How to Use Transcripts to Speak Concisely
Whether you’re gearing up for a big public speaking event or you want to communicate more effectively, speaking concisely is a crucial skill. Even if you’re an experienced speaker, you may not be aware of your own verbal pitfalls. One of the easiest ways to determine if you’re using your words wisely to record yourself speaking or presenting, and then have it transcribed verbatim.
Reading and annotating an unedited transcript of your speech can make you aware of filler words, patterns, and other interruptions that are preventing you from speaking concisely. Then, you can go back and edit your speech, with an improved focus on concise writing, the number of words, and the most important words to express.
Why Speaking Concisely is Important
Informal chatter makes for great conversation, but it doesn’t translate to professional speaking. Not only is your audience’s time valuable, but you also need to make sure that your message is communicated clearly. Jargon, redundancies, and tangents will bury your key messages, lose your audience, and be ineffective.
When delivering a speech, you usually have a set amount of time, so speaking concisely is of the utmost importance. Filled pauses and filler words eat up valuable seconds that can add up to minutes before you know it. They also undermine your confidence and authority, which are two crucial ways to maximize your delivery, according to Joel Schwartzberg, a communications executive and public speaking coach.
Communication is one of the most crucial elements of working with team members and external clients. When speaking publicly in a business setting, don’t be afraid to lean on bullet points or to outline which words to express. This will help keep your message organized and ensure a clear takeaway for your audience.
According to Forbes, hiring managers value candidates who speak concisely. Not only does it project confidence and focus, it’s also a skill that will benefit the team in business communications, and the whole company in the event that you needed to speak in public.
Common Speaking Pitfalls
Even the most confident speakers may suffer from verbal pitfalls. Filled pauses, filler words, and false starts are natural parts of everyday conversation, but they are disruptive and distracting when you’re working on concise, fluent speech.
Filled pauses are common syllables and sounds such as “uh,” “um,” and “er.”
Filler words add no value. Take for example “actually,” “basically,” “literally,” and others. There are also phrases with empty meaning, such as “I mean,” “You know,” and “As previously stated,” among others.
False starts occur when you begin a sentence but make an error or abruptly pause. You wind up going back, beginning again, and disrupting your flow.
Use Transcriptions to Improve Concision
One of the easiest ways to identify speech issues is to record yourself speaking or presenting, and then have it transcribed verbatim. Reading and annotating an unedited transcript of your speech can make you aware of patterns and interruptions preventing you from speaking with concision.
Rev offers a verbatim transcription service that includes everything: filler words, false starts, and even nonverbal communication. (Depending on the quality of your audio and your specific needs, you can opt for audio transcription or automated speech-to-text transcription.) This is an affordable and effective way to spot your patterns and bad habits. Identifying those will help you see where to focus your efforts to become a more concise speaker.
Read, record, transcribe, and rewrite as many times as it takes to get your speech in the best shape possible. By repeating this process—and with lots of practice—speaking with concision will come naturally, and you’ll be sure to impress every audience.