Speaking to Your Audience

Speaking persuasively is an asset. At the heart of all of it: the audience. Their desires, their needs, their interests.

In “Powerful Speaking Skills for Lawyers“,  Bonnie Gross urges us to drop our pre-written prose. Instead, she encourages us to speak conversationally, using short, punchy sentences. Keep the message short and profound. No one cares about the inane details

She adds that we should make the first topic sentence a huge draw. And we should end our speech by addressing two points: “what you want the audience to do” and “what you want the audience to feel”. Interestingly, Bonnie Gross encourages us to stop apologizing, calling it a bad habit, daring us to “bury those feelings”.

In applying her rules, she provides the example of John F. Kennedy’s moon speech. She rightly claims that no one would ever remember:

Our mission is to become the international leader in the space industry through maximum, team centered innovation and strategically targeted aerospace initiatives.

But, everyone remembers:

We will put a man on the moon and return him safely by the of the decade.

So go ahead, be bold and “kill your darlings.” After all, no one cares about the details.

 

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