PUBLIC SPEAKING

Definition
Public speaking is the process of speaking to a group of people in a structured, deliberate manner intended to inform, influence, or entertain the listeners. It is closely allied to “presenting”, although the latter has more of a commercial connotation. In public speaking, as in any form of communication, there are five basic elements, often expressed as “who is saying what to whom using what medium with what effects?” The purpose of public speaking can range from simply transmitting information, to motivating people to act, to simply telling a story. Good orators should be able to change the emotions of their listeners, not just inform them. Public speaking can also be considered a discourse community. Interpersonal communication and public speaking have several components that embrace such things as motivational speaking, leadership/personal development, business, customer service, large group communication, and mass communication. Public speaking can be a powerful tool to use for purposes such as motivation, influence, persuasion, informing, translation, or simply entertaining. A confident speaker is more likely to use this as excitement and create effective speech thus increasing their overall ethos.

. Under Roman influence. and was an important skill in public and private life. the Greek culture of training in public speaking was adopted virtually wholesale by the Romans. with famous orators or declaimers gaining great wealth and prestige for their skills. including philosophy). John F. Greek techniques of public speaking were copied and modified by the Romans. remained important in law. though less central to political life. Abraham Lincoln. The Latin style was heavily influenced by Cicero. though politicians in democracies today can still make or break their careers on the basis of a successful (or unsuccessful) speech. Plato. and Isocrates all developed theories of public speaking in opposition to the Sophists.History The first known work on the subject[specify] was written over 3000 years ago. in politics. Greek oration is known from the works of classical antiquity. This Latin style was the primary form of oration in the world until the beginning of the 20th century. With the rise of the scientific method and the emphasis on a "plain" style of speaking and writing. and their ideas took on institutional form through the development of permanent schools where public speaking was taught. on appeal to the listener's emotions. In ancient Greece and Rome. After the ascension of Rome. and involved a strong emphasis on a broad education in all areas of humanistic study (in the liberal arts. and the principles elaborated within it were drawn from the practices and experience of orators in ancient Greece. Greek orators spoke as on their own behalf rather as representatives of either a client or a constituency. was emphasised as a part of a liberal arts education during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. with definitive rules and models. composition and delivery of speeches). instruction in rhetoric developed into a full curriculum including instruction in grammar (study of the poets). to "make the weaker argument the stronger. These skills were taught first by a group of self-styled "sophists" who were known to charge fees. oratory was studied as a component of rhetoric (that is. even formal oratory has become less polished and ornate than in the Classical period. often used to explore general themes related to the specific topic of the speech. and became (under the second Sophistic) an important form of entertainment. preliminary exercises (progymnasmata). or in social life had to learn techniques of public speaking. and on digressions. Oratory in the Roman empire. Aristotle and Quintilian discussed oratory. as well as on the use of wit and humor. Aristotle. and the subject. Though Greece eventually lost political sovereignty." and to make their students "better" through instruction in excellence. After World War II there began a gradual deprecation of the Latin style of oration. The art of public speaking was first developed by the ancient Greeks. and preparation of public speeches (declamation) in both forensic and deliberative genres. and so any citizen who wished to succeed in court.

and cultures have changed. yet remained surprisingly uniform. The technology and the methods of this form of communication have traditionally been through oratory structure and rely on a large or sometimes somewhat small audience. The technological and media sources that assist the public speaking atmosphere include both videoconferencing and telecommunications. This technology is helpful for large conference meetings and face to face communication context.. . These basic principles have undergone modification as societies. new advancements in technology have allowed for more sophisticated communication to occur for speakers and public orators. Bill Clinton. and is becoming more widespread across the world.Kennedy.. and Barack Obama have all advanced their careers in large part due to their skills in oratory. However. Videoconferencing is among one of the more recent technologies that is in a way revolutionizing the way that public speakers communicate to the masses. Fetterman of Stanford University printed in his 1997 article Videoconferencing over the Internet: “Videoconferencing technology allows geographically disparate parties to hear and see each other usually through satellite or telephone communication systems”. David M.

