[Image by Gerd Altmann of Pixabay]
As you’ve discovered, diversity abounds.
Clearly, it’s everywhere but sometimes public speakers overlook the skill of how to communicate to demonstrate diversity. Let’s revisit this important aspect as I offer several guidelines for consideration.
- Research the countries as well as the people attending your speech. It’s easy to assume your participants all come from the same country however by reading up on various cultures, you can learn what is and isn’t acceptable. This is important information to have.
- Use examples of language (other than your own) to show an effort of understanding. One of my clients mentioned being in Italy for vacation so when I wrote back, I began with buongiorno.
- Reduce your speech rate. Most of us speak too rapidly and one way to increase your clarity with people from other cultures is to remember to use a slower rate of speech. This may require practice to sound more natural but will be greatly appreciated.
- Repetition works as an effective tool. When you say something more than once it tells participants that it’s quite important. This will aid in retention. Additionally, it’s a great way of reinforcing a point and helps make it sticky.
- Increase your impact by making your language visual. You may find your speech lends itself to agendas, diagrams, pie charts, slides, demonstrations, or writing ideas on a whiteboard. Not only does this aid in better understanding but it’s also a valuable tool you can put to good use. You’re using another modality of the brain.
- Gesture where appropriate. One of the ways to increase your visualization is by including gestures as needed. This is where researching the country (#1) is extremely important, so you don’t inadvertently use a gesture that is unacceptable or considered rude in a particular region.
- Timing makes a huge difference so be sure to factor in extra time for anything mentioned so far. This allows you to adjust as needed.
By factoring in diverse audiences, it’s another powerful tool for public speakers. If you have any questions or comments, please call me at 518-664-6004 or email firstname.lastname@example.org