Before we get to know about the 12 sacred principles of effective oral communication, try to answer my questions.
Have you watched the speeches I described in my articles “What is oral communication? Why is it given such importance” and “How advantages of Oral Communication outperforms Written?“. If not, please watch them now. The links are provided below for your reference.
If you watched them already, here is my question which I want you to go through. What are your thoughts after watching the speeches? Did you notice any difference in you?
I am not sure about you, but my first question was, how could I watch the complete video without any distraction? Let’s rephrase the same for the correct question, how was the speaker able to grab our attention and keep us with him till the end of his presentation or speech?
If the speech has motivated you then, how could he play so nicely with our emotions? Which touched our hearts and influenced us to take some action? Well, in a positive sense 😉
Now my third and most relevant question is, can we do it? Is that skill learnable?
Well, this is what we will try to cover in this article.
What does principles of effective oral communication mean?
Let’s assume you want to learn a new game, then what will you try to know about the game at first? It’s simple, what is the game? How is it played? What are its rules?
If you want to master the game, you must be also interested to know the principles and tactics used to achieve real mastery.
So, if you want to learn any new skill effectively, you must be aware of the principles first because Principles are the foundations of any skill on which it was developed.
What are the 12 principles of effective oral communication?
Below are the twelve principles of effective oral communication
Before any speech, research on our audience and subject could help you in planning your oral presentation. It makes us analyze the audience and prepare the tone to communicate or impress. It could help us to cover all the points that we want to present. It also helps us in designing the sequence.
A well-planned oral presentation will make our speech effective and impressive.
Clear and Clarity
Having an oral presentation plan is only part of it, but the actual share of success lies in its delivery. The rest of the principles that we are going to discuss relies on the delivery of the speech.
The first one is clarity. Clarity is the ability of another person to understand what you speak. One should focus on the phrase and pronunciation.
When focusing on a large gathering, one must remember to use neutrality in his or her speech.
What are the types of neutrality used in oral communication?
There are two types neutrality one must focus in oral communication. Phase Neutrality and Accent Neutrality
Being a native communicator of a language, if you speak to another native communicator, you both would speak at a fast phase with probable idioms of which you both are aware.
Now, think of a person who is not a native speaker. He may not follow your phase. There is also a high probability that he may not understand the idioms either.
So, to be effective at your speech, you must maintain phase neutrality. You must speak at a phase at which both native and non-native speakers can catch you up.
Native and non-native speakers also use different accents when they communicate. The accent is how we pronounce a word. For a non-native speaker, the influencer of his spoken accent is his mother tongue.
One should know how to get rid of his mother tongue influence and attain accent neutrality. Using a neutral accent in your speech or communication could lead to providing better clarity.
Have you ever wondered, what is the use of different headings when you write? In writing, the usage of various heading types and subheadings in an article will provide any reader a brief of what one wants to say. Only once the reader finds the brief interesting, he continues to get into the details.
You should know how to apply the same concept while speaking as well. When verbally presenting your points to your audience, your message should be crisp and brief.
Just imagine a situation where you go to a restaurant and order some dishes, let’s say butter chicken. The server asked you if you would like the dish spicy or not? Let’s say you answered him saying “probably.”
Now, what does it mean? You may feel “probable” is more of a positive tone so, it was a yes from your side. But, the waiter may not feel that way. It would be better if you answered him with a “yes” or “no.”
The scenario that we discussed so far is what we call a lack of Precision. To maintain Precision, when you speak, you should avoid all confusing words. You should always use crisp and clear words that could bring clarity to your point, not confusion.
Take a situation when you try to read something written on a piece of paper written by another person. While you read, your audience can identify that the thing that you read is not your own. They can sense the artificiality.
You can gain trust from others only when you speak naturally. To include naturality in your speech, you must say what you feel. You can take help from others to prepare the speech structure for you, but they must design it as per your inputs, not vice versa.
When you are presenting your points to others, you should maintain coherence in your presentation. Coherence is the hierarchical sequence of message delivery.
You would probably cover this point in the planning phase itself. The sequence in which you should be presenting your thoughts to gain effectiveness in what you speak.
Have you heard of any of Shashi Tharoor’s speeches? I bet you would have listened to it twice to understand what he speaks. I am not sure about you but, I get lost in his vocabulary. Instead of following him with his views, I get lost finding the meaning of the words he uses in his speech.
When you speak to someone, understanding your message is the priority. Your speech need not showcase your command of the English language. It must deliver the correct message.
So, avoid unnecessary usage of complex vocabulary which confuses the audience.
When you speak out your thoughts to someone, the output should always bring some positivity. Even if your audience does not feel touched or moved by your feelings, that’s fine. But, ensure you do not make them reactive in a negative sense.
Ensure your speech is not spreading any negative emotions. Be as courteous as possible when you speak.
I am sure you heard the saying, an image is better than a thousand words. When you combine both in the right direction, you display the craft that shows your mastery. A speech with the correct presentation is an undoubted tool for effective thought delivery.
So, ensure you take the support of an effective presentation while you deliver your speech.
Usage of emotions in your speech is like salt in your food. When used to the correct extent, it enhances the taste. At the same time, excessive use could spoil the entire dish.
Having little emotion in your speech could elevate the effectiveness of your delivery. But, excessive use of emotions could divert your audience. Hence, use emotions cautiously.
In a sale, one should always mention the benefits of a product rather than its features. No matter how good the product is, if it does not solve the problem of a customer, shown as a benefit, none of the customers will be buying it.
If you do not show the emphasis on your audience’s point of view, why would they listen to you? So, always remember to emphasize your audience’s point of view.
That brings us to the end of this article, where we learned about 12 magical principles of effective oral communication to become master at public speaking.
PS: In the meantime, if you are working in a corporate organization, you will be glad to know that we have a separate section for corporate communication itself. If you wish to find out more about corporate communication, I would recommend reading this blog post to begin: “What Is Corporate Communication? Should we adapt today?“