Coherence Through Connectives in Public Speaking

Do You Know How Connectives Work On the Mind?

Coherence through connectives has three important applications for rhetoric and public speaking.

Great public speaking requires coherence.

  • when more than logical development is necessary.
  • when the truthfulness of statements may be hard to grasp.
  • for the mind to follow and hold attention.

The Result of Coherence

    Logical order and good arrangement results in a speech that is easy to follow. It makes it easier to recall the speech and to heed the call to action. Coherence also makes the mind of the audience to stay tuned for each next thought.

    When the thoughts of the topic do not lend well to logical development and simple arrangement, coherence through connectives is the means to make it logical.

Definitions of Types of Coherence

    Coherence comes from the root cohere which means to stick or hold together, to be logically connected, and to cause or to form a united orderly whole.

    Coherence is defined as the orderly or logical relationship of parts making up the whole.

    Coherence is also one of the truth tests in philosophy. Truth would have to be congruent with the elements of the system the truth is defined within. It is often considered to be more than simply logical consistency. So coherence requires statements not readily known to be truths to be defined, explained or illustrated.

    The truth test can be illustrated with a lecture on my specialty of bloodless medicine and surgery. Suppose the speech goes into the health care teams that routinely treat patients with 80% blood loss or Hemoglobin counts in the low 2’s and 3’s. It is said that without giving a transfusion these patients have a lower morbidity and mortality.

    The audience will be wondering how it is possible since a count lower than 8 is considered not to be compatible with life. The truth is not coherent with their knowledge base and it will require explanation to satisfy their minds before going on.

To satisfy the minds need for known truth along with consistency of logical thought, coherence through connectives also serves a third function. It draws the mind along a single line of thought. Our brains like to process thoughts with one connected to the next. If you change threads of thoughts without splicing them together you could lose some of the audience.

    Please note, not all will be lost. Use of coherence through connectives will be dependent on the knowledge of the audience. If as a nurse I am speaking to Doctors and Nurses about nursing, the connection will be more readily understood than to someone with no nursing or medical background. Use the connectives according to the audience you’re speaking to.

For the mind of the audience they coherence through connectives are simply the instrument that splices one thread to the next. Rather than a knot that would create a speed bump for the mind. A splice would allow the smooth transition from one thought to the next.

This thought transition prevents rambling from one disjointed thought to the next. If a speech is coherent, the introduction, body and conclusion will be spliced together. One thread will run from beginning to end.

The thread will have the main points and thoughts spliced as if end to end. Even individual sentences will be connected by transitional expressions or thoughts. The result will be a logical easy to follow thought process. Coherence can be attained by using transitional expressions or words and by bridges of transitional thoughts.

Some of the transitional expressions include...

    for these reasons
    in view of the foregoing
    in addition
    on the other hand
    on the contrary
    so then

When More than Words are Required

    Sometimes more is required than transitional words. Sometimes a bridge is required to connect consecutive thoughts. This is the bridge splice that gets from one thought to the next. The transitional bridge can be accomplished two ways.

    The first may require expressing the transition in a sentence or an entire thought.

    The second way of transitioning can result from making the application of the preceding thought a part of the introduction of the next thought.

    Don’t just limit it to consecutive thoughts. Remember, coherence through connectives implies a connection from beginning to end.

    Then make the end tie into the beginning creating coherence from beginning to end and tying them together.

The Ultimate Lesson on Coherence Through Connectives

    This page is about 730 words up till now. Did you find yourself wanting to read each next paragraph? Did it draw you in even though it is really quite a basic subject? If it did, then you have just seen the power of coherence through connectives.

    Once you master coherence, imagine the power you will have in your speech. If you incorporate coherence in both your public speaking and in your writing, your audience will be holding on for each next thought.

    What were the connectives? Look at the last sentence in each paragraph and the first sentence in each next paragraph. These keywords created coherence through connectors. Did you notice how each has a key word?

    When you see or hear the keyword expression repeated, your mind wants to finish the business at hand. By reintroducing the keyword in the following sentence a connection was created that prevents you from turning off your brain on the thought.

    Our brains like closure. Don’t allow the brain to close until the most wanted response is spelled out and a call to action is made.

    If you do this you will master coherent public speaking. You will also be miles ahead of other speakers in attaining Speechmastery.

Go to The Audience Mind to see another example.

Go Back to the Speaking Skills List The Coherence Through Connectives Resource

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