Note to Spokespersons: Delivery Matters


Once you have simple, clear messages with strong proof points and anecdotes to back them up, there’s one crucial ingredient left—a strong delivery. Speech experts say voice quality drives initial impressions even more than content, which is something of a given.  Do you sound confident? Are you authoritative or even passionate? Injecting passion into your answers won’t compromise your credibility, as long as you’re not off the charts. But you won’t even break through the noise if you don’t sound as if you feel strongly about your topic.

The most significant influence is your persona, the composite non-verbal picture—your general demeanor and bearing, including things like eye contact, facial expressions, posture and gestures—even a firm handshake. On radio, that will all have to come through your voice, so remember: The hand is to the voice as the conductor is to the orchestra. Your voice will follow your hands. Use them to make your voice more animated.

Non-verbals can have a bigger impact than words, and on the listener’s willingness to believe you.  Delivery and non-verbals don’t just matter for television, either. Print journalists are like any other audience in that they employ all five senses to make judgments and form opinions. You can be fully prepared but fall short of your communications objectives if you don’t look and sound genuine. As the English novelist E.M. Forster put it in Howard’s End:

“Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon.
Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted."

This article was written by Walt Parker, senior vice president of media training for Weber Shandwick and Liz Mikly, vice president of media relations, also for Weber Shandwick. A larger version of this piece will appear in PR News' upcoming Media Training Guidebook. Check back with www.prnewsonline.com for updates.


Comments Off

Deals of the Week

Get $200 Off PR News' Digital PR Conference

 digitalpr2015-180x150_updated
Join us June 1-3 where you'll hear from top brands such as Walmart, Miami Heat, Verizon and Ritz-Carlton on PR and communication best practices for the next wave of digital trends.

Use code “200off” at checkout to save $200 on the regular rate.

Get $50 off PR News' Book of Employee Communications

employeecommunications-180x150

In this 5th volume of PR News’ Book of Employee Communications, our authors cover more than 45 articles on crisis communications, social media policies, human resources collaboration, brand evangelism and more.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription

 

Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.