My wife and many other people tell me I am a talker! However, in spite of their views I do love to listen. I love to listen to public presentations but more so to individual people, to hear and understand their views and opinions. I like to truly hear what people are saying, which is not always what is said verbally. We are clever people to skirt around issues or things that bother us and rarely do we blurt out the real cause of concern. It’s important we listen without distraction to each other. Otherwise, how can we be helpful in building one another up with encouragement and comfort?

 However, on the talking side I do love public speaking. Some people dislike it intensely and avoid it at all costs. I love it because I enjoy interacting with people. Although there is not much interaction if you just deliver a lecture, but public speaking does not need to be like that. Having something valuable to say, having direct eye contact with your audience, bringing out a response from your listeners, all makes for an enjoyable occasion for speaker and hearers alike. This is the same whether you are talking to a small group or hundreds of people.

 Having something valuable to say is important. That sounds like a superfluous and obvious statement, but have you ever heard a speaker and when it is over some people ask the question, “But what did he really say?”  That is a tragic scenario because both speaker and hearers have wasted their time and achieved nothing.

 If you have something important to say and you know it has value for your hearers, then there is nothing more exciting than having that opportunity to share it from your heart. People quickly detect sincerity and can identify a genuine sense of empathy from the speaker. The enthusiasm for the subject, and the urgent presentation, conveys much more than any straight lecture which simply displays the speaker’s knowledge and education.

 Always try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. If you are a listener try to understand what the speaker is trying to say. Yes, you can analyze it and determine whether you agree or not, but make sure you pick up the point which is being conveyed. If you are the speaker then put yourself in the shoes of those listening. What are your words saying? How will they be received? How do you want them to be received? What is it that you really want to get across? Don’t ramble on so that the critical point of the message is lost with too much speaking. Mostly, speak with conviction and from the heart. Sometimes our attitude says more than our words!