Public Speaking Course:
I invented the term "dynamic range" which I teach about in my
public speaking course. Dynamic range helps you improve
your versatility as a professional presenter, and to help you pick appropriate
audiences for your interest and skill level.
(Did he say 'pick' my audiences?)
Yes, I did say pick your audiences.
Some of you don't have this luxury because you speak as
part of your job to whomever your boss tells you too. But for those
of you that can pick your audiences, you will be able to move up faster
after completing your public speaking course.
When you are just starting out in your speaking career it is important
for you to experience different types of audiences just FOR the experience.
You will find that presenting to some audiences is more fun than others,
and certain types of audiences enjoy your style more too. At this early
stage of defining your skills as a presenter it is important to take
many different audiences to broaden your skill level.
As you move up the professional ladder where the audiences are bigger, or more important
to your career; the stakes are far higher, so you must learn to just
Most top presenters don't accept every invitation to
speak even if they are available, and the money is right.
Why? They pick their speaking engagements to put themselves in front
of audiences that indicate the greatest chance of success. They are
building their reputation, and a good reputation is worth more money
in the long run.
If you are a highly technical presenter, you would not want to be speaking
to a widget sales group at their annual retreat. Conversely, as a really
fun retreat facilitator, you would not want to be speaking to a group
of radar technicians who are only interested in performance data of
the latest missile protection system.
Your knowledge of your Dynamic Range when practicing in your public
speaking course will help you learn to pick your audiences better. Also
in your ongoing effort to improve it will expand your abilities so you
are capable of handling a wider range of audiences.
I based Dynamic Range on the same concept that is used to rate stereo
equipment. Dynamic range in the electronics world means the ability
to reproduce soft sounds as well as loud ones.
I have expanded on this topic to include several other parts that are
important to a speaker. These include:
-- Serious/Outrageous Content,
-- Slow/Fast Speed of Delivery,
-- Slurred/Articulate Diction,
-- Stationary/Animated Movement, and
-- Audience Needs.
The first step to use this system is to evaluate yourself on each parameter.
Many people have trouble with this, so after you finish your public speaking course it might be time to call in an objective third
party like a speaking coach or other professional presenter to watch
you present or to review several of your tapes.
What professional athlete do you know who excels without a coach? What
professional in any field excels without a coach? If your going to have
good speaking skills, you too need a coach. Find one, use one (or more),
learn from one, profit from one.
A piece of advice, please don't use friends for this initial evaluation
because they will be reluctant to tell you the truth. And further, ask
yourself honestly, is your friend a professional coach in the area you
Quick Fixes -- Here are some ways you can increase your range in a
-- If your material is all serious, add some that is lighthearted and
-- If you always speak softly, speak loudly sometimes and vice versa.
-- Always work to improve your diction, but allow it to falter in front
of less articulate audiences.
-- If you always stand still, move sometimes and vice versa, if you
are a jitterbug, stand still.
When you have the option, pick audiences that give you the greatest
chance of success.
Does an olympic runner enter every race? Or does he or she practice
and prepare for the big races?
Thinking like a professional is part of mastering what you learned
in a public speaking course.