One of the keys to successful public speaking is being audience-centered. Always asking the question: What’s in it for them? Thoughtful audience analysis allows the speaker to adapt all presentations to the needs of their specific audience and situation. Audience analysis is categorized into three types: demographic, psychographic and situational analysis. Demographic analysis addresses who your audience is in terms of age, race, religion, education, income, occupation and group affiliation. Psychographic analysis explores an audience’s attitudes toward the speaker and topic. Situation analysis focuses on the physical environment in which you will be presenting and why the audiences attend. The section further explores tools for gathering audience analysis information by using existing databases, direct observation, interviews, surveys or focus groups. Without audience analysis you’re just talking. ith audience analysis, you are speaking with a purpose, which makes a great difference on the impact of your message.
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By this point, you’re probably aware that delivering your speech is only one part of the public speaking process. Clearly, it’s a critical part of the process, and most likely, the only part that your audience will see, so it’s important to get it right. Strong, confident delivery can help you build rapport and trust among your audience. Supporting your speech with effective presentation aids will help increase audience interest and hopefully understanding of your important ideas. This section will go over several strategies for how to make the most of your time in the spotlight, on stage, in class, or in the corporate boardroom. Part one of this topic deals with the actual delivery of the speech. Part two of this section deals with the development and use of presentation aids. Upon completion of this unit, students should be equipped with practical strategies that they can use to deliver dynamic, engaging, and memorable speeches, no matter the situation. Of course, it takes practice to develop good speech delivery habits, so students should be encouraged to take extra time to form these skills. With support and guidance, even the most timid students can make great strides toward developing a strong “presence” that audiences will really respond to!
Informative speaking is one of the most common forms of public speaking. This section starts with the goals of an informative presentation and why we give informative presentations. Next, it gives strategies for making our information clear and interesting to the audience. There are various types of informative speeches, which focus on objects, people, events, concepts, or processes. Lastly, the section emphasizes the types of information covered in informative presentations.
The oral tradition is one of the oldest known to humankind. We learned to talk as small children. Much like walking, we tend to just do it and not think about how we do it. We use language daily to express feelings, achieve our goals, and to share information. This section explores the important role “oral language,” or verbal communication, plays in that process. How do we create meaning? How does written language differ from oral language? How can we use language effectively? How do we make our language appropriate, vivid, inclusive and familiar to our audience? Finally, this chapter explores the six elements of language: clarity, economy, obscenity, obscurity, power and variety. Do not just talk, make your words count!
This educational lesson focuses on listening. Two open network textbooks (ONT) covering listening content are available at no cost: Stand up, Speak Out: The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking is the recommended textbook and Exploring Public Speaking (3rd ed.) is the supplemental textbook. In Stand up, Speak Out, the listening information is found in Chapter 4. In Exploring Public Speaking, listening information is found as a partial mention in Chapter 2. The learning objectives are addressed in the materials provided: styles of listening, listening barriers, responsibilities of the audience as listeners, responsibilities of the speaker to help audience listen and remove barriers, and critiquing of speeches. Key terms: listening, hearing, people-oriented listener, action-oriented listener, content-oriented listener, time-oriented listener, comprehensive listening, empathetic listening, appreciative listening, critical listening, noise, physical noise, physiological noise, psychological noise, semantic noise, confirmation bias, planned redundancy.
Scholars and practitioners agree that between 50-65% of the information that we communicate with others is done through nonverbal channels... That is, all of the ways that we communicate without using words. Whether it’s a smile or a smirk; eye contact and a nod; gestures, or touch...they all send a message. This section introduces students to the ways in which nonverbal communication is used at an interpersonal level as well as in the public speaking context. As public speakers, students will learn to use nonverbal communication to develop rapport with their audience, to demonstrate confidence and competence, and to deliver clear, engaging, and memorable speeches. Developing strong nonverbal communication habits takes practice, and this chapter includes educational activities designed to help students hone their skills. When used effectively, nonverbal communication can support the words that are being said and improve the effectiveness of the message. When used poorly, nonverbal cues can confuse the audience, or worse, may send the message that the speaker is unprepared, uninterested, or even deceitful. This section provides information that will help students understand the best ways to use nonverbal techniques to become a more confident and engaging presenter.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Ugh, Public Speaking?! Why do I have to take that class, I’m never going to use it!” It’s true, many of us may never give a graduation address, a keynote presentation, or political campaign stump speech, but the fact is, all of us will, at some point in our lives, be in a situation that calls for us to speak in front of a group of people. This topic is designed to help you identify what those other speaking situations may be, and will offer information on how to make the most of everything from an impromptu toast at an intimate party to a high-stakes business presentation in the boardroom. We will use the term “other speaking situations” as a way to distinguish between what you will encounter in your Public Speaking class and what you will encounter in social or professional contexts.First, this section will compare and contrast other speaking situations and formal rhetorical conventions you would find in a typical informative or persuasive speech. This section will examine specific types of speaking contexts and will demonstrate strategies for preparing, supporting, and delivering each. Finally, this section will address ways to maximize your communication effectiveness in challenging contexts such as online presentations, group projects, or highly emotional settings.
