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Importance Of Listening When Giving a Speech

Layne McDonald. Ph.D.

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of being. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Try listening to other expert speakers as much as possible during a speaking event, especially the guest speaker, since they may be able to supply valuable tips while hearing them talk. This could also cut redundancy and add more bits and pieces when it is time to speak in front of the audience. Also, this saves a speaker from embarrassment since other speakers sometimes try to use materials of the same kind.

Aside from listening to the other speakers, try to listen to most of the audience. Knowing the audience gives a speaker a clearer idea of what is sought after and what the audience may not like to hear. Here are some tips that can be conducted before making that big speech.

Whenever possible, go to the entrance hall and try to mingle with the audience as they arrive. Greeting them will remove the tension, and putting a smile on their faces at the start could let it stay there when the speech begins.

Feel the room. Being familiar with the people and the place can help know the audience.

Remember that people came there to listen, the event has been scheduled ahead of time, and the last thing the listeners would want to hear is a speaker apologizing. 

Do some research. Knowing whom you are delivering the speech to and the place where these people came from will give ideas on how to talk to them appropriately.

Study their facial expressions. They may not be saying anything, but their actions and the way they tense their muscles would mean either they do not understand what the speaker is saying or they have other questions to support what was spoken earlier. If this happens, open the floor for questions. Begin by raising one’s hand to invite people with questions.

The audience would especially want an engaging, informative speaker who can supply entertainment. 

If they have questions, make sure to understand each and answer them in the most informative and non-offensive way possible if the topic is susceptible. Put seriousness in if the case calls for it, but a little keynote for an icebreaker will surely help for minor issues.

A speaker must know when to halt during the speech. Practicing the lesson at home using a timer would help a speaker cut unnecessary words or phrases during the lecture. Unimportant words are unnecessary since he would not like his audience to end up bored and not have to understand the speech altogether in the end.

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