5 Delivery Techniques To Help You Drive A Strong Message Home
When I was growing up, my family puppy-walked Guide Dogs.
However, being a shy child, I wasn’t great at getting the dogs to take my commands.
But after I got a lesson on public speaking delivery from my mum, that all changed. 🥰
When trying to discipline these dogs at the start, it went a little like this.
In a tiny, high-pitched, pleading voice I’d say to them: “Sit. Sit, sit, sit. Sit down. Sit. Sit.”
But, inevitably, the dog hadn’t taken any notice of me.
So my mum told us:
“You need to talk to the dog like you mean business. He isn’t going to listen to you when you say it like that.”
So, I changed my approach.
In my version of a deep, loud, direct voice (while pointing at the place I wanted him to sit and looking at him directly in the eye) I simply said
Just once, like I meant business.
Then, voila, he actually sat down!
I was so pleased with myself! From that moment forward, when I wanted them to pay attention to me and do what I wanted them to, I’d ensure I spoke to them – like I meant business!!!
So, with that early memory in the back of my mind, here’s 5 ways to create more impact and influence with the *way* you deliver a message.
1. LOWER YOUR VOICE
If you really want someone to pay attention to you and you want them to take notice on something serious, lower your voice.
Why does this work?
Because studies have shown that we consider those with a lower voice as more authoritative.
But let me make this very clear. I don’t mean you have to spend a whole talk speaking like this.
Just when you really want to drive a point home, clarify a course of action or have people take you seriously.
Great examples of when you’d want to do this are the closing of a talk, or when you’re sharing specific key points.
2. PAUSE DELIBERATELY
If you speak in a continuous loop without any pauses, you never give people the mental space to actually *think* about what you’re saying.
Because, did you know? The real impact of your words comes either from how you say them, or from the space you leave after you’ve said them.
>>> Don’t pause at all = No time for it to sink in, as you just keep speaking
>>> Pause a little = It’s starts to sink in, but you cut it short by speaking again
>>> Pause dramatically = It really sinks in AND they think about the implications
So, if you want people to create an impact, learn to get comfortable with a pause.
3. CUT DOWN YOUR WORDS
The more words you say, the greater chance people have of getting confused.
More words just water your message down.
Too many words can make it harder for someone to understand.
Shorter sentences or fewer words work much better!
4. GIVE STRONG EYE CONTACT
If you’re presenting and not maintaining eye-contact with your audience or whoever you’re talking to, it’s easy for them to disengage too.
You want to maintain strong eye contact for the moments you’re really wanting people to listen.
This means you shouldn’t look down, at notes, at slides, away, or at something else.
Give that person or those people piercing eye contact. It will really magnetize them to what you’re saying.
This is especially relevant for the opening and closing of a talk.
5. USE APPROPRIATE GESTURES
You want to use everything at your disposal, so don’t forget to use your hands to support what you’re saying too.
Your hands are a tool. Use them to help people understand what you’re getting at.
So, if you want people to take you seriously, or influence them to do something, keep these tips in mind and show people ‘you mean business’! As these lessons are just as relevant in the corporate world.
What do you think? Also do you have an early child-hood lesson on communication that’s also stood the test of time? If so, please share it too!
Until next time,
Emily Edgeley is a Public Speaking Coach for the Technology industry. Since 2017 she’s run over 100 group coaching sessions, coached more than 200 people privately, and formally supported first time and experienced speakers at 10 Conferences, covering 1000+ people across the globe.
She’s on a mission to help anyone in the Tech arena learn how to speak with clarity, impact, and confidence, whether that’s at work or at a Conference. So they can share their ideas competently, elevate their personal brand and start to enjoy ‘public speaking’!
She’s also a regular podcast guest, a writer, a mum of one, a massive dog lover and a fan of cryptic crosswords.