Public Speaking - Part 3

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Public Speaking and Communication

1. Two aspects in making sure your informative speech is not overly technical:

Subject matter and language. The subject matter may be too specialised for the audience; any subject can be popularised – but only up to a point. A speaker needs to know what can be explained to an ordinary audience and what cannot. If the subject matter is not technical, the language may be. If you are talking to a group of specialists, you can use technical words and be understood. But you must do all you can to avoid technical words when informing a general audience.

2. Should speakers personalise their ideas & why:

Yes, because nothing takes the edge off an informative speech more than an unbroken string of facts and figures. And nothing enlivens a speech more than personal illustrations. Remember, people are interested in people. They react to stories, not statistics. Whenever possible, you should try to personalise your ideas and dramatise them in human terms.

3. Three approaches to appeal to the emotions of the audience in a persuasive speech:

  1. Shared values – when our convictions are founded upon emotions rather than on fact, and the message that we want our audience to accept may not be one that can be supported by evidence and clinical studies. For example, we all share a belief in justice and the protection of human rights. The audience will be moved by a speaker whose appeal is founded on the same principles to which they themselves subscribe and who conveys a sincere and dedicated commitment to the moral tenets that are basic to their belief structure.
  2. Personal integrity – among other emotional approaches that are generally regarded as being within the parameters of ethical behaviour are: feelings and experiences (expressing feelings you have about an issue that are generally strong; begin with your own emotional involvement, speak from the heart and covey the depth of your own feelings and personal experience); language of emotion (reinforce audience’s beliefs with motivating language and provide an opportunity for the energies of the audience to be directed and released)
  3. Credibility of the speaker – be familiar with your own evidence, speak and make people trust that you know what you are talking about,, cite your sources whenever you need to, being sincere is not enough, you have to know how to project sincerity through characteristics like posture, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact and vocal inflection
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4. Audience’s general reaction to a persuasive speech & considerations to bear in mind while giving a persuasive speech.

Suggested answer: You will seldom be able to persuade all your listeners; some will be so opposed to your views that you have absolutely no chance of changing their minds, others will already agree with you so there is no need to persuade them, some are undecided, and some who just don’t care. Most often you will have a particular part of the whole audience that you most want to reach with your speech. That part is called the ‘target audience’.


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