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The Voice Coach provides tips on how to have a clear message in your
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How to have a clear message

A common problem with speaking in public is being carried away by our own train of thought and not returning in time to make an impact with our argument. I have had this experience often in my own public speaking situations and many of my clients have expressed a need for advice on this topic - so this is why I will talk about it in my post today.

The solution to this lies in the preparation... and the discipline to stick to what one has prepared. We usually get carried away, when we improvise without a clear goal in mind. When we start out speaking before we know what point we want to reach at the end of our sentence, it is very difficult to have a clear message. This is why I will start with the end:
  1. What is at the end? Know where you are going with your argument. If you have the end of your sentence in mind, you won't drift off too far from what you actually want to say. Always prepare your argument or presentation with the end goal in mind. What do you want your audience to take away from it? What is the most important message that you want to convey?

  2. Make sure you have a clear picture of how you want to explain your topic. Do you really understand what you are talking about? Could you also explain it in 3 simple sentences? Practise explaining it to your child or to an imaginary child or someone who has no clue about what you are talking about. The simpler your words, the easier it is for people to understand.

  3. Structure your argument, speech or presentation clearly with a Beginning, Middle and an End. You could structure it like a newspaper article: Say what you are about to talk about, talk about it and then sum up what you have talked about. This way you will make it more likely that people will have actually gotten your message.

  4. Don't let people's questions or interventions lead you off the path of your argument. You could tell them that their question is very interesting, but you will answer later. Also don't let people interrupt you before you have finished your train of thought. If you know exactly where you are going with your argument, people will have a harder time to interrupt you. Just keep going until you have finished.
I know it is hard to have a clear message and stick to what you have prepared, when you cannot foresee every question or intervention. But the clearer you are about what you want to say, the clearer your message will be.

If you would like to work with me on having a clear message – send an e-mail to info@thevoicecoach.be. I offer one-on-one coaching sessions per Skype or in person (if you live in the Brussels area).

Sonja Nannan




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