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The process of speaking to a few or many people with the purpose of informing, motivating, persuading, educating or entertaining the listeners. This definition has some flaws, in that a public speaker need not be speaking to a public gathering - he or she could be talking at a business conference.
The five elements of public speaking are
Is saying what
Using what medium
With what effects?
Kinds of Public Speaking
Different types of public speaking require different speaking styles and skill sets. Here is a brief overview of 4 broad kinds> of public speaking, plus a multifaceted category with a few others.
This category is fairly self-explanatory. Informative speeches are meant to inform. This can be found at technology conferences, scientific conventions, idea seminars, business meetings, and other times when speakers introduce new information. Specificity and accuracy are key to delivering effective informative speeches.
Persuasive speeches are those where one tries to persuade or convince a group of people. These speeches aim to influence and change the opinions of the audience. This can be a difficult task as the talker would be facing a group of people who may have totally opposite views from his own. The most important point that has to be kept in mind here is that if the speaker wants to influence others' views and ideas, he has to show his enthusiasm while speaking. However, one must remember that one is not there to wage a war and should talk without hurting others feelings. Persuasive speeches are most commonly used by sales and marketing people to attract the interest of potential clients in their products. They are also used to influence political and religious views.
Ceremonial speeches are usually given on occasions like weddings, funerals, graduation parties, retirement parties etc. The most important factor to make these speeches effective is to add a personal touch to it. One gives these speeches for people one knows and it would be great if one can bring in stories and incidents about the respective person. The speech can be humorous, touching or emotional, as per the occasion and the mood. However, one should take utmost care not to hurt feelings by making snide remarks about them.
Off-the-cuff speeches may be any of the types above, the only difference being that they are given without significant preparation. Generally, one should follow a preconceived and easy-to-remember organizational pattern in order to ensure effective delivery despite minimal preparation.
Debate, broadcasting, religious talks, etc.
Other types of public speaking exist in other settings. Most of these are just combinations and iterations of the four forms discussed above. Debate is a persuasive speech combined with extemporaneous rebuttals, broadcasting may be informative or persuasive, but must be tailored to the medium. Religious talks may be ceremonial speeches mixed with a good dose of persuasion. These forms and others are best understood when looked at in light of their basic elements and communication mediums.
Lecture- lecture speeches can be formal and informal. Formal speech is all about using good English to the audience concerning business matters or can be in a board meeting speech whereas informal speech may figure in private communication.
Briefing- briefing is an informal speech. For example, in Barclays Bank the staff make a briefing every morning before starting their daily operations. This is very motivating to the employees as briefing allows them to express themselves.
Discussion- discussion speech is about reviewing the questions that the speaker ask to the audience and even ask series of questions to them and have the feedback from them if the speech has been rightly understandable to them. There is a discussion session between the audience and the speaker till decisions and speech reach to an acceptance.
Meeting- an agenda is being fixed by a leader or the head coordinator that contain the details of the topic that will be discussed in the meeting. Meeting can be formal or even informal. For example formal meeting can be in a board of the organization and informal meeting can be among friends or colleagues.
So before the speaker give a speech, he has to determine what his intent is. Do he wants to inform or to persuade? Once he knows that, figure out what he must do to get his desired reaction from the audience. Each type of public speaking compliments the others; do not be afraid to mix-and-match!
ESSENTIAL TOOLS OF PUBLIC SPEAKING
In order to effectively undertake the tricky task of public speaking, there are many essential tools and these are as follows:-
Understand what you want to achieve
Before we start working on our talk or presentation, it's vital that we really understand what we want to say, who we want to tell and why they might want to hear it. To do this, ask ourself: Who? What? How? When? Where? Why?
Who are we speaking to? What are their interests, presuppositions and values? What do they share in common with others; how are they unique?
What do we wish to communicate? One way of answering this question is to ask ourself about the 'success criteria'. How do we know if and when we have successfully communicated what we have in mind?
How can we best convey our message? Language is important here, as are the nonverbal cues discussed earlier. Choose our words and our nonverbal cues with our audience in mind. Plan a beginning, middle and end. If time and place allow, consider and prepare audio-visual aids.
When? Timing is important here. Develop a sense of timing, so that our contributions are seen and heard as relevant to the issue or matter at hand. There is a time to speak and a time to be silent. 'It's better to be silent than sing a bad tune.'
Where? What is the physical context of the communication in mind? We may have time to visit the room, for example, and rearrange the furniture. Check for availability and visibility if we are using audio or visual aids.
Why? In order to convert hearers into listeners, we need to know why they should listen to us - and tell them if necessary. What disposes them to listen? That implies that we know ourself why we are seeking to communicate - the value or worth or interest of what we are going to say.
Keep it simple
When it comes to wording our message, less is more. We are giving our audience headlines. We do not need to and are usually not expecting to become experts on the subject as a result of hearing our talk.
