Becoming visible through speech: presenting perfectly thanks to rhetoric


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Text comes from: Speak to Lead: Wie man Ideen, Visionen oder einfach nur die Wahrheit verkauft (2015) by Malte W. Wilkes, published by BusinessVillage Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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Kurt Tucholsky was a journalist and writer in the 20 and 30 years. And gave speakers a lot of advice on the way. But do you have to make any speech yourself at all? And how can one remain visible?

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Malte W. Wilkes painted-w-wilkesMalte W. Wilkes is honorary president of the Federal Association of German Business Advisors.

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12 Tips for Speakers by Kurt Tucholsky

Kurt Tucholsky is also known under his pseudonyms Kasper Hauser, Peter Panter, Theobald Tiger and Ignaz Wrobel as a sharp provocateur. He gave a speaker some of the following advice along the way - which unfortunately are still being heeded today:

  1. Never start with the beginning, but always three miles before the beginning! (“Ladies and gentlemen, before I come to the topic of this evening, let me briefly…”)
  2. Do not speak freely - that makes a troubled impression. It is best: you read your speech. That's for sure, reliable, and everyone will be pleased if the reading speaker looks up suspiciously after every fourth sentence, and if everyone is still there.
  3. Speak as you write. And I know how you write. Speak with long, long sentences, the subordinate clauses nicely nested ...
  4. Always start with the ancient Romans and always give the historical background of what you are talking about. This is not only German - all eyeglasses people do that. Always give him history, always give him.
  5. Do not worry if the waves coming from you into the audience come back too - these are Kinkerlitzchen. Say unconcerned about the effect, about the people, about the air in the hall. Always speak, my dear. God will reward you.
  6. From time to time, give the people a glass of water - you can see it.
  7. If you make a joke, laugh first, so you know where the punch line is.
  8. A speech is, how could it be different, a monologue. Because only one person speaks.
  9. A lot of statistics always makes a speech a lot. This is soothing, and since everyone is able to keep ten different numbers effortlessly, it is so much fun.
  10. Announce the end of your speech long before the listeners do not get a stroke.
  11. You do not just have to make a disposition, you also have to recite it - that spice up the speech.
  12. Never talk under an hour and a half, otherwise it will not be worth it.

Managers do not have to keep each speech by themselves

The all-rounder from the booth was not born. Not every medical director of a clinic has to be able to explain the “7 steps for a healthy prostate” on an open day. Not every police director is set up to present the security concept at a major event. And it is not suitable for every managing director or occasion to develop the future development in our industry. The reasons for this may be one of the following:

  • lack of speech craft
  • one-sided speech style - who lectures can does not necessarily have to be highly motivating on the way
  • great cultural distance from the audience
  • to new or missing thematic knowledge
  • their own credibility (image) on the topic or their own thematic partiality

Visible defies non-speech

This is the field of the company's spokesperson or colleague, business experts and / or business lecturers. Nevertheless, the manager does not have to refrain from making himself visibly attractive:

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For example, he can open up the topic as a “teaser” and show his connection to it and, on the other hand, to the occasion, he can also score big points with the speaker and the audience afterwards in an individual interview or a talk.

In the profession

But in the end, a decision whether to speak for yourself or to use someone else for it would be especially hard-fought, if the speech itself could be brought across well. There are only two ways.

  1. The entire professional image has to be revised, the training has to be extended urgently by the acquisition of speech competence. It is not enough to let results, concepts, etc., be carried forward in training. Also, a few insulated clues, which could be improved, do not lead to a closed toolbox. So you need knowing teachers. Then just young managers of the conviction through the good speech performance participate.
  2. However, if you already have some (more) professional experience, you should not be afraid to develop yourself step by step through a book, a personal coach, individual or group training or seminars. You should definitely make your own trip to the strange land of speech craft.

Because one thing is for sure: Everyone definitely gets better on this trip than he already is. - You can not promise that in everything. Promised.


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