How To Improve Your Vocabulary To Improve Your Public Speaking

by | Nov 1, 2020 | Public Speaking | 0 comments

Praveen, how to improve vocabulary?

Every time when people ask this question to me in my public speaking workshops, sometimes I feel that why you’re asking this question to me.

In case if you’re asking this question because you want to improve your vocabulary for GRE, TOEFL or some kind of competitive exams you want to go outside, very secondary.

I understand the importance of vocabulary and words, your power bank, critical. They’re very important. I’m not talking about that.

What Do We Mean By Inspiration?

But if you’re asking, keeping this in mind, or you have this notion that if I have very good vocabulary, it means by default, I get a license to speak effectively in front of people, then I doubt it.

I share my perspective on this and I’d love to have your perspective on this.

I’m not belittling the importance of having good vocabulary, that’s a skill. strengthening your word bank, learning more and more words, knowing the meanings of many words, that’s a skill.

But just because if you have that skill, that doesn’t mean that you will be good on the stage not necessary.

Why? What is public speaking? Speaking is nothing but especially when you’re speaking in front of public, it’s nothing but whatever you have in your mind, you want to plant the same message in other’s mind.

But we have three types of messages. Either we are speaking to inform, you want to stand and inform something, or we are speaking to impress.

You want to go and you want to impress someone or third, you’re speaking to inspire.

Now what do we mean by inspiration? Inspiration is nothing but. 

See, if you want to reach where I have reached, if you want to learn what I have learned, if you want to enjoy the benefits, which I’m enjoying, then this is how I have done.

We All Can Inspire Each Other

Now there are multiple things even you have done. So even you can inspire me, there’re multiple things even I have done, even I can inspire.

So not only few people, they have license to inspire, we all can inspire each other.

But if your intention is to inspire, that’s the definition of inspiration, according to me.

So, let’s take one by one and let’s see the role of vocabulary, and then I will also share with you that how to improve vocabulary, which will be good to improve public speaking.

First: Inform-Imagine that you’re standing in front of people to inform, and you have a habit of using very heavy, heavy word jargons, what happens in public speaking, when people listen to you and in the middle of your presentation talk, if you’re using one very difficult word which they don’t understand or out of a hundred people, view people do not understand, they are not going to raise their hand ask

“Hey, excuse me, I don’t know the meaning of this word, will you take a substitute or will you mind using some other word.”

It doesn’t happen like that in a professional setup, right?

No One Will Even Announce That He Or She Doesn’t Know The Meaning Of That Word, Doesn’t Happen.

So, you hesitate to do that, you hesitate to project as an audience, you hesitate to project that you don’t understand.

Even in one to one discussion or even in a small conference room, there’s a client meeting going on and the client or maybe the agency or the company, very difficult word, no one will say I have not understood this word, objectives, information and client meeting.

So, the moment you use a very difficult word, then you yourself, decreasing the chances of you achieving your objective of information because in the light of the person not understanding that word, then that person inability of making any sense from that word.

So, don’t you feel that then you’re not informing correctly, or you’re diluting that information if you’re using certain jargons and very difficult words.

The Role Of The Manager To Give Clear Cut Messages

So, if your objective is information, then there is no scope of using heavy words or jargons.

Come to the second objective. If your objective is to impress people, what do I mean by that?

If there is someone, imagine you’re a manager and you want to impress your team members, and you speak in such a way big-big words, jargons and then as a manager, you say my colleagues my subordinates must be thinking see what kind of language come on here, that’s wow. You will impress them; you will achieve that objective. But is this the role of the managers?

Don’t you feel that the role of the manager to give clear cut messages,

They should be impressed by your ideas, values thought strategies, not by the selection of your words. They should not be impressed just because you’re using some heavy, heavy words.

You Inspire People Only By Sharing Your Personal Experience

If as a manager that is your objective, then I will strongly recommend to reconsider that object of impressing your subordinates by using your heavy words.

Having heavy words in your vocabulary is good but if your team members are not understanding what you’re saying, team member should be impressed with your ideas, with your values, not because of your heavy words.

So, I doubt vocabulary, very strong vocabulary has a play, or has any role even in case of where our objective is to impress. Third, to inspire.

How do you inspire people?

You inspire people only by sharing your personal experience, that is the easiest way to inspire people.

When you share your personal experience, you’re telling them see I was here, now you’re here.

So, people can easily connect, they can just travel that journey along with you.

And in that journey, if you’re using some difficult work, then you have no idea which path they are taking in that journey, because they are confused.

And as I told you earlier on, no one is going to raise their hand and say I will say this that probably now I never even understood that word, will you mind using some substitute?

Doesn’t happen like that.

So, if you really want to inspire, make sure that each and every word you’re selecting, it’s so easy that even 13- or 14-years old child can understand.

I remember the world champion public speaking speech by Dhananjay Hettiarachchi I see something three years ago when I fall in love with public speaking and I decided to become a student of this skill. I might have seen that talk more than hundred times, not even a single word, which even my 14-year-old child can’t understand, and he has won the World Championship on public speaking.

So, it doesn’t matter whether you want to inform, impress, or inspire, the beauty is having words which are easy to understand how to improve that vocabulary.

Stop Making The List Of Those Words Which You’re Not Using In Day To Day Conversation

Just because we have certain words in our vocabulary, not necessarily what do you mean by that?

It means there are certain words which you know, not necessarily you’re applying or using those words in your day to day life. The problem is that you don’t know the words.

Fortunately, one gift we got because we were ruled by British people is, we got exposure to English very early in our life.

So, the problem is that you don’t have good vocabulary award man, the problem is, whatever words you have, you’re not using in day to day conversation. Stop making the list of those words even if you’re watching web series, or if you’re watching movies, and you see hey, this is the word which I know but I’m not using it.

Start noting down those words then how to ensure that you’re using that in your day to day communication. The easiest way is this, there’s a study where they have given a group of words to one set of people and same group of words to another set of people.

One randomly remembered, one converted that into a short fictional story. 93% people that remember all the words who converted into a story and only 13% people remember all the words. So, make the list of words, those who already know about it, and start using that in your day to day life.

That will help you to improve your vocabulary to share your ideas, values, thoughts.

So next time when you’re speaking, you should not happen that you don’t have a word in your mind to express.

Otherwise, there is no logical speaking where people can understand. That’s my perspective vocabulary. What do you think? Share your perspective.

This has been Praveen Wadalkar signing out until we meet again.


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