Meaning of Public Speaking

Meaning of Public Speaking

Generally public speaking means speaking before the public. It is a form of address where a speaker addresses a huge number of audiences congregated to hear messages. Public speaker must have the ability to control vocal qualities to match with any speaking situation. They must also the need eye contact with many audiences having wide variations in audience interest.

@ Parts of Public Communication:

There has three parts. That’s mentioned below:

  1. The Introduction
  2. The Body
  3. The Conclusion

The Introduction:

A public speaker uses the opening as an effort to capture the attention of the audiences. The audiences spend the first sixty to ninety seconds to decide whether the speaker is credible and whether his/ her presentation has any value. The listeners will be observing every detail about you (speaker) your gestures, facial features, dress, voice qualities as well as the topic qualities. If they are impressed by this time with your above qualities, they will pay attention to your presentation. The introduction should not take more than 10 percent of the entire speaking time.

Establish your credibility and capture attention. Firstly, convince your audience through the words and delivery that you are qualified to speak. The next task in the opening expression is to capture the attention of your audiences and create in them an interest to hear you more.

The Body:

The body of the oral presentation conveys main points and supporting materials. Give background information, specific evidence, examples, implications, consequences, and other needed information. Present your message keeping in mind your purpose, the nature of your material and the needs of your audience. Remember that your audiences have a limited ability to absorb all the spoken information. They will forget at least some of them. So do not overload the listeners with too many details. Approximately 80% of the total speaking time should be allocated for presenting the body.

The body uses common organizational patterns. These are below.

  • Direct Sequence
  • Indirect Sequence
  • Chronology
  • Solutions
  • Climatic Order

The Conclusion:

The concluding speech is the last opportunity to achieve your objective. It presents the summary of the detail messages. It also personalizes your message and motivates for specific action. It allows the audience to understand the significance of what you have said so far.

Remember, the audiences will keep in memory well what they hear last. So make your ending on a strong upbeat note, leaving your audience with a clear and simple message. Also make it short approximately 10% of the total presentation.   

@ Delivery Method:

  • Memorizing
  • Reading
  • Extemporaneous Speaking (notes)
  • Impromptu Speaking

Memorizing: It means speaking from memory learning by heart the speaker will speak from his/her memory. Unless a presentation short and significant or the speaker is a trained actor, it is better to avoid memorizing an entire speech, particularly a long one. 

Reading: Under this method speeches are read from papers or from prepared texts, word for word.

Extemporaneous Speaking (from note): It means speaking from prepared notes rather than from a complete manuscript or memory. The notes contain the key phrases rather than complete sentences. 

Impromptu Speaking: This means speaking readily without any advance preparation. In two situations you may deliver such speeches (i) if you neglect to prepare your speeches even though you have agreed to speak (ii) when you are requested to speak unexpectedly.

@ Delivering the Presentations:

Public speaking is both an art and skill. Careful planning and practicing are essential to develop speaking skills. Practice the following suggestions:

Prepare Thoroughly: Analyze your audience, research your topic diligently, organize your thoughts, prepare visual aids, practice your opener and close. These preparations will boost your confidence.

Rehearse Repeatedly: Rehearse your presentation repeatedly. You may use transitional sentence to help you move to the next topic. Record the rehearsal on audio or video tape, play backs them and evaluates your effectiveness.

Time Yourself: As the audience feel bore and restless in longer talks. Try to complete in shorter time (in no more than 20 minutes).

Request a Lectern: A lectern or high desk is helpful for beginning speakers. It serves as a note from which to deliver presentations. If you need a lectern, request it.

Cheek the Room: Before start your presentation, check the room and make sure that everything needed in the room is appropriately available.

Take Light Meal: If the time of your presentation is after a meal, eat lightly avoiding heavy sauces and alcoholic beverages.

Practice Stress Reduction: If you feel tension and fear just before your presentation, take deep breathing. 

@ During Your Presentation:

If you can apply the following techniques, you can make a good impression.

Do not Rush the Opening: When you are being introduce for delivering the speech, take several deep breaths to clear mind, walk slowly to the speaker’s podium. 

Begin with a Pause: When you first approach the audience, take moment to adjust your notes and make yourself comfortable, stand up straight, and look slowly around you, establish eye contact with several members of the audience, adjust the microphone (4-6 inches from your mouth) and then start your presentation in a loud but clear voice.

Begin from Memory: Present the first sentence from your memory. Memorizing the opening remark, will help you immediately establish rapport through eye contact. These in turn help you appear confident and knowledgeable.

Maintain Eye Contact: Once you have started your speech, be particularly careful to maintain your eye contact with the audience, throughout the speech. Maintain eye contact will help you perceive the impression you are creating.

Voice Control: While you are speaking before the audience, control your voice. This means speak in moderate conversational tones but loud enough so that everyone in the audience can hear you.

Use Gestures and Facial Expressions Effectively: To make the messages clearly understandable and impressive, sometimes body motions are resorted to. Vary your facial expression at the same time to make the message more dynamic.

@ After Your Presentation: (Ques. and Ans. Session)

The question and answer session starts at the end of you presentation. You should announce at the beginning that you would be happy to answer any questions at the end of your speech. The following techniques can help you to handle this segment:

  1. Distribute Handouts
  2. Encourage Questions
  3. Repeat Questions
  4. Ask for Clarification
  5. Answer the Question
  6. Admit your Unknowing
  7. Handle Politely
  8. Keep Control
  9. Prepare the Audience for End
  10. Close the Session

@ Visual Aids

Visual aids are tools that help the listeners hear and understand the spoken words. The speakers hit the audience with double impact through the eyes and the ears. They are used to emphasize points not to substitute for the speech.

Types of Visual Aids:

  1. Handouts
  2. Flip Charts and Posters
  3. Chalkboards and Whiteboard
  4. Overhead Projections
  5. Slides
  6. Video taps
  7. Computers

@ Guidelines for Improving Good Voice Qualities:

If you practice the following exercises, you can improve your voice qualities.

  1. Breathe properly and relax: Nervousness affects normal breathing pattern this is reflected in vocal tone and pitch. Practice breathing and relaxing so as to make you well prepared in phonation.
  • Listen to Yourself:

Video recording your rehearsal reveals much about pitch, intensity, and duration; and helps you to modify your voice qualities, gestures, and speech contents. Without video recording, a large mirror can be a good substitute to judge the appropriateness of your postures, facial expressions and gestures.

  • Develop Flexibility:

To fit the situation, vary your speaking qualities. Slow down both your volume and the rate of speaking to emphasize important or complex information.