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Chapter 20. Informational Speeches > Insert Tab A into Slot B: Explaining a Pro... - Pg. 164

Informational Speeches 164 We live in an information society. As a result, good communication skills are more important than ever. In this chapter, you'll learn how to give clear and effective speeches that inform. That way, you won't be the one eating crow--even if it is boiled to perfection. Talk Soup More than ever before, we're compelled to inform and be informed. When you try to clarify a concept or process for your audience, define terms and relationships, or in any way expand their knowledge, the object of your speech is to inform. Insert Tab A into Slot B: Explaining a Process Tech Support: What does the screen say now? Person: It says, 'Hit ENTER when ready.' Tech Support: Well? Person: How do I know when it's ready? Can you explain how to operate a computer to a technophobe? Can you describe your plan to revitalize the town park to your mayor? Can you describe the steps your colleagues must take to install new software applications, order materials, or complete an accident report? You might often find yourself in the position of having to explain a process , whether as simple as ordering flowers or as complex as installing a fax modem. Whatever the process is, your explanation should have three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. · In the introduction , explain why the process is important and what steps you will be describing. · In the body , explain the steps one at a time. Demonstrate or illustrate each step as you discuss it. As you speak, look at your audience to be sure they understand what you're saying. If your audience doesn't seem to be following you, repeat the step and explanation. Try to use different words when you restate it to help your listeners grasp the ideas in another way. · In the conclusion , briefly go over the steps again. Remind your listeners about any important rules, safety regulations, or cautions. To make sure that your audience understands the process, consider asking them to restate the rules in their own words. You can do this at the end of the process or after each step. Working Nine to Five: Job-Training and Teaching Sessions Class Act It's a good idea to join Toastmasters International if you have to do a lot of informational or persuasive speaking. Toastmasters provides an ideal forum to hone and improve the skills you need to make these kinds of speeches. Look in the telephone book to find the chapter of Toastmasters closest to your home or office.