If we are using slides, limit the content of each one to a few bullet points, or one statement or a very simple diagram
Preparation is underrated. In fact, it is one of the most important factors in determining our communication successes. When possible, set meeting times and speaking and presentation times well in advance, thus allowing ourself the time we need to prepare our communications, mindful of the entire communication process (source, encoding, channel, decoding, receiver, feedback and context). By paying close attention to each of these stages and preparing accordingly, we ensure our communications will be more effective and better understood.
Of course, not all communications can be scheduled. In this case, preparation may mean having a good, thorough understanding of the office goings-on, enabling us to communicate with the knowledge we need to be effective, both through verbal and written communications.
Our delivery of our speech or presentation will make or break it; no matter how well we have prepared and crafted our clear, concise message. Some useful tips for keeping our presentation vivid include:
Use examples to bring our points to life
Keep our body language up-beat - do not stay stuck behind a rostrum
Do not talk to fast. Less is more here too. Pauses are effective.
Use a variety of tones of voice
Use visual aids.
In order to have effective presentation skills and ensure our message is really being received by our audience then we must maintain good eye-contact. By doing this we create a rapport with the audience as well as establishing trust and credibility. It is also a way of saying 'thanks' to our audience for taking the time to listen to what we have to say. After all no one wants to listen to a speech by someone who looks like they do not want to be there or are not interested in what they are saying.
By maintaining eye contact with the audience we will also help rid ourself of any public speaking fears we may have. It will make us feel surer of ourself and boost our confidence, helping improve our speech making skills and have we talking publicly like a professional in not time.
Essential characteristics of public speaking
To be a successful speaker one need the right combination of speaking skills involving delivery and preparation. Becoming proficient in these skills takes practice and application. Having the right qualities and characteristics will help us immensely to become a truly effective public speaker.
There is more to speak than sharing a few words. Some characteristics of public speakers are as follows:
Even a person lacking charismatic gifts can develop solid content. Always share something the audience finds valuable to their lives.
It is hard to hate someone you laugh with. The best speakers find a way to get people smiling early in the program. It opens hearts and makes the group receptive. The talker does not have to be hilarious, just humorous.
There is no excuse for rambling through a presentation. The speaker has notes structured in way that keeps him on pace and on target. Listeners should feel they received a message that made sense and was easy to remember.
Some speakers try to get in and get out as fast as possible, but the audience likes to know the speaker is available an approachable. One of the best ways to make a good impression is to get to the event early and meet people as they come in.
It's said that honest arrogance is preferred over false humility. We all want to know people are being honest with us and that what we see is what we get. Be true to yourself and others by being the same around everyone. That way you don't feel like one person in front of an audience and another person at other times.
Great speakers continue to grow in the knowledge and application of the craft. They don't rest when reaching a particular level. Instead they continue to stretch and become better.
The best in this profession give without expecting return. Most big name speakers give anonymously to the charities and organizations they cherish. This giving attitude in private creates warmth and welcome in public.
Last night I actually watched BookSpan for the first time. I've flipped by before and mostly viewed it as a cure for insomnia. However, Walter Isaacson author of Benjamin Franklin An American Life was speaking. Having read the book I wanted to see how well he presented the material. He did a great job. I got the impression that he would be the same off the podium as he was in front of the microphone. A great example of natural expression.
Speaking transfers energy with words. The more passion passes through the message the greater the chance of it being remembered and applied. No one has ever said, "I sure hope the speaker is boring." Instead they like to say things like, "Wow! She sure was excited about her message."
Confidence comes from believing in what you are saying and being passionate about your subject. Self-confidence is developed by knowing everything you can about your subject and thoroughly preparing and practicing.
Almost everyone who rises to speak suffers some degree of stage fright. Many distinguished speakers admit to recurring nervousness. They take several deep breaths to restore their composure and cure any palpitations and focus on the valuable message they are about to deliver.
As a general rule our listeners want to like us. When they do like us it makes delivering our speech easier. Our likeability is helped by smiling and being positive and friendly. An upbeat tone to our voice will attract our listeners. Keep the other person's point of view in mind when developing our presentation. Take an active interest in what our audience has to say and show that we care about them.
A public speaker will need to be passionate about his/her subject. It helps when one really enjoy the topic he/she is discussing. The speech can be convincing and effective because of ones enthusiasm about his/her subject.
A public speaker needs to know his/her subject thoroughly - read and learn all he/she can. An audience will quickly sense that he/she does not know his/her stuff. By being recognized as a leader in ones field and knowing ones subject thoroughly, one can be in demand even if he/she is not considered as a first rate speaker.
Persistence and practice will see the speaker steadily improve and become effective. One should take every opportunity to speak in front of an audience. More than any other human activity, public speaking is learned and improved by doing it.
Appraising from different angles, Public speaking is a fantastic communication skill. If it is done correctly it can be an effective way of getting our message out there, improvement on the speaker's image as a good speaker, persuasive and so on. Improving our speaking skills is critical to becoming an effective public speaker. Developing the right characteristics can make this possible. The ultimate purpose of any speech is to communicate our message to our audience. There is no use knowing all there is to know about a subject, if we do not know how to communicate it effectively. ''You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart''-by the famous author JOHN FORD. As a result the success of our speech very much depends on how well it is delivered. de of your h