Eloquence is the fine art or practice of using language fluently and expressively. We’ve all been moved by eloquent speakers. Think back to speeches that affected your life in some way – a teacher, a mentor, an activist, or a politician. Great speakers have mastered the art of speaking eloquently.
Fortunately, eloquence in speaking is a practice that is not solely innate; it is an art that can be taught, and one that is extremely important in business.
There are 4 main types of speakers:
- The coherent
- The incoherent
- The articulate
- The eloquent
A coherent speaker can communicate opinions and facts verbally, but usually, doesn’t say anything that is memorable. An incoherent speaker is a rambler. They use slang and jargon and most often lose their audience because they’re gabbing about topics that are only of interest to themselves (and perhaps their family). An articulate speaker manages to speak clearly and succinctly, but does not use language that is particularly persuasive. The eloquent speaker is a person who knows how to use both body language and their words to create both an interest in the product or topic that he or she is discussing, as well as an ability to win over the minds and hearts of their listeners.
There is an abundance of reasons why it is important to be able to speak eloquently. But first, let’s take a look at how you can become a more eloquent speaker.
To begin with, you must assess your body language. Sit or stand with a straight but relaxed spine; keep your chin up and do not slump. Avoid glancing sideways – focus completely on your audience. Make certain that your voice is loud enough so that the people sitting farthest away from you can clearly hear you, but not so loud that the ears of those people closest to you are hurting from over loudness. Use gestures when you want to emphasise key points; notice what gestures popular public speakers and celebrities use when they’re speaking.
When you’re about to introduce a new idea, add some power to the words you’re speaking by moving your body from one location to another on the stage. If you’re sitting at a conference table and need to emphasise a certain point, incline your body slightly forward. Never speak in clichés; instead, use vivid or unexpected phrases or words that will illustrate a point simply, but memorably.
Use common words put together in an interesting manner, and don’t use words that are too fancy, or ones that some of your audience won’t understand. That only serves to make the audience think that they’re listening to a snob. Steer clear of any negative or controversial words or topics – this is not the time to make waves. Instead, focus on using clear, concise language to engage and inspire your audience. There are plenty of resources available, including books and seminars for public speaking, that can help you give a great speech in front of audiences of any size.
Change the speed with which you’re speaking at. If everything you say is at the same speed, your speech will quickly become monotonous. Speed it up or slow it down at different times, depending on how important the concept is that you’re communicating. Speak quickly when summarising, and slower when you’re introducing a new and important concept. Finally, learn how to use a pause that will create emphasis; a pause can create suspense, and even entice audiences to want to hang on to your every word.
You have a business, and therefore the desire to influence people by selling them on what you have to say. Think of speeches that you’ve heard the Queen make. She uses language elegantly, effectively, and eloquently – the three E’s that you will want to remember.
Your business presentation needs to be inspiring and persuasive, and it must also reflect conviction as well as quality. Enhance your word pronunciation; make certain that your words are delivered fluidly, gracefully, and with style. You must exude confidence so that your audience will find it easy to believe the things you’re saying. Remember that eloquence is power, and that power is influential.
If both speaking and presenting in an eloquent manner is an issue amongst a vast number of your employees, you need to do something about it. Building on these communication skills cannot be done overnight. It takes time and proper training. This is where a public speaking workshop for professionals comes in. If you get your entire team involved in the course, no one will feel like their skills are being singled out and your business will benefit as a whole.
What benefits will come from being an eloquent speaker? First, your words will be heard, and your opinion will be respected. Your audience won’t just listen to you – they will HEAR you, and value what you have to say. Second, if you’re an eloquent speaker, you will feel an increase in your feelings of personal power. Finally, speaking with eloquence creates opportunities. Learn how to influence others with your words, and new opportunities will open up for your business.
Practice does make perfect when it comes to speaking eloquently. Practice reading out loud to yourself or a few others. Consider taking a series of coaching lessons. Consider taking presentation or public speaking classes, like those mentioned previously. Embrace your worth and increase your business by learning how to speak eloquently.