Talk Tips Tuesday #2

Listen for a thesis.

Nothing is more important in effective communication than having a  well-defined thesis. A thesis is the singular and coherent thought the speaker or storyteller is trying to convey. One of the best ways to get good at developing very clear, very compelling thesis statements for your talks, presentations or sermons, is to start listening for them your regular life.  Pay close attention to everything from conversations to political speeches to movie plot lines and see if you can easily identify exactly what the speaker is trying to convey. Is their point clear or confusing? Are they certain or indecisive? Identifying the thesis statement in the stories told to you by your friends and family will show you just how much we say that has nothing to do with the point we’re trying to make. Listen, learn and internally judge your loved ones.  (Kidding. Judging is bad.) Homework: Even if you hate politics, listen to one political speech this week and take notes. What is the tone, the posture of the speaker, the emotions inside the words? Most importantly, what is the main point the speaker is trying to make? Write down the thesis, using as few words as possible - the shorter the thesis, the clearer the message. Write down any ideas the speaker introduced that diluted the main point or any language he/she used that muddied the main idea.  

{Talk Tips Tuesday is a weekly feature to help women improve communication skills in every area of life.} 

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