If you fear public speaking

United States
June 30, 2007 10:54am CST
Source: "Speaking Intelligently" by Joann Brown and Brian Schriner The book describes communication as “the process of people sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings with each other in commonly understandable ways.” (Ch. 1, pg 3) It is essential that we wholly understand how to get our point across effectively through communication. Many people fear public speaking because they have communication apprehension, but there are many ways to alleviate the communication jitters. Some ways of preventing speech anxiety are: being prepared, knowing your intro. and conclusion, knowing your audience, and selecting an appropriate topic that fits your audience. (Ch. 2, pg 54). The speech delivery methods are: Impromptu, Memorized, Manuscript, and Extemporaneous.(Ch. 2, pg 55) Both Impromptu and Extemporaneous are ineffective methods of giving a speech in this class, and will result in an automatic F. The speaker should use a maximum of 5 cue cards, or highlight main points from their outline, but avoid reading directly from it to the class. While giving the speech “you gestures should be natural, you should avoid repetitive gestures, and your nonverbals should be consistent with the spoken message.” (Ch. 2, pg 58) It is important that the speaker analyze his/her audience and that he/she understand their topic in relation to the audience’s demographics. The speaker should know their audience well in order to know whether the topic they will speak about fits the audience. Some questions the speaker should take into account about the audience are: average age, predominant gender, average level or education, average level of income, and predominant ethnicity. (Ch. 3, pg 80) A psychological analysis of the audience can also assist the speaker in deciding if the topic is right. For the psychological analysis, the speaker should question whether the topic is useful to the audience, relevant to the audience, likely to meet a need, significant to the audience, or novelty to the audience. (Ch. 3, pg 81). Also, the speaker should the speaking situation. The following questions should be inquired by the speaker: Why have I been asked to speak? How much time do I have to speak? Where will I be speaking? When will I be speaking? What is the appropriate dress? What equipment is available to display visuals? and Who else is speaking? (Ch. 3, pg 83) When giving a speech the speaker should have visual aids because they help create a visual picture for the audience. The visual aid should meet the following criteria: visibility, relevance, clarity, integration, and professionalism. (Ch. 4, pg 114). If using Powerpoint, you should have a maximum of 5 slides. Never write out your speech! The slide should have phrases, but not full sentence. Usually 2-3 visual aids are used to complement the speech, but the number of visual aids should not exceed 3. The visual aids must never be passed out, they must discuss all information, should have one graph/photo per slide, should be complementing colors(red/green and blue/yellow) (Ch. 4, pg 146) It is essential that the speaker maintain eye content even when displaying visual aids, and never read to or speak to visual aids. The types of visual aids are: real objects, models, pictures, graphics, audio, and video. (Ch. 4, pg 147) When delivering an informative speech, there are four distinct types of speeches: Demonstration, Definition, Description, and Narrative. (Ch. 5, pg 248) The general purpose of an informative speech is to inform, persuade, and entertain. (Ch. 5, pg 249) The specific purpose of an informative speech is a brief sentence that tells the audience what you expect they have learned from your speech. An example of a specific purpose is “At the end of my speech, the audience will be able to explain 4 treatments for cancer.” (Ch. 5, pg 250). Some rules for a specific purpose are: it should be 12 words, it should contain a number, it should be a full sentence, it should be a statement not a question, and it should be a measurable type of verb. (Ch. 5, pg 251) The speaker must use at least 5 sources for their speech, and should cite from at least 2 sources while presenting their speech. Some valid research resources are: internet, books, periodicals, newspapers, and computer data bases. (Ch. 5, pg 253) Some types of supporting materials are: definitions, examples, narratives, analogies, testimonies, and statistics. (Ch. 5, pg 255). When preparing an outline for an informative speech, the first section of the intro. should try to gain the audience’s attention, the second section of the intro. should reflect the speech’s central idea, and the third section of the intro. should include the preview statement. (Ch. 5, pg 258) An attention getting device can be: startling facts, actual or rhetorical questions, a jokes or humorous story, actual or hypothetical illustrations, reference to a specific occasion, a quote or phrase, or a brief demonstration. (Ch. 5, pg 