Festus Keyamo, the spokesperson of the President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign
The word “Eloquence” seems to be one of those words that are gradually fading away in these recent times. People just tend to go speak publicly without checking themselves and discovering if they are eloquent enough for their speech. Not only is the word fading, so also are its categories of words like charisma, presence, and gravitas. It is quite sad that even some educated people are not eloquent in public speaking. Being eloquent in public speaking seems to have been abandoned and left only to the people who take great wedding speeches, on-air personalities, senior politicians in their electoral campaigns or legendary speeches like Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream”.
WHAT IS ELOQUENCE?
Truth is irrespective of where we find ourselves, it is of great benefit to become more eloquent public speakers. It’s important to always look to improve our communication and interpersonal skills. Whether it’s giving a speech to an auditorium of thousands or simply addressing a few dozen co-workers, the basic principle is the same: when addressing multiple people at once, getting our message across accurately and memorably is vital to success.
Merriam Webster defines eloquence as: “The ability to speak or write well and in an effective way.” It goes on to say: “Eloquence is discourse marked by force and persuasiveness; also: the art or power of using such discourse.” In other words, eloquence is the quality of artistry and persuasiveness in speech or writing. Building your concise, positive, invaluable, and appropriately named message around your audience can ensure that your point gets across and stays fresh in people’s minds.
STEPS TO ATTAINING ELOQUENCE IN PUBLIC SPEAKING
The following are basic steps to take in order to improve delivery of a message or speech. And to help attain great heights in public speaking.
GET TO KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
In order to pick the right combination of topics to focus on so, your audience will become interested at once. Then research on what the audience is interested in. Give the audience something that they can take away and do for themselves. What is the impact on the audience’s lives? Stand out from the rest and avoid topics that people have already heard or read.
GIVE YOUR WORK A CAPTIVATING TITLE
Dedicating time to craft the body of your message is as important as creating an original name for your speech or message. This is never stressed enough. Your title should wake the audience’s interest so they anticipate reading or listening to your message. Think of the title as your red carpet to grab your audience’s attention. This statement must summarize your main point in a unique way.
When delivering a speech, it is advisable to be concise and end it earlier than the time you are given. Sometimes, adding relevant metaphors may seem appropriate, but don’t waste time including too many. That is because every single part of the message is potentially a moment for you to hold your audience’s interest together and for people to remember.
ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE
Capture your audience attention and make them stay focused by choosing topics they can relate to. Thereby including them in your message carefully, especially at the beginning. Doing that could make a difference in whether or not you get someone to become engaged, then they will believe and share your perspective.
Countless articles on the art of public speaking have included reference to the great Greek philosopher Aristotle. Over 2000 years ago the extraordinary thinker gave us the greatest gift to enable us to structure an entire speech in a way that we could deliver with the mindful eloquence we need to connect with an audience.
1. Logos – Appeal to your audience’s logic
2. Pathos – Appeal to your audience’s sense of emotion
3. Ethos – Appeal to your audience’s sense of ethics
HAVE A CONVERSATION
Most of us find it very difficult to get excited about the idea of having someone stand in front of us simply talking at us, yet many people call this presenting. Conversely, most of us look forward to and enjoy having a great conversation which is interesting, stimulating and of course two-way. Eloquence lies in the conversation, not in the presentation, speak slowly and in short sentences and also use simple or plain language.
MAKE IT PERSONAL
Speaking eloquently doesn’t include rambling, waffling and padding out your presentation with superfluous information. Which you might have designed purely to make you look good and demonstrate to your audience how hard you have worked. Eloquence involves ensuring that everything you say is completely personal and relevant to your audience. If it adds no value to your audience and won’t make any difference if you don’t say it then leave it out.
MAKE LISTENING EASY
Have you noticed that the speakers you may have considered as eloquent have made it very easy for you to listen attentively to them?. It didn’t happen by accident; they made certain things easy before you arrived that You would be able to hear them easily, you would be able to see them easily, they could move around freely and easily and you would be comfortable.
SAY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU HAVE TO SAY FIRST
You have moments to capture your audience’s attention and the last thing they want from you is trivia as the first words you speak. If you take David’s advice not only will they not thank you for it, you will lose them and once you do it’s really hard to get them back. There is nothing eloquent about trivia, especially when it’s the first thing you say. The great speakers do the complete opposite. They approach the platform with confidence, grace, and poise, they stand in silence for a few moments until their audience is completely settled, they smile and then they say their most important point first.
Aside from giving the audience hints on what they really want to hear about. Other appealing factors for the audience include positive messages that focus less on failures. Susceptibility to helplessness is a psychologically discouraging sign to the public, who are looking for confident candidates to boost up their trust in government officials. Even if you are not delivering a presidential candidate message, you should aim to make optimistic remarks and minimize talking about unresolved problems or failures, unless you are discussing how to attack them in your speech.
TAKE THEM ON A JOURNEY
Get your audience asking the following questions in their subconscious. These questions are: Where are we going? Why are we going there? How are we going to get there? Most of us like the idea of going on a journey but not until we know the answer to those three all important questions first. The eloquent speaker makes it their priority to answer those questions before they begin the journey.