Public Speaking Tips, Part 2:
Recall some famous movie lines…
“I’ll have what she’s having!”
“Show me the money!”
“Make my day!”
Small words, short phrases. They grab you.
The Terminator said, “I’ll be back.”
He didn’t say, “I’ll return in the not too distant future.”
Why do we hate political speeches? Too many big words that say nothing. Did you ever hear a speaker and say to yourself, “I wish he used more cliches!”? Never!
History’s great speeches can be understood by a ten-year-old:
“We’ll fight on the beaches …”
“I have a dream …”
Is This Typical?
Fred needs to give a speech. He’s thinking, “I need some impressive words!” He digs into the dictionary.
No, Fred! Forget sounding like a public speaker. Try sounding like Fred.
When You Care
What words do you use when you are excited or desperate? Simple words that everyone understands… words like, “Save my child!” or “I love you!” or “Don’t shoot!” People sense that you are serious.
What words do speakers use when they don’t care or don’t have a clue? Jargon like “core competency” and “optimized consumer footprint”.
No one cares about the size of your vocabulary.
Do you want to give a strong presentation? Junk any sentence that would confuse a ten-year-old. Your audience will be delighted!
Do you want to make a point in a board room or an article?
Want to write a book?
Use simple words.
If your message is useful, simple words will give it power.
See also: Public Speaking Tips, Part 1: Five Ways to Begin a Speech
Author: Andrew Matthews
Andrew Matthews empowers audiences in 25 countries to enjoy their life and work. Andrew’s books, including “Being Happy!” and “Follow Your Heart”, have sold over 7 million copies in 43 languages.