Public Speaking

Topics: Rhetoric, Public speaking, Oratory Pages: 5 (1994 words) Published: April 6, 2014
When we heard the word, ‘public speaking’, what came to mind is standing in front of a crowded room packed with people and talking to them. The image alone sometimes create an enormous effect on most people, causing nervousness, and maybe even fear. Before we jump to that, let’s look at the definition of the word itself. According to Merriam Webster online dictionary, the words Public Speaking has a meaning of “the act or process of making speeches in public,” or “the art of effective oral communication with an audience.” Next, what is an audience? An audience is defined as “a group of listeners or spectators.” From the definitions, we can draw a conclusion that in public speaking, there is an act of both speaking and listening. So what differentiates public speaking from a conversation? While both public speaking and conversation involves a direct and face-to-face encounter, usually public speaking is more of a ‘one-way’ talking. Although nowadays most speakers claim that they want an interactive session, but usually the audience is given a specific time to do so. Next, in terms of language, public speaking uses a formal language. Because they are speaking in front of a group of people, speakers need to adress their audience in a more formal way. Third, and most importantly, public speaking needs to be structured. They need to have a tight grasp on their topic and do their research thoroughly. The reason the topic ‘Public Speaking’ is chosen is because it is something that everyone needs to do at some point of their lives. It is also based on the In conclusion, public speaking can be defined as the act of making a speech in front of a group of listeners, and is different from conversation in terms of approach, language, and structure.

Naomi Rockler-Gladen, a former professor at Colorado State University, wrote on the website suite101 that there are three types of public speaking; informative, persuasive, and ceremonial. These types also defines the purposes, or the reasons the speech is made. More details on the three types of public speaking will be explained below. The first type, informative. Informative has the meaning of giving information, to inform. An informative speech has a purpose to inform, or give knowlegde to its audience about something that they probably did not know of before. The end goal of an informative speech would be to equip the audience with a brand new knowledge that they can apply to a particular aspect of their lives. The important thing to watch about giving an informative speech is to not put in too much information. Imagine an empty bucket being filled with water. If being filled with too much water then the water will leak out for sure. The same thing applies to the audience. The ‘leaking’ must be avoided at all costs, so the information has to be kept simple, yet useful. The second type is persuasive speech. A speaker giving a persuasive speech needs to be able to persuade the audience to do, or believe in something. Usually, the speaker would try to change the mindset, perception, or behavior of the audience for their own good. Giving an informative speech is not an easy thing to do. The speaker needs to be really passionate about the cause they’re giving, in order to convince and persuade the audience to follow suit. The second thing that can be done is to look for common ground with the audience, try to relate to what they might agree on. Third, try to aim for a smaller scope of issue for a start. As mentioned before, a speaker is given a time limit to deliver his or her speech, and it will not be easy to change one’s mind in such a short time. Third, and last type is a ceremonial speech. There are so many ceremonies in our lives, starting from graduation, engagement, wedding, to funeral. Usually this kind of speech is given to congratulate, or in the case of a funeral, remembering the dearly departed....

Bibliography: Lucas, Stephen. The Art of Public Speaking. 8th ed. Boston, MA: McGraw Hill, 2004. Print.
Osborn, Michael, and Suzanne Osborn. Public Speaking. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Print.
Rockler-Gladen, Naomi. "Public Speaking Class Tips: Writing Great Speeches for Your Speech Course |" Naomi Rockler-Gladen | 13 Jan. 2007. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. .
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