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The Basic Elements of Public Speaking – Part II
Frank DiBartolomeo --  Presentation Coach For Technical Professionals Frank DiBartolomeo -- Presentation Coach For Technical Professionals
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Centreville, VA
Sunday, July 24, 2022


“Feedback is a gift. Ideas are the currency of our next success. Let people see you value both feedback and ideas.”

– Jim Trinka and Les Wallace

Last week, I covered three basic elements of speaking that were in an interesting blog recently entitled The Basic Elements of Public Speaking. Again, this blog takes an interesting “50,000 foot” look at speaking.

Last week, we explored The Speaker, The Message, and The Audience. This week, we will explore The Channel, The Feedback, and The Noise.

The following are my thoughts on these basic elements of public speaking.

The Channel

The Channel is the method used by speakers to reach their audiences. This includes verbal, non-verbal, and kinesthetic (moving around).

We have explored these particular speaker channels of communication before, so I am not going to explore them further here other than to say these are the tools in a speaker’s “quiver.” Become excellent in them and you will have an engaged audience.

Let’s talk about another kind of speaker channel.

Before the COVID-19 virus appeared, you might have been thinking speakers only speak before live in-person audiences. You know by now, the COVID-19 virus changed all this.

Before COVID-19, I thought “Zoom” was a toddler’s program on PBS. Not anymore.

Remote speaking mostly through the Zoom platform has transformed the speaking industry. The year 2020 was a watershed year for virtual speaking and learning.

Terms such as “synchronous speaking” and “asynchronous speaking” and many others are now part of our everyday vernacular.

Of course, the Internet with You Tube was here way before the COVID-19 virus. With an Internet connection you could, pre-COVID-19, view a myriad of videos.

However, what has changed is the number of courses, seminars and live speaking the speaker now can choose from as their channel of communication.

There are a number of advantages of remote speaking: travel costs eliminated, reaching many more people, and audiences viewing speaking on-demand.

To be fair, there are disadvantages also – reduced body language means reduced communication, unstable Internet means intermittent communication, and the reduced advantage of not being in the same room with their audiences.

However, even with these disadvantages, speaking has been transformed by the option of virtuality.

So, certainly a speaker’s channel includes verbal, non-verbal, and kinesthetic tools of the trade while also including virtual speaking.

If you want to improve as a speaker, audience feedback is essential to improving your speaking craft.

The Feedback

Without feedback from your audience, your ability to improve your speaking would be like pushing a cannonball up a hill with your nose. This is next to impossible. Without feedback from your audience, it will be next to impossible for you to advance as a speaker.

There are many ways to obtain feedback from your audience.

The first type of feedback is the immediate feedback you receive from your audience during your presentation. This feedback includes frowns, smiles, applause to name a few.

Frowns should tell you the audience is not agreeing with your message. In this case, it would be good to ask your audience a question as to whether they agree with you or not and why or why not. You may then want to focus on this disagreement and Provide logic as to why your message is what it is.

Smiles are the universal agreement facial expression. It also indicates your audience is following you. This is important because a lost audience is a distracted audience not listening to your message.

Applause is the strongest indicator as to whether your audience agrees with you and is being entertained which is extremely important. Entertained audiences learn faster and retain more of your message. Don’t forget the entertainment factor in your message and delivery.

Create and distribute a presentation evaluation form at the beginning of your presentation. You will receive more in-depth feedback than if you distributed the form at the end of your presentation when your audience is ready to leave. At the beginning of all of my presentations, I always mention the presentation feedback form at the audience’s places and request them to provide input during the presentation when thoughts are fresh in their mind at the moment they think about it.

These two ways of receiving feedback, audience reaction and feedback written during your presentation are like mining in a solid vein of gold. You will receive tremendous information on what to keep and not keep doing during your presentation.

So, a clear speaker’s channel and audience feedback are essential to improving your speaking craft.

But, how do you overcome the “noise” while you are speaking.

The Noise

From the The Basic Elements of Public Speaking, noise can be external or internal.

“External noise consists of sounds from laughter, poor acoustics of the auditorium, temperature (too hot or too cold), poor ventilation, visual interference such as low light, or obstacles between the speaker and the audience.”

“Internal noise occurs when the speaker is confused or conveys an unclear message about what he wants to express.”Let’s first start with internal noise. This kind of noise you have direct control over.

Your presentation message has to be crystal clear to your audience. You can do this by having a well-organized presentation. Upfront, use a relevant attention step (e.g., quote, story, statistic) and then, in the body, explore your three main points with supporting sub-points always reiterating your message. In your closing, remind your audience of your message through your three main points. Finally finish with a “get off the stage” device like a quote, story, and statistic.So, internal noise is completely in your control to reduce. Not so with external noise.

The temperature of the room, poor ventilation, and visual interference like poor lighting and building posts obstructing audience vision are largely not in your control. So what can you do?

Ask the event planner well before your presentation about this external noise and whether anything can be done about them before your presentation. Even though you have no control over this external noise, the event planner may have partial or full control over this. Believe me, it is worth the time to explore external noise fixes with the event planner before your presentation.

Take internal and external noise head on. You will be glad you did.

So, providing a clear speaker’s channel, seeking audience feedback, and overcoming external and internal noise are essential to improving your speaking craft.

If you do these things, you too can become an excellent speaker.

Call to Action

  • Learn how to speak virtually. The world has changed. You must change with it

  • Ken Blanchard once said, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” Don’t you want to be a champion?

  • Reduce the internal and external noise keeping your presentations from going to the next level

“Do not say a little in many words, but a great deal in a few.”

– Pythagoras

Frank DiBartolomeo is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and award-winning speaker, presentation and interview skills coach, and Professional Member of the National Speakers Association. He was awarded Toastmasters International’s highest individual award, Distinguished Toastmaster because of his outstanding work in public speaking and leadership.

Frank formed DiBartolomeo Consulting International (DCI), LLC (www.speakleadandsucceed.com) in 2007. The mission of DCI is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence their colleagues and other technical professionals through improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence. Reach Frank at frank@speakleadandsucceed.com and (703) 509-4424.


Don’t miss Frank DiBartolomeo’s latest book!

“Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Presentations”

Available now at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Frank DiBartolomeo, Jr.
Title: President
Group: DiBartolomeo Consulting International, LLC
Dateline: Centreville, VA United States
Cell Phone: (703) 509-4424
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