Speech Intelligence, in bite-sized chunks (1)

Speech Intelligence is the difference between confusing or artificial speech and clear, natural connection with others as often as possible. Just as a starter, where do you think you’re at on this? And try not to distinguish between home and professional circumstances. As hint, “I nailed that presentation” is not where I’m coming from. Stop reading if that’s the style of advice you’re after.

This is about you.

Your Speech Intelligence is your consistent ability to communicate with others. From one-on-one (chat), in front of a few others (water cooler), and all the way up to large audiences (keynote or public speech). Frankly, you’re either communicating with your counter-parties or you’re not. It doesn’t matter what you call the event.

You don’t need to learn a whole new set of skills for presenting, and then another for public speaking, or another for holding difficult conversations. That is old school.

Why? The drivers to listener ‘focus’ are the same.

Instead, understand the difference between ‘low context’ skills and ‘high context’ skills.

Low: e.g. your ability to control the flow of your speech pattern, your ability to understand when a listener is actively processing your speech, or just passively ‘hearing’ you.

High: e.g. managing challenging questions from a co-worker during a period of extreme change.

Many, many of us can benefit from truly harnessing the ‘low context’ skills.

If you seriously want to improve your ability to communicate (especially, and eventually for the challenging ‘high context’ situations), then I urge you to focus first on the essential ‘low context’ skills.

I shall organise my understanding of Speech Intelligence into 3 categories: ‘always’, ‘before the moment’ and ‘in the moment’. In the next article, I’ll start with ‘always’. The things you always need to be an effective, Speech Intelligent, communicator.

As a hint:

  1. You’re letting the listener in – are they keeping up with your thought flow?
  2. You’re revealing the real you – are you like this in real life?

It’s a physical skills base, not just an awareness thing or a ‘tip’. See you next time.

– James Bryce

Learning Library

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