Learn the art of thinking properly and presenting your ideas strongly.
This brief yet highly informational podcast gives the audience a lesson on the dichotomy of writing and speaking within the field of communication. The author of the podcast presents us with a question. Is it better to be a speaker or a writer? Both are creative outlets but used for different purposes. One to express and the other to convince.
Here we want to explore how do we present and express our ideas clearly. We'll look into organising our thoughts and thinking clearly.
Should one be a Speaker or a Writer?
The point of being a writer is to express one’s ideas to the world. If you have strong ideas, then writing is the direction you must go in. However the reverse is true when it comes to speaking.
The job of a speaker is to emotionally grab the audience with their spoken word. By cracking jokes and easing the audience, it is more convenient for the speaker to connect with them. This isn’t to say that the audience is incapable of listening to good ideas. The crowd is smarter on the page compared to when they listen to a speaker. Writing can do a better job of being able to give the writer a more potent opportunity to put their thoughts down concisely. Speakers can inspire one to take action. Becoming an effective speaker is no easy feat. One must know what cords to strike in order to evoke a response.
Some writers tend to write down their speeches on a piece of paper to be read aloud to listeners. This isn’t the best way to get your point across. It takes the disadvantages of both fields, speaking and writing, and puts them in the same action. The audience isn’t emotionally invested in your speech as it doesn’t seem authentic while the ideas you wanted to convey get squandered in the frenzy of deliverance.
The reason for using communication is dependent on the intent of the communicator. Whether it be to share, express, convince, comment, develop social relations and more, certain channels are more suited to accomplish certain tasks. The onus is on the communicator to select which avenue is best for their purpose. A well experienced speaker can use ideas as well as their charm to bind the audience with their objective. This isn’t easy to achieve but through experience and experimentation, anything is possible.
Access the complete transcript here 👇
I'm a terrible public speaker. I tend to mumble "uh." I occasionally have to halt when my train of thought gets off track. I wish I could speak more clearly. But unlike the way I wish I were a better writer, I do not wish I were a better speaker. What I truly want is good ideas, which are a much greater component of writing well than speaking well.
The key to writing successfully is having strong ideas. If you have good style and know what you're talking about, you can explain something in the simplest terms. The converse is true when it comes to speaking: a shockingly little portion of becoming a good speaker is having good ideas.
This was the first time I observed it at a gathering years ago. There was a speaker who was far superior than me. He had us all in fits of laughter. In contrast, I came off as halting and uncomfortable. Following my discussion, I posted it online as usual. I attempted to picture what a transcript of the other guy's conversation could look like as I was doing it, and it was only then that I realised he hadn't really spoken all that much.
The extent to which concepts mattered less in speaking than in writing was a revelation to me, even if it may have been evident to someone with greater speaking experience.
A few years later, I attended a speech given by a well-known speaker who was not just a better speaker than I was. Wow, what a talent. I made the decision to pay close attention to what he stated in order to understand his method. I started to feel the need to stop speaking well after approximately ten phrases.
Being a really excellent speaker is not just counterproductive to having good ideas; it really works against you. For instance, I often write out my talks before giving them. I am aware it is a mistake and that giving a prepared speech makes it more difficult to interact with an audience. Giving an audience your whole attention is the best approach to capture their attention. However, while delivering a prepared speech, your focus will always be split between the audience and the prepared speech, even if you have memorised it. It's preferable to start with only an idea of what you want to say and make up the individual phrases as you go if you want to keep the audience's attention. But if you do that, you might just need to think about each line briefly before speaking it. The stimulus of speaking in front of a live audience can occasionally make you come up with fresh ideas, but generally speaking, writing, where you can take your time crafting each line, will provide more ideas.
If you practise a prepared speech sufficiently, you can asymptotically approach the level of engagement you experience when speaking impromptu. Do actors. However, there is still another trade-off between ideas and smoothness here. You may spend all the time you spend practising a talk improving it. Any speaker must resist the urge; actors don't often have to, unless they wrote the script. Before I deliver a presentation, you can generally find me attempting to mentally practise it while seated in a corner someplace with a copy written out on paper. However, I always wind up spending the most of the time redoing it. I always wind up reading from a draught that has had several things struck out and redone when I deliver a speech. Of course, this only makes me feel awkwarder because I haven't had a chance to rehearse the new material.
There are worse tradeoffs than this, based on your audience. Audiences enjoy being flatteried, laughing, and being knocked off their feet by a powerful flood of words. Being a good speaker becomes more and more about being a good bullshitter as the audience's IQ declines. Of course, it is also true in writing, but while speaking, the decline is worse. Any given individual is stupider in an audience than they are in a book. A person listening to a talk can only spend as much time considering each sentence as it takes to hear it, just as a speaker who is improvising can only spend as much time considering each statement as it takes to utter it. Additionally, audience members are constantly influenced by the emotions of others around them, and the reactions that spread within an audience are typically of a more brutal kind, just as low notes penetrate walls more effectively than high ones. Every audience is a budding mob, and every effective speaker exploits this. The fact that everyone else was laughing during the conference speaker's presentation contributed to my own laughter.
So, are conversations pointless? They are unquestionably less effective as a source of ideas than the written word. But discussions are useful for more than just that. I often attend talks because I am interested in the speaker. The closest most of us can get to talking to someone like the president, who doesn't have time to meet with everyone who wants to see him, is by listening to a talk.
Talks can also inspire me to take action. The fact that so many well-known speakers are referred to be motivating speakers is most likely no coincidence. That could be the true purpose of public speaking. That was presumably its original purpose. A talk's ability to evoke emotional responses may be a potent force. Although I'd like to think that this power was more frequently employed for good than for bad, I'm not sure.