Know Your Speaking Strengths

Are you better with a scripted speech in front of a large group or in a question and answer session with a small group?  Some people think that the communication skills required are the same.  They are not.  All you have to do is watch two political leaders today to see the difference.

As I write this, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has just finished a live video chat with the editorial board of the Indianapolis Star.  It was a question and answer session that also included questions sent in from participants via the Internet. 

Mayor Ballard’s communication strength is speaking one-on-one or in small group settings.  Unlike others in the political arena, he keeps his answers short and allots time for many different questions and questioners.  He does not drone on and on as we see with many public servants who hold office.  His short answers allow for give and take and follow up questions.

We will see another communication skill set demonstrated tonight when President Barack Obama addresses the nation. He is a brilliant public speaker and is particularly good in front of large crowds or when working from a script.  But his answers in press conferences are too long. They turn into mini speeches, which can turn off audiences as their minds begin to wander.

What is your speaking skill set? Have you perfected what it takes to address a large group? Can you read well from a script? Can you handle question and answer sessions with brevity and clarity?

If you’d like an assessment of your skills, drop me an email.

This entry was posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Analyses of, General articles, Heck of a Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

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