by Dr. Dilip
Abayasekara, Ph.D., A.S.
Twelve Laws of Speaking
With more than
twelve years of experience speaking to large and small groups
of people, competing in speech contests, and coaching and
evaluating speakers. I have distilled in The Twelve
Laws of Speaking Success the fundamental principles for
reaching, touching and elevating your audience.
Attitude of a Student Leads You to Continuous Improvement
The successful speaker never "arrives" at
perfection. He or she is always trying to improve,
looking for new methods and techniques to enhance
Your Audience is the First Step to Meeting Their Needs
Two strategies for learning about your audience are A
pre-program questionnaire. Ask questions about
the expected size of the audience, ratio of men to women,
their educational and cultural background, what they
expect from you, and many more questions to help you focus
on better serving the audience. Pre-program
questionnaires can be filled out by the meeting planner
and mailed back to you or you may conduct a telephone
interview with one or two of the key players.
This can be done in the library or on the Internet.
There are also services available that can research almost
any subject, organization, corporation or institution.
Centered and You Will Create Understanding and Goodwill
The successful speaker knows that in order to truly
connect with the audience, he or she must truly care about
the listeners. The audience-centered speaker uses
vocabulary, examples, facts, and stories to which members
of the audience can relate.
Message and Your Audience Will Listen to You
The successful speaker knows what he's going to say,
when he's going to say it and why he's saying it.
The presenter has done the research, organized the talk,
Your Message and Your Audience will Believe You
This is a prerequisite to sincerity. Belief in
what you are saying allows you to become excited about
what you are saying!
Your Message and Your Audience Will Understand You
The successful speaker knows that even the greatest
speech will have little effect on the audience unless it
is organized in a manner that the audience can follow,
understand and remember.
Your Message and Your Audience will Stay Focused
Focusing on your message (and your audience) prevents
any distractions from interfering with your presentation.
Your focus on your message also prevents you from focusing
on yourself which can cause nervousness.
for Congruity is the Seat of Authenticity
The successful speaker does not pretend to be someone
else. The speaker is a performer but not an actor.
Emotions for They Can Help You or Harm You
The successful speaker controls his or her emotions to
make sure that emotions enhance the message and do not
detract from it.
Emotions for They Can Help You
The one quality of a speaker that makes most listeners
forgive them for other deficiencies is enthusiasm for what
they are talking about. If you are not passionate about
your message then it is very unlikely your audience will
become passionate about it.
Your Speech Through Life's Experiences
All great speakers develop meaningful insights from
life experiences and use these experiences to give their
speech and help the audience relate to the speech and the
Potential Energy of Your Audience and You Will Draw Them
Effective speakers connect with the energy of their
audience. This happens when the speaker asks questions and
engages the audience in a spoken or unspoken dialogue. The
speaker draws vivid mental images and entices the audience
to become part of the drama of his or her narrative.