Leading modules


Module 4 “How do I make myself heard?” – Communication

Unit 2: Skills for high impact speech
Live response techniques

Preparing and delivering a speech or presentation is quite a challenge. There are many questions to address to get the best of results. But, as you may already know, true success stems from the communicator’s ability to, live and direct, give the best answer to anyone who asks questions, suggestions or opposition.


The speaker has to make the listener feel like the protagonist of the scene. More or less implicitly, the listener has to participate. The listener’s motivations are the links that encourage participation.

What motivations can a listener have?

– Learn / train. Seeks to acquire or develop knowledge.
– Distract yourself. He seeks to delight or entertain himself with the speech.
– Solve a doubt. Seeks to solve or settle any doubt about a specific aspect.
– Cover a need. It seeks to find a solution to a more or less relevant problem.

Depending on each motivation, for example, the language of a speech is structured and more or less technicalities will be used or examples will be given. In any case, it should not be forgotten that the listener is a person who seeks to acquire knowledge preferably, in a pleasant, curious and practical way. Therefore, the incorporation of narration of stories or real cases, curious experiences, latest discoveries and new and updated information is always recommended.


In communication, the term Feedback refers to feedback information sent to someone about what they have said or done. Feedback is therefore information related to the way of doing things or the behavior of the other.

In a speech or presentation the speaker gives and receives feedback in many different ways. Through words, gestures, postures or silences we can give and receive feedback.

First of all, before making any feedback, you should consider:

– What do I want the other person to understand?
– How will I know that you have understood?
– What emotional state do I want to produce with my feedback?

Good feedback must be generous, genuine and specific; ALWAYS FOCUSED ON FACTS AND NOT INTERPRETATIONS

In this video you will further specify what is and what is not feedback. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5m2xwVMMYI What is and what is not feedback
Here are some ideas that can help you give better feedback:

– Use positive reinforcement using words and short phrases that denote attention. Examples: “I understand, I understand what you are saying, of course …”. Of course, it is essential to show interest in the person’s intervention.
– Reformulate the sender’s message or question using our own words. With this technique we make sure that the rest of the audience listens to the question, confirms if we have understood the message correctly and clarifies it and gives us time to think and give the appropriate answer. Furthermore, it helps us to soften or neutralize the negative charge of some words.
– Expand the information by asking the issuer to expand or clarify your message. We seek to obtain more details about some specific part of your speech.
– Maintain silence. The technique of silence is to keep silent when we are supposed to speak after the intervention of our interlocutor. It is a silence that we consciously provoke in order for the issuer to continue narrating his experiences. Regardless of the formula used to give feedback, you must always listen carefully and without interrupting. If we need, we can write a note, take a few seconds to think and respond without haste, with decision and clarity.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff6HTj4FYQs How to give an effective feedback? In this video you will find more basic ideas on how to give correct feedback.


Assertiveness is the ability to express our wishes and rights in a kind, frank, open, direct and appropriate way, managing to say what we want without threatening others.
We can say that the assertive style is a midpoint and balanced between the passive and aggressive style.

The assertive communicative style implies:

– Firmness when it comes to expressing ourselves (without being passive or aggressive).
– Clarity in the message (detours do not help).
– Avoid personal attacks and reproaches (they generate more distance with the interlocutor).
– Communicate from empathy; putting ourselves in the other’s place and making the other put himself in our place.

In this link you will learn to be more assertive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=930gSO6DFA4 How to Be Assertive

There are several assertive techniques that can help you give quick and effective responses. Some of them are:

Sandwich: Visualize a sandwich. It has a soft first layer of bread. In this technique it corresponds to a kind phrase that empathizes with the other person (“I understand what you are saying …”, “I find your opinion very interesting”, etc.). In the second layer of the sandwich is the main ingredient or combination. In the assertive technique it corresponds to the part in which we express our disagreement, disagreement, etc. Thus, we respectfully but firmly argue our opinion (“The data collected in the latest surveys supports the thesis that I am commenting on …, The last part of the sandwich is again a layer of soft bread. In the sandwich technique corresponds to the closing the assertive comment trying to generate good weather, openness and empathy (“In the end, these topics interest us so much that they get out of hand …”, “In any case, I really appreciate your intervention because everything is learned …”).
Another useful assertive technique may be the assertive question. It is a question of asking the person who makes a reproach or criticism. How does it occur to him that he could put it better? or similar questions. Listen to the responses and, if deemed appropriate, implement the suggested alternative.


There are very different people within the audience to which we are going to make a presentation. In order to better develop our discourse and to anticipate more or less comfortable questions or situations, we must take into account these seven types of listeners.

