“Business is made up of ideas, amazing ideas and these ideas move at the speed of light, so we need to keep up with the light moving forward but cut to the chase and get to the point ….”
You’ve a thousand and one things to do today, but you’re stuck in a meeting with a rambler, pretending you’re interested but really ruminating on your to-do list. If this speaker can’t make his point clear, then he is wasting your time.
But what if YOU too are a rambler? Nobody ever thinks it’s them… But WHAT IF?!?! It’s not just boring people who ramble – so many creative and intelligent people fail to realise that less is more. If a speaker doesn’t craft and signal a clear, central message of relevance to his audience from the beginning, he has lost them before he’s begun. Or if she keeps squeezing in another story, or another great idea, she will just fatigue them to the point of indifference. In an overloaded information age, simple is not stupid – simple is super smart.
Simplifying speeches and getting to the point takes time to master. But help is always at hand with Vox!! Next Wednesday, 13th April we will host a workshop entitled ‘Speaking with Clarity’ which outlines how to craft clear speeches with a defined purpose. Participants will learn how to generate ideas, distill them into one clear purpose and organise them so as to maximise impact within a speech. Your days of incoherence are over.
It will be given by yours truly, a master in the art of rambling, and therefore aware of all the pitfalls we make. I’m incredibly interested in how we can become clear and concise communicators and love teaching these skills to others.
Here are some tips to get you thinking. (Times, venue and cost info below.)
- Know your purpose. Good speakers are clear from the outset about what it is they want to achieve. Yes, this means making a decision. Once you have generated ideas, decide on ONE angle that will best match your interests and that of your audience and stick to it. This should be written as a single sentence and it is called your purpose.
- Stick to your purpose. Write your purpose statement at the top of your page and include only points that directly support it. For example, a good purpose statement would be: “My purpose is to persuade the audience that tidy people are bores”. Claims that support that purpose include “All tidy people talk about is IKEA making them dull conversationalists.” This supports your purpose statement (but will need to be backed up by hard evidence). But the following claim is not supportive and should be omitted: “IKEA serve yummy meatballs in the canteen”. True, but nothing to do with the personalities of tidiers.
- Have good ideas. Often people ramble because they are nervous. Having confidence in a good central idea will help you stick to your point.
- Arrange your ideas effectively. In stage three of the manuals there is a great, simple outline for speech arrangement, and yet most people go off track. That’s because when topics are complex it can be hard to keep it simple. However, learning how to simplify all speeches into ‘main points- sub points – supporting material’ is a skill that will serve you in all areas of your life. Malcolm Gladwell in ‘Outliers’ writes of a dyslexic lawyer who became incredibly successful because he could make complex issues simple for judges and juries. Intelligent speech arrangement is part of a simplifying skill set.
Hope to see you all there!
Speaking with Clarity Workshop
Date: 7-9pm Wed 13th April
Venue: Oil Can Harry’s 32 Lower Mount Street, D2
Fee: 5 euro
Fiona O’Meara teaches public speaking in Crumlin Community College, came second in the Toastmaster Humorous Speech UK and Ireland Finals, and has first class honours degrees in languages, business and politics.