http://www. and the money is right. as a really fun retreat facilitator. As you climb the speaking ladder where the audiences are bigger. likes and dislikes. Conversely. "I want to watch to see what my colleague or other audience member will do when they are on stage.Audience Pick Your Audience (Did he say "pick" my public speaking audiences?). Avoid accepting engagements where the audiences needs are clearly out of sync with your abilities.htm Get 'em On Stage Good public speaking should use attention gaining devices. you must learn to just say no.you bombed. Here is one that works every time: Virtually every speaking presentation I do. Reasons 1 and 2 are good and reason 3 is not so good. I did say pick your audiences. 3. Although it will be a lesson learned. or more important to your career. They are worrying to death that they may be asked to be up there. you would not want to be speaking to a group of radar technicians who are only interested in performance data of the latest missile protection system. For 1 and 2 the mindset of the observing audience member is that. 2. you would not want to be speaking to a widget sales group at their annual retreat. you cannot compete with the excitement generated by someone who is on stage who is not "supposed" to be on stage. When an audience member is on stage. and the stakes are higher. When you are a beginning public speaker it is important for you to experience different types of audiences just FOR the experience. the rest of the audience is glued to the action for the following reasons: 1. They want to see what is going to happen to one of their own. . They are priming themselves to be up there. Learn to just say no. do yourself and everyone else a favor. Yes. but if your audience needs more than you can give --that's right -. They pick their engagements to put themselves in front of audiences whose profiles indicate the greatest chance of success. Most top speakers don't accept every request to speak even if they are available. Don't get me wrong. but those of you that do. No matter how exciting you are as a presenter.public-speaking. will move up faster in the speaking world.org/public-speaking-pickaudience-article. Some of you may not have this luxury because you must do speaking as part of your job. I want you to keep pushing your limits. If you are a highly technical speaker. I find some excuse to get someone on stage with me.

Here are some ways to use the information you learn:   Recognize a single audience member for a particular achievement. Use your imagination. I do one where I'm demonstrating personal space across cultures. Do not forget to include your company name at the bottom of the visual. Recognize a group of audience members for a particular achievement. The person helping me gets a good laugh from the audience as we interact. or performance (If you use an overhead you can give it to the audience member or team after you show it. No one will have to come up if they don't want to. you will almost feel the breeze as they breath a sigh of relief. This chance of withdrawal is easily eliminated by the following statement: In a moment I'm going to ask for some / a volunteer to come on stage with me. Don't worry. Whenever. it might be a good idea for you to use your highly public profile while you are speaking to give out public recognition. or for a period of high performance. make sure you give them some kind of prize. because it forces the audience member to actually think about the point you are trying to make. Many times these will be hung on the wall in the organization which will give you free publicity). One of your products is usually good because it gives you a chance to mention it without . changing overheads. or to blow a horn when someone in the audience asks a good question. someone is up there to assist you." This mindset is good too. or period of high performance.The other mindset is. You can also have someone on stage to assist you in writing on the flip chart. "I BETTER watch what is going on in case I am asked to go up there. Another reason to get an audience member or group on stage is for some sort of demonstration. I find out the good things that particular audience members have done during my extensive pre-program research. Now we will take a look at what things you can do with them once you get them on stage. For number 3. According to a study done at the University of Wichita. public recognition is one of the top motivators of people. If you claim to be a "motivational" public speaker of some sort. you want to keep shy or sensitive audience members from withdrawing from your program altogether because of the fear that they may be asked to stand up in front of everyone. If you have a high percentage of shy audience members. Try to have pre planned ad libs ready to go for many of the comments or questions you anticipate from the people on stage. While they are on-stage make a custom visual highlighting their achievement.

The presence of the females provides a good buffer and makes it OK for the men to laugh. Audiences that consist of more than 50 percent women are good too because . then they go ahead and laugh. you can sometimes take it upon yourself to gently explain to the CEO how everyone will look to him or her for approval. They look around to see if anyone else is laughing before they laugh.htm . I'm just giving you the thoughts to keep in mind if you are a female speaker and you want to be successful speaking in front of a general all-male audience. the executives will start to laugh. If you are the CEO and you are in the audience for a presentation. and they won't laugh as loud because they think they will look less powerful.using a hard sell. I'm not being sexist here. it is your obligation to laugh and at least act like you're having a good time to "give permission" to everyone else to laugh. And just about always lead the audience in a round of applause for the helper as they return to their seat. If you speak to an all-male audience it is more critical to bond and be "one of the guys" especially if you are a female speaker. stick to sports. http://www. If he or she is laughing.public-speaking. You must realize: not all males out there in the business world are as sensitive as me (send all big hugs to me in care of my publisher).public-speaking. but they choke it off until they check to see if the CEO is laughing. All-male audiences are the toughest because the male ego gets in the way of laughter.org/public-speaking-getonstage-article. If you say something funny. As a good public speaker. One of the hardest audiences to deal with consists of a group of executives from the same company when the CEO is present. since so many other people are laughing. business.htm The Differences Between a Man and a Woman in the Audience There is nothing I like better than an all female public speaking audience. This kind of audience will create timing nightmares for you.org/public-speaking-malefemale-article. http://www. and money to best connect with them. All female audiences tend to laugh more easily and louder than all male audiences. I don't believe in sexist language. If your all-male audience consists of a general public audience not from the same company or field.

