Public Speaking Glossary

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abstract
A summary of a magazine or journal article, written by someone other than the original author.

abstract words
Words that refer to ideas or concepts.

acceptance speech
A speech that gives thanks for a gift, an award, or some other form of public recognition.

acronym
A word composed of the initial letters or parts of a series of words.

active listening
Giving undivided attention to a speaker in a genuine effort to understand the speaker's point of view.

ad hominem fallacy
An attempt to discredit a position by attacking the people who favor it.

adrenaline
A hormone released into the bloodstream in response to physical or mental stress.

after-dinner speech
A brief, often humorous, ceremonial speech, presented after a meal, that offers a message without asking for radical changes in attitude or action.

agenda-setting function
The work of informative speaking in raising topics to attention and creating a sense of their importance.

agreement
The third stage in the persuasive process requires that listeners not only accept the speaker’s recommendations but remember their reasons for doing so.

alliteration
Repetition of the initial consonant sound of close or adjoining words.

amplification
The art of developing ideas by finding ways to restate them in a speech.

analogical persuasion
Creating a strategic perspective on a subject by relating it to something about which the audience has strong positive or negative feelings.

analogical reasoning
Reasoning in which a speaker compares two similar cases and infers that what is true for the first case is also true for the second.

analogous color scheme
Colors adjacent on the color wheel; used in a presentation aid to suggest both differences and close relationships among the components represented.

analogy
A connection established between two otherwise dissimilar ideas or things.

animation
The way objects enter and/or exit a PowerPoint slide.

antithesis
A language technique that combines opposing elements in the same sentence or adjoining sentences.

appreciative listening
Listening for pleasure or enjoyment.

appreciative phase
Phase of listening in which we enjoy the beauty of messages, responding to such factors as the simplicity, balance, and proportion of speeches and the eloquence of their language.

arguments
Arrangements of proofs designed to answer key questions that arise in persuasive designs.

articulation
The physical production of particular speech sounds.

assimilation
The tendency of listeners to interpret the positions of a speaker with whom they agree as closer to their own views than they actually are.

atlas
A book of maps.

attitude
A frame of mind in favor of or opposed to a person, policy, belief, institution, topic, etc.

audience-centeredness
Keeping the audience foremost in mind at every step of speech preparation and presentation.

audience demographics
Observable characteristics of listeners, including age, gender, educational level, group affiliations, and sociocultural backgrounds, that the speaker considers when adapting to an audience.

audience dynamics
The motivations, attitudes, beliefs, and values that influence the behavior of listeners.

autocratic leader
A leader who makes decisions without consultation, issues orders or gives direction, and controls the members of the group through the use of rewards or punishments.

award presentation
A speech of tribute that recognizes achievements of the award recipient, explains the nature of the award, and describes why the recipient qualifies for the award.

awareness
This first stage in the persuasive process includes knowing about a problem, paying attention to it, and understanding how it affects our lives....
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