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Give Your Speech, Change the World: How to Move Your Audience to Action

Nick Morgan

Retail Price: $16.95
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Format: Paperback, 240pp.
ISBN: 9781591397144
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Pub. Date: February 28, 2005

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Do you remember the topic of the last speech you heard? If not, you're not alone. In fact, studies show that audiences remember only 10% to 30% of speech or presentation content. Given those bleak statistics, why do we give speeches at all? We give them, says communications expert Nick Morgan, because they remain the most powerful way of connecting with audiences.

In this book, he offers a new, audience-centered approach to public speaking. Through entertaining and insightful examples, Morgan illustrates a 3 part process—focusing on content development, rehearsal, and delivery—that will enable readers of all experience levels to give passion-filled speeches that move audiences to action. There are several universal truths about public speaking. Most people hate doing it, and most don’t do it well. And not surprisingly, most audiences retain just a fraction of a typical speech’s content. Given these obstacles, why—in an age of telecommunications tools such as videoconferencing and e-mail—do we continue with "live" presentations at all?

Communications expert Nick Morgan says we do so because speeches remain the most powerful way of connecting with audiences since ancient Greek times. But as television has ushered us toward a more informal, conversational mode of public speaking, we have forgotten much of what the Greeks taught us about the importance of form and structure in speech giving. Even more crucial, we’ve lost the physical connection with an audience that does more than grab attention; it impels action.

Morgan says this "kinesthetic connection" comes from listening to your audience with your whole body, through everything from eye contact to facial expressions to gestures. In Working the Room, he draws from nearly twenty years of experience as a speech coach and consultant to offer a new, audience-centered approach to public speaking that combines the best of ancient Greek oratory with modern communications research.

Through entertaining and insightful examples, Morgan illustrates a practical, three-part process—focusing on content development, rehearsal, and delivery—geared toward engaging an audience on every level: emotional, intellectual, and physical. Presenters from novices to seasoned orators will learn how to:

• Craft an "elevator speech" that concisely nails the key message.
• Prepare a compelling "story line."
• Rehearse effectively.
• Involve the audience.
• Choreograph body language to reinforce the core idea.
• Channel nervousness into positive energy and passion.
• Master the technical details of voice, posture, gesture, and motion during delivery.

Whether speaking to a handful of employees or a keynote audience of hundreds, anyone can use these principles to give speeches that challenge minds, impassion hearts, and empower audiences to change the world, one idea at a time.

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About the Author

Nick Morgan is Editor of the Harvard Management Communication Letter and founder of Public Words, a communications coaching company.

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