Working the Room: How to Move People to Action Through Audience-Centered Speaking

Overview

Do you remember the topic of the last speech you heard? If not, you're not alone. In fact, studies show that audiences remember only 10 to 30 percent of speech or presentation content. Given those bleak statistics, why do we give speeches at all?

We give them, says communications expert Nick Morgan, because they remain the most powerful way of connecting with audiences since ancient Greek times. But as we've evolved to a more conversational mode of public speaking, thanks to ...

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Overview

Do you remember the topic of the last speech you heard? If not, you're not alone. In fact, studies show that audiences remember only 10 to 30 percent of speech or presentation content. Given those bleak statistics, why do we give speeches at all?

We give them, says communications expert Nick Morgan, because they remain the most powerful way of connecting with audiences since ancient Greek times. But as we've evolved to a more conversational mode of public speaking, thanks to television, we have forgotten much of what the Greeks taught us about the nonverbal aspects of speech-giving: the physical connection with audiences that can create an almost palpable emotional bond.

Morgan says this "kinesthetic connection" comes from truly listening to your audience-not just with your brain but with your body. In this book, he draws from more than twenty years as a speech coach and consultant, combining the best of ancient Greek oratory with modern communications research to offer a new, audience-centered approach to public speaking.

Through entertaining and insightful examples, Morgan illustrates a three-part process-focusing on content development, rehearsal, and delivery-that will enable readers of all experience levels to give more effective, passion-filled speeches that move audiences to action.


About the Author:
Nick Morgan is Editor of the Harvard Management Communication Letter and founder of Public Words, a communications coaching company.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This useful guide to modern public speaking in business situations begins (as did public speaking) with the ancient Greeks. It's an auspicious start: the Greeks' influence lasted into the 20th century, even after television made our relationship with most of the speakers we hear far more intimate. Morgan, the founder of a communications coaching company, proposes what he calls "the audience-centered presentation process," in which the speaker listens to that audience-two-way communication, in other words. Morgan breaks down the generation of such a presentation into a series of steps, with guidelines and methods for overcoming phobias (he is adamant that his readers conduct the most intensive rehearsals possible, including at least one in the actual presentation site). He also warns against Q & A sessions (particularly for the media), lame and irrelevant jokes, and videoconferencing, and seems to loathe Power Point. While he speaks of "kinesthetics"-"being aware of the position and movement of the body in space"-he generally avoids polysyllables and never pushes fancy-sounding concepts as magic wands. This is a clear, engaging guide any socially and verbally competent person can benefit from, and not only those readers speaking to the business world. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Working The Room
According to Nick Morgan, editor of the Harvard Management Communication Letter, communicating through speeches is still the best way to connect with an audience. To help others master the art of public speaking, he turns his 20 years of experience as a speech coach into an audience-centered speaking technique that blends ancient Greek oratory with communications research. His insightful examples illustrate a three-part process that focuses on content development, rehearsal and delivery. Copyright © 2003 Soundview Executive Book Summaries
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578518197
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 2/27/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Only Reason to Give a Speech is to Change the World 1
Pt. I History and Overview
Ch. 1 How Did We Get Here? 11
Ch. 2 What to Do? The Audience-Centered Presentation Process 21
Pt. II Preparing the Content
Ch. 3 Understand the Audience 37
Ch. 4 Craft the Elevator Speech 47
Ch. 5 Pick the Level of Need 51
Ch. 6 Find the Story 61
Ch. 7 Structure the Content 73
Ch. 8 Make the Journey 85
Ch. 9 Involve the Audience 97
Pt. III Rehearsing the Presentation
Ch. 10 Search for the Truth 113
Ch. 11 Choreograph the Kinesthetics 125
Ch. 12 Pay Attention to What Your Audience Needs 137
Ch. 13 Conquer Your Fear 143
Ch. 14 Get Technical 153
Pt. IV Stand and Deliver
Ch. 15 The Audience-Centered Speech 171
Ch. 16 Listen to Your Audience 181
Ch. 17 Audience-Centered Speaking for All Occasions 199
Conclusion: The Secret of Charisma 225
About the Author 229
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