The art of public Speaking.
1. The need for effective public speaking will almost certainly touch you sometime in your life. When itdoes, you want to be ready. But even if you never give another speech in your life, you still have much to gain from studying public speaking. Your speech class will give you training in researching topics, organizing your ideas, and presenting yourself skillfully. The training is invaluable for every type of communication.
2. There are many similarities between public speaking and daily conversation. The three major goals of speaking-to inform, to persuade, to entertain-are also the three major goals of everyday conversation. In conversation, almost without thinking about it, you employ a wide range of skills. You organize your ideas logically. You tailor your message to your audience. You tell a story for maximum impact. You adapt to feedback from your listener. These are among the most important skills you will need for public speaking.
3. Of course, public speaking is also different from conversation. First, public speaking is more highly structured than conversation. It usually imposes strict time limitations on the speaker, and it requires more detailed preparation than dose ordinary conversation. Second, speechmaking requires more formal language. Listeners react negatively to speeches loaded with slang, jargon, and bad grammar. Third, public speaking demands a different method of delivery. Effective speakers adjust their voices to the larger audience and work at avoiding distracting physical mannerism and verbal habits.
4. One of the major concerns of students in any speech class is stage fright. Actually, most successful speakers are nervous before making a speech. Your speech class will give you an opportunity to gain confidence and make your nervousness work for you rather than against you. You will take a big step toward overcoming stage fright if you think positively, choose speech topics you really care about, prepare thoroughly, and concentrate on communicating with your audience. Like many students over the years, you too can develop confidence in your speechmaking abilities.
5. The speech communication process as a whole includes seven elements-speaker, message, channel, listener, feedback, interference, and situation. The speaker is the person who initiates a speech transaction. Whatever the speaker communicates is the message, which is sent by means of a particular channel. The listener receives the communicated message and may provide feedback to the speaker. Interference is anything that impedes the communication of a message, and the situation is the time and place in which speech communication occurs. The interaction of these seven elements is what determines the outcome in any instance of speech communication.
6. Because speechmaking is a form of power, it carries with it heavy ethical responsibilities. Ethical speakers use sound means to achieve sound goals. They do this by being well informed about their subjects by being honest in what they say, by using sound evidence, and by employing valid reasoning.