Quick Guide to Public Speaking
* Audience: The goal of public speaking is to gain a response from your listeners-to get them to think, feel, or act in a certain way. To reach the listeners, find out as much as you can about them( Age, gender, racial, ethnic background, religion, education level, attitudes towards you and the subject, how much they know about the subject) Adapt your speech to meet their needs and interests.
* Topic: Choose a topic that is interesting and about which you know a lot (either know or after doing research) Narrow the topic so that you can comfortably and adequately cover it within the time allotted.
* Purposes and central idea: Select a general purpose (to inform, to persuade, etc.), a specific purpose (a statement of exactly what you want to achieve with your audience) For example, suppose you want to inform your audience about fraud and abuse In the U.S. government’s student-aid program. You could create objectives such as these:
General purpose: To inform
Specific purpose: To tell my listeners what happens when some unscrupulous schools abuse
the federal student-aid program.
Next ask yourself, “What is my essential message? What big idea do I want to leave in the mind of my listeners?” Your answer is your central idea. Here is one possibility:
Central idea: By manipulating the student-aid program, some schools cheat both tax payers and students. This central idea is what you want your listeners to remember if they forget everything else.
* Finding materials: Gather information by reading books, magazines, journals, Internet, interviewing knowledgeable persons, drawing from your own personal experiences. Look for interesting items such as examples, statistics, stories, and quotations. Consider using visual aids to help the audience understand and remember key points.
* Organization: Organize the body of your speech by devising two or three main points that explain...
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