Ethan Rotman

Posts Tagged ‘Speech’

Know What You Are Trying To Say

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, Increased sales, Public Speaking on October 26, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Speaking Tip #1

This speaking tip is so basic, that people sometimes laugh when I say it:

Be clear on what you are trying to say and what you want your audience to know when you are done.

It sounds so basic, but a common mistake is not being clear on what we are really trying to say. Think about it – if the speaker does not have a clear idea of what they are trying to say, how is the audience supposed to figure it out?

We feel rushed or, worse yet, we believe that since we are just “speaking for a few minutes at a staff meeting” or “having a quick word with the boss (or spouse, kids etc)” that we don’t need to prepare.

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Speaking without knowing your point can be likened to driving without a destination (except it lacks the romance of the free-wheeling spirit heading down the road). You veer right, then turn left, go straight for a bit, you double back, take a side road that leads you no where. You end up talking about all kinds of things that really are not pertinent to the message you are trying to deliver, the audience tries to follow you but ends up lost and takes a “mental vacation”.

The next time you are going to speak, whether it is in front of a group or one-on-one, ask yourself this question:

“What is the one thing I want them to know when I am done speaking?”

When you can answer this question – organize your thoughts and then you are ready to begin.

Being clear in your own mind on your objective will go a long ways in helping you present your thoughts in a clear and concise manner that will be effective.

Treat every conversation with care and respect. Before you speak, put yourself in the driver’s seat and say, “where do I want this to go”?



© 2010 iSpeakEASY – This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY: We Help People Profit From Their Words.

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On Communication

In Delivery, Organization, Public Speaking, Social Media on July 1, 2010 at 9:33 pm


Do not assume that because we have phones, faxes, email, websites, social media, snail mail, FedEx, Blackberries, iPhones, voice mail and cell phones that any communication is occurring!

Words To Inspire: The Speech Or Toast At Your Company Holiday Party

In Credibility, Delivery, Public Speaking on December 10, 2009 at 9:21 am

Being a leader and being a boss are two different things. We all love leaders yet often find our bosses to be uninspiring. Holiday parties are a perfect opportunity to reflect on the successes of the past year while offering hope and optimism for the months ahead. This year especially, employees and co-workers will look to you to be a source of inspiration. Times are tough and in the darkest months of the year, we all want to look toward a brighter future.

 If you generally do not make a toast or speech at the holiday gathering – this is a good time to start. If this is part of your regular routine, this is the time to focus on bringing a strong message of optimism to your company.

While a good (short) speech can help build your credibility and inspire workers, a poorly delivered, or poorly thought out talk can do great harm. Take time to craft your message and plan your delivery.

Speaking in front of a group can be hard enough. It is harder yet to speak confidently in a manner that creates credibility when things are tough.

 A good holiday speech should:

  • Deliver a message that is honest but exudes hope and inspires
  • Position you as a visionary leader and someone that understands the needs of the company and employees
  • Include everything you need to cover without saying too much, leaving something out or  worse yet, saying the wrong thing
  • Sound as if it is flowing from you extemporaneous, planned, yet the delivery must be smooth and filled with confidence

 Some people in this situation feel the best approach is to wing it, figure out what to say as they speak. It is easier this way than planning the talk. Others believe a drink or two will loosen their tongue so they can speak more freely.

The truth is that this is an important talk. It can shape the immediate future of your business. The words you speak will influence employee morale. Employee moral will shape employee behavior, which will affect your profitability (maybe your survivability) in the year to come.

It is worth the time and effort to prepare well to inspire your employees and give them an optimistic view of the year ahead. The holidays mean different things to all people but regardless of religion, it is a time we seek hope. Give this talk the attention your business deserves.

Here are some suggestions:

In preparing your talk:

  • Condense your thoughts to a single message
  • Prepare your thoughts ahead of time
  • Use clearly outlined notes on a small card
  • Talk to employees – hear their concerns and accomplishments
  • Practice
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine

When delivering your talk:

  • Keep it positive and give people a reason for hope
  • Keep it brief and light– it is a party!
  • Make eye contact with as many people as possible
  • Mention individuals or departments by name, especially those that are often overlooked
  • Have a clear, strong, and positive closing statement

Take the time to plan your talk so it will inspire your employees to embrace the challenges of the new year. Delivering a well thought out talk demonstrates you are thorough in your planning. It will instill confidence within the employees that you are not just their boss, but also a capable, inspiring leader.

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