By Dan O'Hair, Hannah Rubenstein, Rob Stewart


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Furthermore, don’t assume that all members of the same religious tradition will agree on all issues. For example, Catholics disagree on birth control and divorce, Jews disagree on whether to recognize same-sex unions, and so forth. Political Affiliation Beware of making unwarranted assumptions about an audience’s political values and beliefs. Some people like nothing better than a lively debate about public-policy issues. Others avoid anything that smacks of politics. Many people are very serious, and others are very touchy, about their views on political issues.

Decide how you want to phrase your statements, and then practice saying them. • Pronounce words correctly and clearly. Nonverbal Delivery Beyond noticing the words of a speech, audiences are highly attuned to a speaker’s nonverbal speech behavior—facial expression, gestures, general body movement, and overall physical appearance. As you rehearse, do the following: • Practice smiling and otherwise animating your face in ways that feel natural to you. Audiences want to feel that you care about what you are saying, so avoid a deadpan, or blank, expression.

Even your physical presentation can foster a common bond. Audiences are more apt to identify with speakers who dress in ways they find appropriate. CHECKLIST: Analyze the Audience as You Speak As you deliver your speech, read the audience for signs of how they are receiving your message. Look for bodily clues that indicate interest or disengagement: ✓ Large smiles and eye contact suggest a liking for and agreement with the speaker. ✓ Arms folded across the chest may signal disagreement. ✓ Averted glances, slumped posture, and squirming usually indicate disengagement.

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