Speakers often spend most of their preparation time on writing their speeches, leaving the practice to the night before, the morning-of, or the seat of their pants. And they usually do just fine. Or so they are told. (No really, it was great.)
Imagine if they had really practiced, and practiced right. How much better would it be?
20% better? 50% better? Well, the science geek in us would like to have a number, but the answer is subjective.
Do I believe him? Can I trust her? Do I feel anything? Am I convinced?
The connection that you make with your audience is what really sells your message. The writing supports and guides that connection, but the logic of the writing is only part of the story. You’re not only conveying a message, you’re conveying your character and emotion.
Your voice, the delivery, your character and the emotion, that’s where the message lives or dies. You want to be prepared, but also be yourself. Those are not mutually exclusive. And that is where an experienced speech pathologist comes in. Because sometimes you need a little help sounding like yourself in a stressful situation.
Vocal register, speech rate, breath support, voice pitch, intonation. Pausing, articulation, sentence stress, and rhythm — these are all measurable and adjustable. When adjusted, it may just mean the difference between simply being listened to and actually being heard. This is where speech science meets art.
Practice helps, and the right kind of practice helps even more. Even Obama practiced. I know, because I asked one of his speech writers.
Do you have a speech or a presentation coming up that you want to nail? Let’s do it.