Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT. How can you make an empowering speech that your audience is sure to understand? [Speak on the Shoulders of Giants]

July 29, 2020

Speakers can’t always make sure their speeches or presentations go smoothly.

There are times when the audience is left confused because they can’t understand a speaker’s train of thought.

The use of extremely complex words and sentence structures don’t help!

It’s not about sounding smart… The concern should be if an audience can follow and understand the discussion.


Proper sentence structure, either verbal or written, is an essential part of communication.

You can’t effectively deliver a message to others if your ideas are all over the place and hard to understand.

Always remember to use an ACTIVE VOICE.

— This is just one of the powerful secrets featured in James C. Humes’ book, “Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln.”

Oftentimes, we use an active voice to communicate, but we sometimes stray away from doing so unconsciously.

In terms of public speaking…

Speakers don’t realize when their audience is having a hard time following the discussion. When the audience becomes confused or is unable to understand the message, they could lose all interest in the topic.

Using an active voice aids in eliminating any confusing or unclear concepts.

Opt to use the active voice rather than a passive one so that your audience gets to absorb your message easily.

When a passive voice is used in a sentence, the subject comes after the verb. In other words, the doer of the action comes after the action. Confusing, right?

What’s another way to determine if you’re using a passive voice?

Watch out for “WHAB” words!

Are, is
Be, been

These prepositions are often found in passive statements that have the format below:


WHAB words indicate that the subject is about to be acted upon, very different from the normal and active voice format of the subject being the doer of the verb.

“The doer of the action either becomes the object of the preposition or is not included in the sentence at all.”

In the case of WHAB words, the doer of the action becomes the object of the preposition.

For example…

Active: Ruth took a nap during her break.


Passive: A nap was taken by Ruth during her break.

The latter is kind of a mouthful right?

This is exactly why the passive voice can come off as confusing!

Why complicate the message when you can simply say, “Ruth took a nap during her break”?

You don’t want to sound like you’re beating around the bush.

Your audience would appreciate something that’s easy to understand and follow.

Here are some examples of passive statements turned into their active forms:

Certain misstatements were made. → We made incorrect statements.

Reductions in personnel might be instituted. → We might let some employees go.

Certain errors in judgement were made. → We made a mistake.

See how things could be said in a simpler way?

The revised statements are easier to understand, and you don’t lose the meaning of the passive sentence.

Using an active voice helps you take charge of your message instead of hiding behind it.

It also helps you deliver concise messages so your audience understands your speech or presentation better.

Straight to the point!

Provide clear messages and prevent causing your audience any confusion.

Try using an active voice in your next speech or presentation!

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesday: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”

In a meeting with one person

…a boardroom with five people

…or a huge venue with hundreds of people

—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.

No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.

What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?

Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.

The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.

(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)

Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.

Have that advantage.

Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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