259). The speaker should also explain the significance statement while detailing urgency, propensity, and usefulness of the topic. (Ch. 5, pg 260) Also, the speaker must analyze the relevance statement. How does this information relate to this audience and how does this information affect this audience at this particular time and place? (Ch. 5, pg 261). Since you are the person giving the speech, you must gain the audience’s trust and they must believe you are a credible source, or are qualified to speak on this topic. You should state your qualifications, dress appropriately, and maintain your composure. The thesis should contain a central idea (one sentence summary of entire topic) and a claim (one sentence summary if your position on your subject) (Ch. 5, pg 263). The conclusion of your speech should have a cue ending, final summary, and it should have a memorable conclusion. (Ch. 5, pg 265). Outlines are important because “they enable you to: see how your speech is organized, see amount of supporting material, revise speech, receive feedback, and practice.” (Ch. 5, pg 267) You should always start with the body of your outline, not with the intro. or conclusion. The outlines written for class should be a full sentence outline, not a word or keyword outline. Be prepared to answer any questions that your classmates have. When giving a persuasive speech you are trying “to change or reinforce attitudes, values, or behaviors.” (Ch. 6, pg 322). The persuasive speech types are: claims of fact, claims of value, and claims of policy. In order to be successful while delivering a persuasive speech: the topic must be interesting to you, you should have an understanding of the topic, topic must be current and controversial, must be appropriate for the occasion, must be appropriate for audience, and must be narrowed down. (Ch. 6, pg 325). In order to give an effective persuasive speech you must stir the audience, establish credibility, have used good supporting material. (Ch. 6, pg 326) Section 2: Beyond Boot Camp For future students who want to succeed in SPC 2600, there are five tips which I recommend. No matter how shy you are, you can give a confident and eloquent speech as long as you get used to the idea of giving a speech. The first best way to prepare for a speech is to practice it at least 5 times. The rehearsals for the speech are best when done in a large crowd, to best prepare you for your actual speech. But you can also record yourself giving a speech, and that way you can hear your verbal mistakes. And you can simply recite in front of your mirror, as a way of noticing your gestures, posture, and overall appearance. I would recommend practicing in all these different methods, in order to give a very well prepared and effective speech. I tried all methods of rehearsing and found them all helpful in prepping me for my speeches. I was definitely more confident after having practiced my speech before giving it. Secondly, it is significant to prepare a powerful and detailed outline that will complement your speech. Your outline is your guide for giving the speech, and you should stick to it while presenting. I wrote, and re-wrote my outline several times, before giving my speech. I noticed that when I revised it I was able to deliver a better speech. The third tip I urge students to take in mind is always being on time, being present, and following the syllabus. Class is much more simple and less-stress free when a classmate giving a speech does not have to worry about another classmate barging in during their speech. Try to arrive on time, and avoid absences at all costs. All these factors play a significant role in your final grade. I did pretty well on this aspect of the course, I always showed up on time, and avoided absences, until I had to use them for emergency reasons. The fourth tip is pick a speech topic that is important to you, and to your audience. Why on earth would a speaker feel enthusiastic or interested while giving a speech, if their speech topic puts them to sleep or is painfully boring to their audience. One feels extremely motivated and confident when one speaks about a topic that they know a lot about or care about. That’s why its important to pick a topic that matters to you. But you don’t want to pick a topic that is interesting to you, but your audience is not interested in. You should first analyze your audience demographically and psychologically, and later decide whether the topic fits well or not. I felt very comfortable addressing the class and discussing my topics because they were meaningful to me, and I truly wanted to share my knowledge on the topics with the class. The fifth and final tip is a very significant one. The speaker should maintain eye contact with the class during the entire speech, even when presenting visual aids. I noticed I was guilty of speaking to my visual aids at times, and this is the worst thing you can do. You are speaking to the audience, therefore
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