October 6, 2012

Let me try to impress you with the following words I will use. Now listen to this carefully and figure out if you can decipher it. Here goes:

In promulgating your esoteric cogitation or articulating your superficial sentimentalities, and amicable philosophical or psychological observations, beware of platitudinous ponderosity.

Let your conversational communications possess a compacted conciseness, a clarified comprehensibility, a coalescent cogency, and a concatenated consistency.

Eschew obfuscation and all conglomeration of flatulent garrulity, jejune babblement, and asinine affectations.

Let your extemporaneous descanting and unpremeditated expatiation have intelligibility and voracious vivacity without rodomontade or thrasonical bombast.

Sedulously avoid all polysyllabic profundity, pompous prolificacy, and vain vapid verbosity.

Sounds Greek to you? You bet. Now let’s simply it. With all the words I said, what I said simply means in short: “Be brief and don’t use big words.”


I have been asked this question frequently. “Francis, as a public speaker what tips could you give me to improve my speech?”

I have also experienced being invited to an event. And then the guest of honor arrives late, destroys the whole program, sends the organizers into a state of panic and then advised me that my original talk of 45 minutes will now have to be delivered in 10 minutes. Isn’t that frustrating? But these are the realities of life.

If you want my advice allow me to offer them to you. Well, I won’t pretend to be an expert but there are 2 strong ideas regarding public speaking and here they are:

  1. Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening. Says Dorothy Sarnoff. In other words, do not bore them to death.
  2. “Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating.” Make sure that you are giving out words that would benefit the audience and not yourself.

Learn to use an economy of words to deliver a profound message.

The famous motivational speaker Denis Waitley says only a mere 3,000 words separate the winners from the losers and so the moment you increase your vocabulary arsenal you automatically increase your intelligent quotient.

Consider this: – Pythagorean theorem: 24 words

– The Lord’s Prayer: 66 words.

– Archimedes’ Principle: 67 words.

– The 10 Commandments: 179 words.

– Lincoln’s Gettysburg address: 286 words.

– The U.S. Declaration of Independence: 1,300 words.

– The U.S. Government regulations on the sale of cabbage: 26,911 words.

Maybe what this means is that the lesser the words, the more efficient things are? I really don’t know.

“SAY IT WITH FEWER WORDS” is an article written by Patricia Fripp. It deals with communications. Patricia says:

You’ve got a great, major presentation, and suddenly you’re asked if you can get your message across in five minutes! Don’t panic. For today’s television generation, sound bites can be more powerful than lengthy dissertations. Here’s how to compress your speech without losing impact.

1. Don’t apologize or mention that you usually have much more time. Be confident that you can communicate in five minutes.

2. Begin fast. Start with a an attention-getting statement such as, “Your job won’t exist five years from now,” or “In the next 5 minutes I want to convince you the best action you can take is…”

3. Use a strongly visual story. Illustrate your points — how it is now, how it will or could be — with a story so vivid that the audience can “see” it.”

4. Divide your 5 minutes into three parts. Present a problem, a payoff, and your point of view: “The number one piece of advice I can give you today is…,” your story illustrates your idea and your walk away line could be what will happen if they do what you suggest!

Ever wondered why Jesus spoke so few words yet the lessons are so profound they outlast time?

That’s how it is done. So learn from the Master Himself.

Leave a Reply