Public Speaking

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Before I started this class, if someone would have asked me if I wanted to give a speech in front of a large audience, I would have laughed in their face. But in reflection of my semester in speech class, I would now jump at the chance to talk in front of an audience. True, it is partially because I enjoy making a fool of myself, but it is in large part due to the fact that talking to people in a structured manner, such as a speech just doesn't scare the bejusus out of me like it did before I enrolled in this class. Why is that? Why does public speaking scare people? I feel that many people just don't understand the fundamentals. First off, things go much smoother if your audience finds you credible. Next, your delivery is just as important as your material. A nervous speaker with accurate facts is just as foolish as a smooth-talker spouting nonsense. Properly delivering your message to your audience is the only way to keep the audience's attention, because they are just as much involved in the speech as you are. Getting them to listen to you, and only you is vital; always leave them intrigued and impressed with a quality conclusion. So what is credibility and why is it important? The Greek word, ethos, was the name used by Aristotle for what modern students of communication refer to as credibility. It is the audience's perception of whether a speaker is qualified to speak on a given topic. The two major factors influencing a speaker's credibility are competence and character. I believe credibility is not only attained through research and study, but life experiences. What I mean by this is that anyone can go to the library and do research; with facts and statistics can pull off a very convincing speech. Are they credible? Yes, in this case. However, they would not be as credible as someone who has lived it. Take a cancer patient for example; someone who has lived it, and who has gone through chemo has all the credibility in the world. This sort of credibility...
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