Choose the words you want to use carefully. Maximize your impact by using words that put your thoughts in the best order, and select language that strengthens the sentence flow. You can ensure a clean transition between thoughts with the right vocabulary—words that the audience can relate to and absorb. The word choice, as you work on the speech order and the transitions, is critical in order to increase your effectiveness.
An often-made mistake, however, is looking to use big, intellectual words. The audience doesn’t want to have their thoughts wander as they try to figure out word definitions. Select words that are easily understood and that convey the intended meaning. There are so many synonyms to choose from; just make sure they reflect the right definition for the point you want to make. Test the words out loud, check their flow, and then research the effectiveness of these word choices with smaller audiences, to see the reaction they get.
The words you choose for your speech should constantly evolve as the speech matures based on audience reactions, or in some cases, no reaction. Even when you are happy with a speech, it should be continually fine-tuned. Your words can have a lasting impact on your audience. They should be powerful enough to catch the audience’s attention, but simple enough to be understood. If you think about news broadcasts, the anchors are using terminology for the masses. Unless you are presenting on a very specific or technical topic, make sure your word choices are used for impact, not just to sound smart. You will find that audiences often relate better to simple word choices.
Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):
- Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
- Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
- Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
- The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
- From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
- The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood
MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby