Actions Speak Louder Than Word
Actions Speak Louder Than Word
Why an artfully delivered speech can be far more persuasive
than the written word
The written word and verbal communication each have their own
unique styles. Moreover, each has its own time and place. When
we write, we stay within strict guidelines of grammar and
syntax. A written correspondence often conveys a serious or
urgent message, or is reserved for special occasions such as
wedding invitations and thank-you notes. When we speak, we are
more informal and imprecise. Grammatical rules are not always
obeyed and tone, mood and urgency are relayed in the inflections
of our voice or in our body language.
Let's look at the following for an example of this difference.
The written word: "Kindly remit the requested amount forthwith."
Oral style: "Please pay your bill right away."
These not-so-subtle differences are the reason why it is better
to prepare your speech from outlines rather than attempt to
deliver carefully worded, fully written out speeches. A written
speech will often sound stilted and too rehearsed while a speech
given from an outline will be far more conversational in tone.
This will help you to build a rapport with your audience and to
infuse your speech with humor, anecdotes and other details that
require the timing and intimacy of real conversation. An outline
will help you to stay on course, to cover all of the important
points you wish to make, and to keep track of statistics and
other vital details. Your speech will still be accurate, but by
using an outline instead of a prepared manuscript you will
entertain your audience, not bore them.
Typically, oral sentences are shorter than written sentences; we
use fewer words when we speak than when we write. In fact, more
than half of our speaking vocabulary is made up of only 50
simple words. The oral style is also more personal. People are
referred to more often, and words such as "I," "me," and "you"
are used frequently. When we write, we have a tendency to take
ourselves out of the message being relayed. Even if the purpose
is to persuade or argue, it is at times considered more
impartial, and therefore more credible, to speak from the point
of view of the third person. This is not the case when we speak.
In public speaking we want to appear as though we are having a
one-on-one exchange with our audience members, even when we are
speaking to a room full of people. It is more acceptable to come
from a personal, more passionate perspective when we speak. We
make it personal because that is what our audience will
understand; we need it to become personal to them as well.
Public speaking is the art of perfecting the oral style, using
the subtle nuances of conversation and pairing them with
research and persuasive details. Being a strong writer is vital
to career success in nearly every field and is an important
talent to nurture. But being able to recognize when the written
word is needed and when a less formal, conversational oral style
is needed will make you an outstanding presenter as well as a