Props can be used pre-program to pass around in the audience in anticipation of the program. It also focuses attention directly on the point you are trying to make because it is something novel that is occurring during the presentation. I then put on the safari hat which kicks off a section on searching for new business. To illustrate this in live seminars and television interviews I use three hats as an outline for a program. chairs. The puzzles make especially great icebreakers because the members of the group get together to help each other with the solutions. The top hat prompts a section on the mature growth years of the company. The whole talk is done without any notes at all. They create interest. and other audio/visual aids are all forms of props. and make your points more memorable. pointers. then I put on the black top hat. Your lectern is a prop. The third is a safari hat. You have an obligation to use whatever means necessary to get your message across to the audience. the . I think of props as any physical item that is on stage with you. They make better connections than your words with the visually oriented members of your audience. props are a form of visual aid. Conversely. notes. I pass out snacks and/or custom-designed crossword puzzles about the group that I make on my computer. but its just about the same thing. The second hat is a black top hat. As a speaker you are a performer whether you believe it or not. Do you hate relying on notes? Props can be a substitute for written cheat sheets. Each hat prompts me to talk about a thoroughly rehearsed bit or chunk. You only have to memorize your opening and closing and practice each of the sections independently as you learned in a previous issue. After that section I remove the ball cap (if you have a fun and playful audience. Putting on the longhaired ball cap immediately reminds me to talk about when the company was young and aggressive. markers. Didn't someone say a prop is worth a thousand words? Maybe that was a picture." a word used to describe any object handled or used by an actor in a performance. Overhead projectors. Also. You see this at large arenas when beach balls and Frisbees are being tossed around in the crowd. They help focus attention on the speaking points you are trying to make along with illustrating them for you. They can be used as a substitute for notes. People can space out easily on your words. add variety. pens. Many times a well selected prop will illustrate your point much better than you could ever do in words. Why use props? Props help warm up the audience when you do a public speaking engagement. Your flipchart is a prop.Audio Visual and Props PROPS In public speaking the term "prop" is a shortened version of the theatrical term "property. but a unique prop is hard to ignore. The first hat is a gag ball cap that has really long hair attached to it so that you look like a hippie when you wear it. you could put it on an audience member's head).

Even though you are attacking the sense of hearing. brought full-size mannequins on stage and kicked them around. Noisemakers are fun. He got his point across. You don't necessarily have to do wild things to use props. Memorability is another good reason to use props. I recommended that a sales manager get one of those expressway revenge devices that makes machine gun. was going to speak about the keys to creativity. That is why the treat public speakers that use stories try to use words to create images in your mind. ray gun. (If using a fake peanut can with pop out snakes. They know the images will be remembered when the words are long forgotten. a clown umbrella is only about 8 inches in diameter). Tips for using props     Normally you should keep your special props hidden until you are ready to use them. and bomb noises when you press a button. Types of props There are many different kinds of props that can be used to your advantage in a public speech. you are attacking it in a unique way that makes it memorable. ALWAYS speak to the audience. I have worn gorilla costumes. you can use props to help create these pictures. Extra large or extra small props are funny. I have done simple magic tricks and many other things to get my point across in a more memorable and interesting fashion. Noisemakers are funny. then discarded them in favor of a combination lock. If XYA company gets in our way. Carolyn Long. She opened by holding up keys. Make sure the audience is focused on surprise props before you unleash the surprise. People remember pictures far longer than words. I used a clown prop to make the serious point that if we went through with this merger it would be like being in a thunderstorm with a clown umbrella (for those of you that do not know. I have a friend who speaks on telephone skills. not the prop (unless the prop is a puppet). Costumes and magic tricks make good props. A very creative friend of mine. He uses a giant telephone receiver to make a point about the importance of phone skills. Make sure the prop can be seen from all parts of the room. Her point was made. .visually oriented people in your audience will perk up and get more value when you use props. hold the can in full view for an extra second before you open it so the audience does not miss it). this is what will do to them (he pressed the machine gun button while holding the device near the microphone). If you are not a great storyteller yet.