  • Listener ”Restless”: People who constantly seek and need to do something. Sitting and listening to the intervention can sometimes cause concern. They are called “multitasking” people and to get them connected and hooked into the presentation it is advisable to get their attention through short phrases or questions that require an answer or reflection that requires quick and immediate responses. For example, “Do I buy or not buy this product?”
  • Listener “Unplugged”. They prefer to find out what is going to be said before listening. They focus more on your opinion or perception than on that of the presenter. To get their attention you also have to ask quick questions and seek interaction with them. In addition, if we make an agile presentation it will be more attractive.
  • Listener “Switch”. They don’t seem to listen. They tend to interrupt. When he does, it is better to let him speak without interrupting him and then continue speaking starting from some expression such as “As I was saying …”. In this way we will mention the interruption in a subtle way.
  • “Apathetic” listener. It gives the impression that they are unmotivated and bored with the speech. With this type of listener, it is recommended to “inject” energy by involving it and giving it a certain role.
  • “Combative” listener. With this type of listener, it is very likely that there will be a disagreement. They are prepared to disagree, blame, or highlight mistakes. In this case, the best option is to respond assertively, that is, express our opinion firmly and without offending.
  • Listener “Analyst”. Every story, let’s say, will be analyzed. They are considered good listeners and with great capacity to give solutions, so on more than one occasion they will tend to advise the speaker or the rest of the audience.
  • + “Committed” listeners. They are empathetic and with great listening skills. They seek to make the most of the speech. Their involvement helps motivate the speaker to continue sharing ideas and creates a good atmosphere.


The challenge is that the audience does not leave in the same state in which it entered. Our intervention must generate change. Small as it may be, something must be produced, a change of opinion, a change in the emotional state, a questioning, a new purpose or intention. A good speaker generates change through her speech.

Regarding the presentation, it is necessary to avoid failures in the preparation ( excessive improvisation or poor preparation ), failures in the explanation ( excessive simplicity or complexity, overreaction or lack of clarity), failures in the argumentation ( demagogy , exaggeration or abuse of oratorical resources), failure in pronunciation , errors in the use of language , failure in memory ( monotony, repetition, abuse or lack of humor, lack of empathy or inability to create a good atmosphere) and personal failures due to self-centeredness or aggressive attitude.

In addition to avoiding these failures, it is also important to “win” the public through example, anecdotes and personal experiences as timely as they are enjoyable. The audience appreciates the implication that can be perceived when a person talks about himself and strips naked before others. It is always a point in favor. On the other hand, there are a number of powerful phrases or words that have empowered many speakers. Insubstantial, boring or poorly structured speeches have been saved or defeated thanks to the words “hook”.

“I have a dream” or “I can promise and I promise” are examples of this. With a little creativity, every speech deserves to be sold to the public. To do this, it is not enough to prepare and present an adequate content; you have to get to the other. Finally you have to remember that you only win if you believe in what you say. Therefore, each word of your speech must be yours.


As in any other field, a person will be a better communicator by training, learning and practicing. Everything we do every day at some point had its first time and we could also feel a lack of confidence. How is it overcome? Knowing us, accepting us, learning and practicing. That is the formula.

Self-confirmation is projected; building credibility is essential.

Everyone has something to say; we all have something to teach and we all deserve to be heard. From this point of view, you have no excuse to think that you cannot do it.

From there it is important to make a series of points or concretion:
– Believing in what is said is essential to reinforce the idea that value and knowledge are provided.
“Believing is the root and the fiber of enthusiasm, it is the sure path to success, the foundation that must shape men’s lives so that it can go from being gray and boring to an exciting adventure to achieve their goals.”
-Relaxing before the intervention enables self-control and a feeling of self-efficacy.
-Focusing on the goal helps to focus energy on what is really important. Bringing together all the skills and knowledge available in favor of the objective allows self-confidence.
– Taking advantage of positive feedback to build positive self-perception reinforces self-confidence. People trust themselves more if they perceive trust in the environment.
– Everything is a matter of perception . Knowing how to select the most useful and constructive perception of both ourselves and the challenge to be overcome generates confidence in our own capacity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhr9G8noUsE In this video you will find some tips to gain more confidence in yourself when speaking in public.


It may be incredible, but an Australian researcher named John Sweller (University of New South Wales) exposed the Cognitive Load Theory. This theory states that the brain cannot absorb information if it is transmitted simultaneously in two ways. Thus, the Power Point challenges people’s brains by releasing information orally and in writing at the same time. So much is the brain saturation that, according to this researcher, the Power Point causes sleep.
Other researchers such as Edward Tufte confirm that this type of presentation weakens verbal and spatial reasoning.

Beyond these investigations it is worth reflecting on whether or not the Power Point is boring. Perhaps it is not, because by its very nature it cannot be. It is simply a complementary tool or a secondary resource for a presentation or speech.
How has the Power Point been used? Has it been abused? It’s possible.

Many speakers have “hidden” behind various slides seeking support, security or trust. The point is that a set of slides does not have the capacity to generate credibility nor can they supplant in any case the figure of a good speaker. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGBjzLWIzdk In this video you will find four scientific reasons that confirm that Power Point is boring.
Thus, it is necessary to return to the essence of good communication; one that revolves around people and their communication skills. The discourse can and should be helped by any external resource that favors its visualization, but it must never play the leading role in an intervention.

You don’t have to offer a long list of content-laden slides to meet audience expectations. That function is already fulfilled by books and bibliographic sources.
The communication challenge is based on the ability to concretize essential ideas in a pleasant and connective way, and finally, provide a useful solution to the audience.

Whether or not to use the Power Point is a choice. It is possible to reduce the number of slides exposed or replace them with other visual material.

Choose to be a fun speaker and avoid what happens to this person https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69JZD60eR6s