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Friday, July 31, 2009

Preparation Is Very Important for Any Speaker

Communication effectively is an art. Effective communication required a people to share his/her thoughts with audience. Speaking is the way of sharing their thoughts. So effective speaking skill is very important to achieve success in communication. And to have such success in communication, it is required that people need to develop their communication skill. Here, i will discuss about the preparation part of speaking which is very important to have success in communication.

If I were asked to give a one word explanation of the sort of confident, organized presentation we all envy, it would be preparation. The confidence comes from the speaker’s knowledge that he or she has everything ready, has thought through the whole subject, and has enough of the right material to support the presentation. The sense of organization comes from the careful arrangements and selection of what is said, so that all the points are part of a logical order. Neither of these virtues are available to the speaker who bets on his luck (or cheek) and just talks off the cuff. Good speakers are prepared.

How do you achieve this? It is as much to do with the audience’s abilities as the speaker’s, and it is about the logic of organization, as much as the psychology of presentation. But the aim of all the advice is the same—that secure and admirable sense of being well prepared. There are two simple pieces of advice which start this process of preparation in the right way. Firstly, ask yourself what the aim of the talk is, rather than what the subject of the talk is. The first is much more specific than the second. If you plan to talk about a particular subject, you may feel the need to mention everything there is to know about that subject. But if the aim of the talk is to arouse the audience’s enthusiasm for a research project on that topic, a brief sketch of the more exciting possibilities would be more relevant. A complete catalogue of every aspect will merely bore them, and will achieve exactly the opposite result.

There are many cases where the aim may be rather different from the subject. The advantage of thinking about the aim is also that thenthe decisions include the audience, and the audience’s perceptions and needs, not just the speaker’s ideas and knowledge. In practice, a very common mistake is to prepare a presentation as a speech on, for example, ‘Heavy water reactors’, without thinking whether the audience is interested in technical details or scare stories. If the aim is to reassure a local population that the heavy water reactor being built next to them is perfectly safe, then a lot of technical details about the design will probably scare them witless! Think of all your decisions when preparing the talk in terms of what you want the talk to achieve, and not in terms of what the bare topic of the talk is.

The second piece of simple advice is to prepare more material than you need. The idea of preparing ‘just the right amount’ is foolish. Until you start talking, you won’t really know how much material you are going to get through, And if you insist on battling on to the bitter end of what you have prepared, you will almost certainly get the timing wrong, as well as turning the talk into a marathon. Talking should never be a dutiful forced march, it should always be an exploration, a discussion, a fascinating glimpse of the subject. It is an opportunity to learn about something new, which has to stop when the allotted time runs out. The best talks all end too soon, and the sense of having more to say, but having no more time, is the most satisfactory impression to leave.

The talk is also more interesting if the audience feel you are stepping smartly through the topic, summarizing far deeper knowledge and just mentioning the more interesting aspects. This impression is created if the speaker has more material than he needs at his finger tips; the need to summarize and curtail while he or she talks keeps up the level of tension, interest, and expectation. An audience should never come out of a talk feeling that the subject, like them, is exhausted. They should always be fired, rather than quenched. This happens best, if you prepare more material than you need. The habit of having extra material also allows you flexibility in timing when giving the talk, and helps you to answer questions at the end.