. Make sure your audience will have no problem with understanding what your major points are. Explain when necessary and keep away from complex points unless you have the time to develop them thoroughly. Also use sentences and words to make clear not just what you are saying, but also what your important points are and what is merely support for your points. Make your speech feel interesting.
1 State your ideas directly. Do not use unnecessary or confusing grammar or vocabulary. Make your speech simple enough so that everybody in your audience can understand it. Explain complicated points in simple words and in shorter sentences. Avoid technical words that people in your audience may not understand.

Bad Our image-heightening campaign has fostered a growing awareness of our company identity among the consuming public. Good Consumers are more aware of our name because of our P.R. campaign.
Hint Remember, in a written report the reader can read at his own pace, and can review parts that were not clear on the first reading. But a speech goes at the speed the speakers wants, not at the speed the audience wants. This means that the speaker must be sure that the audience understands what he is saying. So what is appropriate for the written page, may not be right for speaking to a group.
2 Explain your vocabulary. Define any technical or unusual words as you use them. If you are worried that some of the vocabulary that you will be using is too complicated for your listeners, try to use the words in such a way so that the definition is obvious. Often you will want to define a word as you use it.
Our company uses a LAN, a type of office network for computers, to leave messages for each other.

Especially important is to define foreign words or place names that your audience may not know. For example, few Americans know where Tsukuba is or where.
3 Put only one major idea into each sentence. Some speakers try to pack everything they want to say into just one or two sentences. But these kinds of speeches are impossible to understand. Putting one idea in a sentence allows the audience to listen to it, comprehend it and then prepare for the next idea coming down the line.
Bad We will have a meeting next Tuesday, and everyone should turn in their vacation requests at least two weeks before their day of departure. Good We will have a meeting next Tuesday. Also, I would like to remind everyone to turn in vacation requests at least two weeks before you want to leave.
4 Use specific details and visual imagery. People understand things best if they can see them in their mind. Use examples from things familiar to your audience, problems they might encounter around the house or the office. Make pictures with your words. Compare the following sentences. Which one attracts your attention the most? Which one forms the most vivid picture in your mind?
Every three minutes somebody in Japan dies of cigarette smoking. Every day 500 Japanese die of cigarette smoking. Every day in Japan 2 train cars of people die of cigarette smoking.
5 Vary sentence types. Sometimes sentences should start with nouns, sometimes they should start with verbs and sometimes they should be questions. A sentence can also be a list of items, a description, a direction to do something, or an appeal to do something. Put the verb first in sentences to make them directives.

Our salesmen need to sell more this month. We need our salesmen to sell more this month. This month, our salesmen should sell more Tell our sales staff to sell more.
6 Vary your sentence lengths. Long sentences are useful for introducing and for explaining complicated ideas. Short sentences attract attention. Sentence of different lengths keeps the flow of the speech going. Using just short sentences makes your ideas sound unconnected. Using just long sentences makes you sound rambling.
Hint Remember to use appropriate transition markers such as however, furthermore, as well as , etc. in order to make the thoughts flow more easily.
Exercise A Rewrite these sentences using techniques 1 to 4 above.
1 We need to rectify the situation that was caused by our suppliers pursuing quantity goals rather than quality goals.
2; She is the greatest singer in the world and has two sons by different husbands.
3 This company also produces LighteningFast.
4 She was very fat.
5 We exported our wastes to a recycling plant in Uwajima.
6 It was operationally sound, the mass transit system, until, because of less-expensive oil, the revenues dropped.
7 I was sorry to hear that you lost your job while I was in America at the convention.
8 Over 20,000,000,000 disposable chopsticks are used in Japan every year.
Exercise B Rewrite these sentences 3 different ways, beginning each one differently. Also, add information to make the sentences more specific.
1 Our California factory produced 5,000 units last year.
2; Most of the output is exported to the U.S. through Hong Kong.
3 The company will continue to invest money into this joint-venture project.
Exercise C Write the following into a short paragraph using the techniques you have learned in this chapter.
Japan should remove its barriers on importing rice because:
  • It will make the price of rice cheaper.
  • It will allow consumers more free spending money.
  • It will encourage more efficiency in the Japanese economy.
  • The government won't spend so much to support rice production.
  • It will lower the Government Deficit.
  • The government can cut taxes.
Using the following description and the information contained in the picture, write a brief paragraph describing this computer.
  • The MCLX is the best desk top computers you can buy.
  • The MCLX is one of the fastest desk top computers on the market.
  • The MCLX has more memory than any other computer.
  • The MCLX can be connected to many other computers.
  • The MCLX has a moveable monitor.
  • The MCLX comes with all the software you need for everyday business.
  • The MCLX is easy to learn how to use.

