Make Better Word Choices – Improve Your Presentation

Patricia Fripp keynote speaker
Patricia Fripp keynote speaker on stage.

Subtle changes can make an enormous difference in your public speaking. These are some of the inside secrets I share with my executive speech coaching clients.

In analyzing your speech, look for ways to be clearer, sharper, and more eloquent. You can look over your script. However, I find that speakers can make major improvements by listening to recordings of their presentations. Listen carefully.  Here are a few strategies to improve your presentation:

Make better word choices. Where your words are vague, replace them with words that are more specific and relevant to your point.

Before… “I hope you are leaving with three things.”

Fripped… “My hope is you are leaving with three major commitments.”

Before… “By the end of the day…”

Fripped… “At the conclusion of our meeting…”

Remove redundant words and phrases.  As Jerry Seinfeld says, “I will invest an hour in taking eight words down to five.”

Before… “Each and every one of you in this room…”

Fripped… “you…”

Present information in the correct order.  “When, where, who, what happened” provides your audience with a logical progression that is easy to follow.

Before… “President Obama gave a speech on health care at Yale University yesterday.”

Fripped… “Yesterday, at Yale University, President Obama gave a speech on health care.”

Before… “You will be learning audience involvement techniques today.”

Fripped… “In the next 4 hours, you will be learning audience involvement techniques.”

Add foreshadowing. In movies and literature, to foreshadow means to give clues or hints to suggest events that will occur later in the story. These clues can be either obvious or subtle and can be woven into dialogue, description, or the attitudes and reactions of the characters. Among its many purposes, foreshadowing gives the reader a taste of what is to come.  Incorporate foreshadowing into your presentation to further engage your audience.

Before… “We will be talking about audience involvement.”

Fripped… “In this exciting, action-packed, highly-interactive seminar, you will learn and experience audience involvement techniques.”

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Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.