Caring and Communication

As a speaker, you must show your audiences that you care. You can do that by being prepared, adapting your material specifically to that audience, learning the background of the group to which you are speaking, and generally being pleasant in your demeanor.

    But there is one other caring  ingredient that is huge with audiences—and with people in general—and that is to be a person who serves others. Willie Jolley, an excellent motivator and entertainer said recently in a speech, “Service is the rent we pay for our space on this planet.”  That speaks volumes about our life  responsibilities.

    Demonstrating a life of service will develop your credibility as a communicator, whether in front of an audience of one or one hundred,  and will enhance your message and your ability to move people to action. One major way of doing that is to mentor younger people in your career, or in a talent that you have. A goal for all to seek is to replace ourselves in the marketplace. What talents and interests do you have that benefit everyone?  Whatever they are, train people to do them so when you move on to the next level in life, there is someone to take your place. I love to speak, so I seek to help young people in their public speaking skills. My two children now have children of their own, so I share my philosophy of parenting to young couples when the opportunity arises. I remember what it was like when I had not a clue what was involved in being a parent.

    One other way of demonstrating service is to have a favorite charity or special group that you are passionate about. My Christian walk is most important to me and thus every other summer I spend a month as a missionary to a third world country. There I help people who want to be better at speaking English by using the book of Luke as a basis for them to practice their English.

    We are on this planet for a short period of time; let’s combine caring and communicating to make the world a better place in which to live.

Steve Boyd
Steve Boyd
Stephen D. Boyd, Ph.D., CSP, is Professor Emeritus of Speech Communication, College of Informatics, Northern Kentucky University, near Cincinnati. Steve won the Toastmasters International Speech Contest in 1970 and was chosen Outstanding Professor of the Year at NKU in 1984, among other awards and honors. Since retiring, he volunteers with nonprofits, spends time with family, travels, preaches occasionally, and enjoys reading and writing. Contact Steve at (859) 866-5693 or at

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