public-speaking.http://www. You should still double check it anyway.org/public-speaking-props-article.. .public-speaking. We each had a Logitech Trackman RF Mouse. The AV crew that sets everything up usually makes sure that they are all on different frequencies so that no cross over occurs. It also means that I couldn't keep my mouse from moving the cursor on his computer (the other guy was on right after me with no break). RF stands for "Radio Frequency" which means that the wireless mouse doesn't have to be in line of sight with the receiver like an infra red mouse would.htm . if the program were switched . BUT WHAT ABOUT MICE? When speaking in Thailand last week I ran into a situation that has never happened to me or the other seasoned presenter before.htm FREQUENCY CHECK It is pretty common to have multiple wireless microphones going during the same public speaking engagement. it could have been me! http://www. Had we not noticed this ahead of time he would have had a really shaky beginning to his program . . We tried every trick we could think of with no luck We finally decided to shut my whole system down quickly after I was finished and boot his up as fast as we could while he made some opening comments to the crowd.org/public-speaking-frequency-article. This is yet another reason to be there early and find out what is going on during other programs. . With more and more wireless technology being used during presentations you must thoroughly check out all systems and consider presenters who are on both before and after you.

and it gave each attendee something to take home to make it easier to remember her message. you can use the centerpiece area as part of your program. Avoid a great distance between the head table /dais / speaker area and the first row of tables. You may want to politely remind the program coordinator to consider some of the following points: ROOM SET-UP (Many of these tips work whether food is being served or not)    Avoid spacing round tables widely apart in an attempt to fill the available space. it was inexpensive.htm Banquet/Luncheon Tips I have done many public speaking engagements in settings where meals were part of the program. Use the middle of a roundtable to tie your message in AND make more money. Again. Try to set the head table / speaker area on the long side of the room. Distance makes audience involvement and participation much more difficult.org/public-speaking-centerpiece-article. . This gives everyone at the table something to take home and won't cost much more than a fancy centerpiece that only one person at each table gets as a door prize. It looked great. This idea could also score you some points with the meeting planner who may be able save quite a bit of money on flowers or other ornamental centerpiece items. Empty room space could be filled with a decorative divider of some sort. The centerpiece of each table was draped in these scarves. Shirley Garrett do this at large public speaking engagement. this area of the table could be used as revenue generator for you. it related to her presentation. http://www. You pre-sell your books or tapes to the meeting planner and stack them attractively in the middle of the table. She was using juggling scarves on stage. distance is a great barrier to speaking and interaction. A better idea would be to space the tables as close together as practicable (allowing enough room for comfortable waiter and waitress movement).Banquet Speaking The Centerpiece Area Whenever you are public speaking at an event where food is being served at round tables. In addition. I recently saw Dr.public-speaking. This means that the back row participants will be closer to the speaker than if you set the head table / speaker area on the short side of the room (participants will feel they are really far from the action).

org/public-speaking-banquets-article. place extra chairs near the front of the room to be used by the head table participants after dinner (of course. grab another piece of cake and then take your seats and get ready for a great program!" When planning lighthearted / humorous speaking programs. have desserts placed on the table midway through the meal.public-speaking. don't show tearjerker slides of starving children (actually happened to a speaker friend of mine). If someone goes back for late seconds or arrives late. TIMING     When on a tight time schedule. Set head table back from the front of the podium. When speaking in public at settings where food is involved you must make a special effort to take care of logistical details so your speech is well received. i. I'm all for raising funds for good causes..e. http://www. in an effort to raise funds. Many top speakers can do a better job if they are not confined behind a head table and/or lectern. You would not want them seated behind the speaker during the program. this would depend on your overall program). Speaker can perform in front of the head table. Most public audiences like being closer to the speaker too. Ten minutes before the program is to start. but if you do this just before a humorous public speaking event or comedy show. Arrange with banquet staff to cease all bussing of tables on a pre-arranged signal. you may have wasted your money on the talent and actually made it inappropriate for them to do the job for which they were hired. he or she will not be disruptive.htm . To accomplish this. Many functions have less than interesting openings because service personnel are running around for the first 10 minutes of a talk. Set buffet tables far to the side or on the opposite end from the speaker area.   Consider allowing the speaker an option of speaking areas. Don't get me wrong. avoid heavy subjects before the speaker. Please get your drink refills. Discourage use of doors anywhere near the head table/speaker area. it is very helpful to announce something like the following: "The program will start in ten minutes. This gets everything off to a bad start. (go to the little boys and little girls room).