This educational lesson focuses on outlining and organizing. Two open network textbooks (ONT) covering these topics are available at no cost: Stand up, Speak Out: The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking and Exploring Public Speaking (3rd ed.). In Stand up, Speak Out, the outlining information is found in Chapter 12, with additional organizational technique covered as a partial mention in Chapters 10 and 17. In Exploring Public Speaking, outlining and organizing information is covered in Chapter 6. The first set of learning objectives are addressed in the materials provided for organization of a speech and include organizational framework patterns, techniques for main point and support point development, coordination and subordination of main points, as well as use of transitions, signposts, internal previews, and internal summaries. Key terms: chunked, parallelism, categorical/topical, comparison/contrast, spatial, chronological, biographical, causal, problem-cause-solution, psychological organization, Monroe’s motivated sequence, comparative advantage, internal previews, internal summaries, signposts, bridging statements. The second set of learning objectives are addressed in the materials provided for outlining of a speech. Types outlines are described. Key terms: working outline, full-sentence outline, and speaking outline.
Understanding persuasion and persuasive speaking can be challenging. Persuasive speeches typically center on questions of fact, value, or policy and involve changing your audience's attitudes, values, or beliefs. Your success as a persuasive speaker depends on your ability to adapt messages to your audience. This section explores the complexity of persuasion, the different types of persuasive speeches, the common organizational patterns used in persuasive speaking, as well as how to construct a persuasive speech.
There are many important reasons to study public speaking. This opening section explores public speaking in the modern age as well as the many benefits associated with becoming a competent speaker. This section also explains the process of public speaking and the different models of communication. Ethics is explored as well as the ethical choices public speakers and listeners must make. Last, this section introduces the National Communication Association’s Credo for Ethical Communication as well as the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in relation to free speech.
Reasoning and argument are critical components of persuasive speaking. This section examines persuasive appeals as well as the fundamentals of reasoning and argument. Ethos, logos, and pathos are discussed as well as the many forms of reasoning. Argument construction is explored as well as Toulmin’s model. The section concludes by discussing logical fallacies and how to avoid them.
When thinking about public speaking, many people focus of the act of speech delivery. However, before we can deliver a great speech, we have to write a great speech. That means we need to make sure our content is accurate and meaningful to our audience. Conducting research greatly assists in this process. This section introduces the concept of researching. Students will learn the differences between primary and secondary research, academic and nonacademic research, and MLA and APA source citation styles. This section also discusses plagiarism and how to avoid it by using and citing sources ethically. Students will also learn about the different types of supporting materials along with where and how to gather them. Additionally, students will learn how to assess supporting materials and effectively incorporate them into their speeches.
If you’re like most people, the thought of giving a speech in front of a group of people probably makes you nervous, anxious, and perhaps even fearful. In fact, speaking in public is consistently ranked among people’s top fears, more so than flying, drowning, creepy-crawly critters, and zombies (Ingraham, 2014)! Understandably, public speaking can be challenging for even the most seasoned speaker, and there are many factors that go into communication apprehension (CA) and public speaking anxiety (PSA). This chapter will discuss some of the differences between communication apprehension, public speaking anxiety, glossophobia, as well as general social anxiety, along with the causes and symptoms of each. Additionally, this section offers some techniques for understanding and managing your fears or nervousness, while presenting exercises for reducing your speaking anxiety. This section also features resources that will help you build your confidence as a speaker, and teach you to present like a pro!
What to speak about? How to find a topic? Does the topic have the appropriate scope? Being stuck, not knowing what to talk about? How to move from general purpose to specific purpose and a thesis statement? These are key questions speakers must answer as they prepare for a presentation. First, determining general purpose: Is the goal to inform, to persuade or to entertain. Next, the section discusses how to broaden the topic or narrow the topic down to meet speaking constraints. Finally, it suggests tools to help to come up with topic ideas for topics. Once a topic is selected, the speaker must determine their specific purpose and central idea.