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Why Speakers Do Well To Learn About Brain-Post



Image source: FLICKR – JohnDiew0107

By Claudia Brogan

I have always been captivated with the connection between public speaking skills and how the brain works. Learning about brain and cognitive science is quite intriguing, and can provide illuminating topics for public speakers.

Why include visual, auditory, and kinesthetic elements in your speech?

Knowing that audience members use their visual, auditory, and kinesthetic senses throughout the presentation helps the speaker address each of those senses.

Speakers can insert visual illustrations via PowerPoint, objects and props, expressive facial gestures, or hand movements which amplify the speech.

Auditory stimulation is provided intentionally by varying one’s verbal delivery, including giving interesting varieties of pace, rhythm, pitch, and pauses. As the sound varies and the speech is delivered clearly, a listener is using the auditory part of the brain to digest the material.

Adding kinesthetic stimulation for the audience often gels and confirms the speech contents: examples include asking audience members to write something down or type an entry on their mobile devices. In addition, having participants stand briefly to exchange an idea or key learning with a partner helps to gel the learning and to activate kinesthetic learning sparks.

In a true sense, each public speaker is a salesperson: selling ideas, attention, or engagement

Frequently, speakers use the art of persuasion to get attention at the beginning of the speech, in the body of their remarks, and when outlining action plans. Persuasion, convincing, and teaching are the bedrocks of public speaking: they are woven through the way a speaker “brings the subject matter to life.” If simple concepts and word-trains are all that are needed to convey a message, then communication could happen successfully by simply reading instructions and information. But the very act of a speaker giving gusto to an invitation to action has the power to be a moving, illuminating experience for the audience members. Often, connecting the dots among the various elements of information happens with much more impact when a speaker uses persuasion.

These are the reasons that I think speakers are smart to borrow lessons from the world of intelligent salesmanship. Good work has been done by Dr. Christopher Morin and Patrick Renvoise, founders of SalesBrain agency, authors of Neuro-Marketing.

Public speakers will find useful information when examining the SalesBrain 3-part model for marketing:  Capture. Convince. Close.

Find ways to Capture. Convince. Close.

I am a member of Speakers Roundtable, a group of advanced Toastmasters club which meets in Atlanta; we are continually working toward practicing, honing, and improving our speaking skills. I recognize immediately the way that the 3-part model can inform and help me work on the three distinct parts of my next speech.

I’ll re-frame my opening section: instead of simply delivering an amusing quote or rhetorical question, I will be creative in how I capture and grab the attention of the audience. Next, I will carefully edit and trim the body of my speech, keeping only the parts which drive the listeners toward being clearly convinced about my premise. Then I will develop a thoughtful, inspiring closing to crystallize the lesson and compel the listeners to take action.

In this TedxBendTalk by Patrick Renvoise, these key ideas are outlined. Borrowing good tips from the world of neuro-marketing, the effective speaker can do well to learn about brain-works.

Claudia Brogan is a speaker, trainer and facilitator who helps organizations by coaching presenters, leading collaborative meetings and problem-solving with groups and teams. Reach out to see how she can help you. Contact Claudia via email at claudiabrogan @ gmail.com, through LinkedIn or by phone at 404-849-5182.