Chapter Six
Do people like to listen to you?
Description Most of us have a friend who is very smart, has lots of ideas, likes the same things we do, and keeps well informed of what is going on around him. Yet we avoid him. When he asks you to go out with him, you have something else to do. When you are doing something with other friends, you do not invite him along. Maybe his problem is that he doesn't take a bath often enough or that he is the ugliest person in Japan. But probably he just is not nice to listen to when he speaks.
Ways Tone is what carries your opinion of your audience. If you use the proper tone, if you show you like them, then they will respond to your speech. You must communicate to others not just the content of your talk, your desire to help the person you are talking to. Tone is the way by which you demonstrate the personal aspect of communication; your relation with the audience as friends, not as merely just another group of people.
Methods How friendly do you sound when you speak? Does your audience see you as being against them? Or do they think you are trying to get something from them? One of the most important points in persuading others to your way of thinking is to get them to start liking you. If your audience likes you, then they will want to believe you. If they do not like you, they will never believe you. How do you make your audience like you? How do you make anybody like you? You become interested in them and treat them in a friendly fashion. Before turning to the next section, see if you can think of any techniques you use to make friends.



Techniques Speaking to your audience as you would speak to your friends is essential. Here are some techniques you can use to show your friendly side.
1 Be modest, but not too modest. Presenting yourself as being the greatest often implies that the people you are talking to are not worth your time. This will subtly undermine the fabric of your relation.
Too proud I am glad to come to this meeting to give you the benefit of my wide experience in this area. Too modest I really don't know anything about this field, so I don't think you will get anything worthwhile out of my talk today. Better I hope that I might be able to help you out if you encounter any of the problems that I have had to deal with in the past.
Hint It is very important to remember that people in the West do not like too much modesty. Saying something like " Our product is not really very good." may be all right in Japan, but people from other countries will tend to believe what you say.
2 Be friendly, but don't push yourself on your audience. Too stiff. The company that I represent wants to discuss this matter thoroughly with your representatives. Too informal We'd like to get together and chew this over with you all. Better My company wants to discuss this with you.
3 Be direct, but avoid being impolite or seeming unsympathetic or unwilling to listen to other ideas. State your opinion directly and simply. Too vague. That's what you think about it. Too direct You're wrong. Better That 's a valid idea under certain circumstances.
4 Use an active voice and use active words; particularly active verbs. Passive It was a dark night. Active The night was dark.
5 Be enthusiastic, but do not push too hard. Audiences like speakers to believe in their subject. But they also like speakers to behave like adults. Wimpy. This idea might not be useful, but. . . Too pushy This is a great idea. You have to think that this is the best idea of all time! Better I have a great idea. See if you like it.
6 Be personable. Use names if you can, try to insert the audience's characteristics into your speech or put the name of the organizer or organization. Use the word "you". Too stiff The chairman of this company told me that this audience would be interested in our new product. Better Mr. Morita told me that you would be interested in our new product.
7 Be positive. Do not tear down other's ideas unmercifully. Instead, look for the good points and use them to expand your own ideas. Critical You are completely wrong when you say that. You premises are flawed, your reasoning is illogical, and your facts are false. Better There are some good points in what you say, but you might be able to see the problem more clearly if you look at it this way . . .
8 Avoid words with bad connotations. You may have trouble telling which words are appropriate to use in certain situations. To avoid this problem, either use a dictionary and read all of the word's definition, or try out your speech on someone else before going in front of your audience. Wrong word This statement is a lie. Better This statement exaggerates.
Hint A thesaurus is a book that can show you other words that mean about the same as the one you picked originally. Using a thesaurus will not only allow you to use the appropriate word, but it will also help you to improve your vocabulary.
Change these sentences to better sentences:
1 I was called by the president of your company to show you how wrong you do things.
2; This audience has terrible manners. A good audience doesn't talk while the speaker has the floor
3 Even though our computer is not so good, it has a few advantages that might interest you..
4 After you hear a few of my jokes, you will start feeling pretty gay.
5 My company, with its millions in assets, would like to maintain its position as the best fiber optic supplier in the world.
6 This speech may not be worth listening to because I can not speak very well.
7 I think that job may possibly be accomplished by us in that time limit.
8 Its great to be able to have this chance to talk to you. This is something I've always wanted to do.
9 There are a lot of things I don't like about your short term plan.
home page

Mail to


© Drew McCormick 1998