As a youth in college, I had an early morning public speaking class. I never enjoyed the time of the class, but I enjoyed the class. I learned about speaking in various situations and how to conduct myself in those situations. What I did not learn is how to influence my audience. Once you, as the speaker, have a basic knowledge of the people listening in, you will be able to plan the speech to influence the audience.
Organization: During the initial stage of influential speaking, you will organize your message. Never go into a speaking engagement unprepared. If you are speaking of others, practice their names. Know all relevant dates, times, etc. You will lose your audience quickly without preparation. Stay with the specifics of the influencing request. Why or how do you want to influence your audience?
Delivery: In order to influence others, you must have passion in your delivery. You have to believe in your message, and not portray tepidness. Along with knowing your audience, you have to be able to know word choice. If I am speaking to grade school children, am I going to use words meant for a room of professionals? I am not. I am also not going to appear to talk down to my audience. Do not underestimate your audience’s intelligence. This is why you have to do your research.
Q and A: Not all situations will be in a question and answer format, but if you want to influence people, you will need to field responses. Remember to answer the positive and the negative. Do not allow emotion to come into play or succumb to negativity. Passion has to be a part of the entire process.
Seek your audiences take on your message. Do they believe your message? Do they feel the same passion you are portraying? Hopefully by this stage you are seeing signs that you have influenced your audience. Now, for the final step in the process of influencing people by your speaking, take action.
Take Action: You have learned your audience, organized your thoughts, delivered with passion, and answered questions to seek alignment. Now take action on the influential task that you spoke on. If not, the momentum will be lost and you will not be able to gain your audiences trust. Leave your audience with something positive to keep spirits high.
Influencing others through speech can be difficult. Know your audience and deliver with passion. Always recap the possible questions to gain alignment and disseminate negativity.