Citing the repercussions of a now-suspended political party spokesperson, experts explain how to ensure you speak to your audience in a responsible, balanced and sensitive manner
The impact of controversial remarks by a recently suspended political party spokesperson in India highlights the importance of sensitivity and respect when using a public platform to address people. a diverse audience. Those interested in public speaking training do so in an effort to clearly communicate opinions and facts, as well as maintain their popularity with the public in today’s cancel culture. However, the goal of such training and awareness of its platform must stem from a sense of respect for people from all walks of life. Akash Gautum, motivational speaker and corporate trainer, explains, “As we continue to unlearn and learn, we move into a space of mutual respect. It’s great that there’s more and more discussion about sensitivity to all genders, religions and cultures. The younger generation, especially those under 25, are well-informed and are driving this change. So what should speakers keep in mind when given the opportunity to speak on a public platform? We ask public speaking and communication coaches for guidelines.
No debate on that
Akash Gautum, 44, motivational speaker and corporate trainer
Use a “vector”: it may be better to explain your point of view than to make a direct statement. Use a vector, like a story or instances. Stories have an impact; they help engage the listener’s imagination and allow the speaker to convey context, nuance and different perspectives. Be cool and tone it up nicely: don’t fidget. The person who never loses his temper always wins. Don’t let your tone, volume, or emotions get louder than what you want to say. Acknowledge everything: If you make a mistake or say something wrong, acknowledge it, apologize, and move on. If you stray, you can always pause and come back to the point.
Game planning with confidence
Ami Ved, 42, communication coach and founder, Speakwithamee
Stay Mindful: When given the opportunity to speak on a public platform, remember that mindfulness is key to ensuring controversial topics don’t spiral out of control. Be an attentive listener so you can react accordingly. Speak the language of your audience: Apart from what you speak, pay attention to how you speak, because ultimately what your audience hears is most important. When you speak in the language of the audience, they will be able to understand and understand you better. Focus on the takeaway: be clear about the purpose of your message: what is this information you want your audience to take away? What is the result of your speech? Plan your speaking points to stay on track. Pause and think: You can take a break when discussing a sensitive topic in public. Take your time to understand the question or repeat it for clarity. This will give you time to pause and engage the questioner, shifting the focus to genuine inquiry.
>> Be prepared: There is no excuse for the lack of research on the subject. Stay abreast of any developments and consider all potential talking points.
>> Do not be impulsive: avoid speaking from the point of view of “I feel”. Instead, present verified and universal facts.
>> Where are you from? Be aware of who you represent – whether it is yourself, an organization or a community – and who you are speaking to.
>> Stay on track: don’t get drawn into pointless debates; Politely, but sternly, remind participants of the agenda.
Praveen Singh, 44, Director, Cogito Training and Consulting Center
Listen to these podcasts
>> Secrets of the Public Speaking by Edrico Ambrister: This podcast includes one-on-one shows and interviews with public speaking experts on how to communicate effectively and efficiently.
>> The visible and the invisible
by Amit Varma: Although this is not a podcast about public speaking, hit play to follow Varma as he navigates various fields, asks insightful questions and strikes up a conversation.
>> Lit Nama: Episode 3 with Sonia Thomas: The episode tackles the questions of whether there can be more sensitivity on digital platforms and how one can wear opinions on one’s sleeve.