Public speaking is the process and act of speaking or giving a lecture to a group of people in a structured, deliberate manner intended to inform, influence, or entertain a listening audience. Public speaking is commonly understood as face-to-face speaking between individuals and an audience for the purpose of communication. It is closely allied to "presenting", although the latter is more often associated with commercial activity. Most of the time, Public speaking is to persuade the audience.
In public speaking, as in any form of communication, there are five basic elements, often expressed as "who is saying what to whom using what medium with what effects?" The purpose of public speaking can range from simply transmitting information, to motivating people to act, to simply telling a story. Good orators should be able to change the emotions of their listeners, not just inform them. Public speaking can also be considered a discourse community. Interpersonal communication and public speaking have several components that embrace such things as motivational speaking, leadership/personal development, business, customer service, large group communication, and mass communication. Public speaking can be a powerful tool to use for purposes such as motivation, influence, persuasion, informing, translation, or simply ethos.
In current times, public speaking for business and commercial events is often done by professionals, with speakers contracted either independently, through representation by a speakers bureau paid on commission of 25-30%, or via other means.
Early training in public speaking took place in ancient Egypt. The first known Greek work[specify] on oratory, written over 2000 years ago, elaborated principles drawn from the practices and experience of orators in the ancient Greek city-states. In classical Greece and Rome, the main component was rhetoric (that is, composition and delivery of speeches), and was an important skill