Here are a few reminders of things that may help us with our conversations and debates through the next few months.
When you want people to follow your argument you have to consider how others receive information and even whether they will listen to you immediately. Some people simply don’t hear an opposing argument the first time it is put to them because they don’t want to. You may need to repeat yourself. Others need time to process before they will come back and let you know their thinking has changed.
- Be clear of your intentions before you speak. Are you trying to motivate someone or are you simply informing them of something? Do you want to warn them of impending outcomes if they continue with their current behaviour or are you hoping to amuse them? Whatever your intentions, if you are clear about them in your own head, your intonation and the manner in which you deliver what you have to say will change.
- If you feel passionate about something remember to breathe before you speak. This will help you to remain focussed and not speak too quickly. Passion can sometimes lead us into emotional states where others can’t follow. If you really want to persuade or influence someone choose your words carefully and stay calm. If your intention is simply to express yourself then go ahead and let your feelings out but remember you may not get the resulting behaviour you wanted.
- If your subject seems routine and doesn’t interest you, you can be sure others will feel the same way unless you put it across with some originality and vocal energy. Think carefully about the reasons a policy or procedure has been put into place. Contextualising the matter may make your audience more amenable to listening to you. Remind them of the underlying reasons for it being there. Try introducing it with some humour or letting them know you won’t dwell on the matter for too long. If you can seem engaged and interested with a subject then your audience are more likely to stay with you.