President John F. Kennedy delivered his inaugural speech in Washington on January 20, 1961. It is still quoted and used as a shining example of presidential speeches today. The speech was effective in both its writing and presentation. Experts say the speech was most effective because it sets up the ‘road map’ for a speech about renewal, while at the same time he also answers his audience’s concerns about his relative youthfulness by demonstrating a knowledgeable grasp of the global issues of the day.
The speech did two important things. It understood his audience and it answered their concerns. It not only said powerful things, it was designed and delivered to be powerful to the given audience of the day.
Everybody can learn the principles of effective communication, both in terms of what you say (construction) and how you say it (delivery). One of the leading providers of online effective communication courses is SpeechSchool.TV, based at the ecentre at Massey University.
Not only does SpeechSchool.TV teach the principles of effective communication, it also offers an award winning accent and pronunciation course which is popular with second language students. The School’s philosophy is that everyone speaking English, either as a native or second language, can become an engaging, clear and memorable speaker. The classes are delivered via online video and offer the opportunity to send in assessments and work with voice coaches.
In particular, the School offers a Standard English Accent pronunciation course to develop clear English speech that is easily understood anywhere in the world along with a more advanced Master Communicator effective communication course which teaches the principles of effective speaking and persuasive communication:
As an employer presentation skills can be valuable. Leaders must motivate and inspire their teams in order to achieve success. Think back to the best leaders you’ve had and you’ll likely remember them also as great communicators and speakers.
One of the best leaders I experienced was not in the workplace but at the high school I attended. The Principal was a dynamic and powerful communicator who influenced staff and students through his presentations every morning at school assembly.
He was in many ways a very traditional Headmaster, wearing his black academic gown on stage and delivering sometimes thundering addresses on topics from racism to the importance of reading. Yet the sense of power and clarity he delivered was inspiring and motivational. Most importantly it was memorable. Almost thirty years later I still remember his words and his message.
I recall him speaking about reading in particular. He explained in visual detail, how, as students we all had a unique opportunity to access knowledge and the greatest minds in history and the present by reading their works. He explained also that by reading fiction we opened and stretched our imagination to new worlds and new ideas, and as he went on to quote – your mind, once stretched by a new idea, is never the same again.
I’ve been a reader ever since.
If employers can achieve such memorable communication in the workplace not only will they motivate, they will be remembered and that has to be the ultimate test of any communication. Memorable presentations are based on many of the things we admire as human beings – integrity, bravery and intelligence. Those who are recognised as memorable communicators become people that others want to follow and once you have people wanting to follow you, you become a powerful and motivating leader.