Strategies of Effective, Charismatic Speakers

Ever since taking the Professional Speaking course with Professor Stephanie Webster last fall, I’ve been paying close attention to some smaller, commonly-overlooked attributes of effective speakers in our societies.  Today, I want to take a bit of time to list these out for my own understanding, and to share with any readers.  I intend the scope of these attributes applies to everyday dialogues and persuasions, all the way to formal speeches. Use of the question “Right?” – speakers use this somewhat rhetorical question to engage with the audience.  A speaker’s voice naturally inflects when asking a question – cuing the audience’s attention.  This in turn challenges the audience to interpret what the speaker was talking about, thus aligning the audience’s understanding on the topic with the speaker’s understanding – building a relationship and trust with the audience. Telling a story – speakers effective speakers often use this strategy at the beginning of a statement.  A story can be used to engage an audience (attention grabber), or as a vehicle to help an audience understand.  Effective stories are relatable to the audience, and engage the audience to follow the story.  Effective speakers transition the momentum, engagement, and emotion of a story to effectively convey the objective of the statement or speech. Remembering – and recalling – audience members’ names – this strategy is used to build rapport and trust with an audience.  A great example of this is before a business presentation, meeting an unexpected member of an audience, then referencing this person during the presentation.  This invokes the personability of the speaker, again continuing to build the relationship with...