After you have created your talk. Just make sure that no more than a few minutes goes by between attention gaining devices. They are sharp and exciting even though you can see them coming. more traditional audiences. The excitement isn't at the baby boat ride where a 2cm wave would flip your little bundle of joy out of the boat. Here is the 'Wake em Up' way to keep the audience with you. Look around a little bit and tell me where the excitement is. tell a story.org/public-speaking-attentiondevices-article. it's over on the roller coaster where transitions are sharp. The excitement is also at the bumper cars where you can get blind-sided because cars are coming at you from all directions. Come with me to the amusement park.public-speaking. go through it and make sure that every 2-4 minutes you use some kind of attention gaining device. move around the room.Body of Speech Attention Gaining Devices Attention spans are short. . snoozer by saying things like. . OK. Don't you think that . show a visual. The excitement isn't over at the kiddie choo choo train (notwithstanding. . speaking of bananas. But you don't have to be a trite. especially with older. however.htm Transitions Most public speaking books will tell you to be a polished speaker you have to tie all your information together so it flows smoothly. but related information is coming. when speaking in public I'll admit. This is called transition or segue (pronounced seg-way). hold up a prop. You must lead your audience and alert them that slightly different. throw out a one liner. do a segue like that and then make fun of yourself for doing it by saying something like. You could increase your voice inflection. Wow! That time sure went by fast! http://www. show a picture of your kids if you want to. the excitement you might feel watching your little munchkin on there for the very first time) where turns and motion are mild so the little ones don't get too upset. You could. I'm now going to talk about bananas. Of course. and when you have a very high content presentation. some thought should be given to transition. write on a flip chart. LET ME STATE RIGHT NOW THAT I FULLY BELIEVE SMOOTH TRANSITIONS ARE A NECESSITY IF YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR AUDIENCE MEMBERS SO BORED THEY FALL RIGHT OUT OF THEIR SEATS AND SMASH THEIR HEADS ON THE FLOOR. but at the end they will say. The audience won't know you are using a technique on them.

You can make transitions by changing stage position. . Since. so I am in favor of saying things like.org/public-speaking-transitions-article. http://www. giving out a handout. . anecdotes.public-speaking. Also. For verbal transitions. When speaking in public. To recap this section . Just don't be trite and don't think you have to say something to make the transition. Segues aren't important at all for 85 percent or higher humor content presenters or stand-up comics. pausing. whatever you do. If you are not in this category. you are REQUIRED to do a transition anyway. people seem to like and need recaps. think in terms of roller coasters and bumper cars so you keep your audience excited and alert all the time.htm . and questions work well. using visual aids.transition was really smooth? Transitions are one of the places where you could plan to use some humor. one-liners. it's OK if it's funny. picking up a prop or sharply varying the sound you make come out of the public address system. Do anything that breaks the pattern of what you were doing in the previous segment and introduces what you plan to do. then you can begin paying a little attention to bridging the gaps between your points and topics. no one much cares about transitions. This works well with technical audiences because they won't feel you are wasting their time. You can just speak away and as long as they are laughing. in their minds.

give them a well thought out closing. Please. Then finish seriously. I do love laughter and feeling good. http://www. they will leave saying. you will make some of them downright mad. If you leave them laughing and applauding. It doesn't matter if your entire speech was brilliant and the audience came away with information that will change their lives. This same technique can be very effective in ending a mostly humorous speaking engagement. if the subject is not appropriate to end with laughter." Don't let this happen to you! Say what you have to say and sit down. If the subject is appropriate. If you talk too long. Don't put it at the end because closings are powerful and the audience will think your overall attitude toward the subject is flippant. I happen to be fond of humorous closings for several reasons. Just make sure you learn to do it right. You must put as much time into selecting and practicing your closing as you put into any other part of your presentation. Don't be afraid to use humor when you speak in public. It could be motivational. at sometime during your talk ask the audience to do something. finishing a speech humorously gives me and the audience an opportunity to feel great. but the humor should be sprinkled throughout the body of the presentation. Another good reason to leave them laughing is that the room will not be deadly silent as you are walking back to your seat.htm . Many a great NO ZZZZZs talk went no further than the walls of the meeting room because the audience wasn't moved to action. This contrast will create a great impact. Just like your opening. "That speaker just wouldn't quit. Even the most serious public speaking subjects can benefit from humor. Have them laughing all along while you make your points. If you haven't ask them to do something by now.org/public-speaking-closings-article. This ending segment will have a strong influence on what the audience takes home with them when you are done. but the results are very serious to you. Not only will you send some folks to never. respectful of the length of the presentation. thoughtful.Speeches that are for entertainment purposes only should generally leave the audience laughing. but an extremely positive impression about you will remain. The last thing you say may be the most remembered. or it could restate your point in a different way. Finally. It will convey the fact that you believe in a lighthearted approach to the subject. challenging. your closing does not have to be humorous. I hate when that happens. the closing is your last chance.public-speaking. Before you do. never land. you will exit. you could end with a touching story or quotation that leaves the audience thoughtful and quiet.Closings How to Close a Speech One of the worst mistakes you can make as a public speaker is talking too long.

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