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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The four objectives of a speech introduction

A. The first objective is to gain the attention and interest of the audience.

B. The second objective of a speech introduction is to reveal the topic of the speech.

C. The third objectives of a speech introduction is to establish the credibility and good will of the speaker.

D. The fourth objective of a speech introduction is to preview the body of the speech.

Seven Methods that can be used to Gain Attention in an Introduction

1.One method of gaining attention is to relate the topic to the audience.

a. People pay attention to things that affect them directly.
b. No matter what other interest-arousing lures a speaker uses, she or he should always relate the topic to the audience.

2. A second method of gaining attention is to state the importance of the topic.

a. An audience is not likely to be interested in a topic they regard as unimportant.
b. Whenever a speaker discusses a topic whose importance may to demonstrate its importance in the introduction.

3. A third method of gaining attention is to startle the audience.

a. This method can be highly effective.
b. It is important, that the startling material be directly related to the speech.

4. A fourth method of gaining attention is to arouse the curiosity of the audience.

a. People are curious.
b. Their interest can be engaged with a series of statements that whet their curiosity about the subject of the speech.

5. A fifth method of gaining attention is to question the audience.

a. A speaker can use either a single question or a series of questions.
b. The question or questions should be firmly related to the content of the speech.

6. A sixth method of gaining attention is to begin with a quotation.

a. A well-chosen quotation can add depth, human interest, or humor to an introduction.
b. The quotation will be most effective if it is no longer than a sentence or two.

7. A seventh method of gaining attention is to tell a story.

a. Because all people enjoy stories, this may be the most effective method of beginning a speech.
b. For this method to work, the story must be delivered well.

8. Other methods of gaining attention include referring to the occasion, inviting audience participation, using audio equipment or visual aids, relating to a previous speaker, and beginning with humor.

a. All of these methods can be effective depending on the audience, the topic, and the occasion.
b. Unlike the first seven methods of gaining attention, these additional methods are used more frequently in speeches outside the classroom.

Five Tips For Preparing an Effective Introduction

A. The introduction should usually be relatively brief.

B. Speakers should keep an eye out for potential introductory material as they research the speech.

C. Speakers should be creative when devising their introductions.

D. Speakers should not be concerned with the exact wording of the introduction until the body of the speech is finished.

E. The introduction should be worked out in detail so it can be delivered effectively.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Major Functions of a Speech Conclusion.

There are four tips for preparing an effective conclusion

A. Speakers should keep an eye out for potential concluding materials as they research the speech.

B. Speakers should conclude with a bang instead of a whimper.

C. Speakers should not be long-winded in the conclusion.

D. Speakers should prepare the content and delivery of their conclusions with special care.

A Speech Conclusion Has Two Primary Functions.

A. The first function is to signal the end of the speech.

1. Abrupt ending leave listeners surprised and unfulfilled.

2. One way to signal the end of a speech is with a brief verbal cur such as “In conclusion” or “One last thought.”

3. Another way to signal the end is by the speaker’s manner of delivery.

a. In a crescendo ending, the speech builds in force until it reaches a zenith of power and intensity.

b.In a dissolve ending, the final words fade like a spotlight on a concert singer, bringing the speech to an emotional close.

B. The second function of a conclusion is to reinforce the audience’s understanding of or Commitment to the central idea of the speech.

1. There are four methods of accomplishing this.

a. One method is to summarize the main points of the speech.

b. A second method is to conclude with a quotation.

c. A third method is to end with a dramatic statement.

d. A fourth method is to refer back to the introduction of the speech.

2. These methods can be used separately or in combination to create an effective conclusion.

Public Speaking as Expanded Conversation

Public speaking retains three important characteristics of good conversation.First it preserves the natural directness and spontaneity of informal talk. Second, it is colorful. And third, it is tuned to the reactions of listeners.

Public Speaking Preserves Conversational Directness and Spontaneity.

Even though a speech has been carefully researched, thoughtfully prepared, and well rehearsed, it should sound conversational and spontaneous as it comes to life before an audience. Those words bear repeating; a speech comes to life before an audience. Consider the following opening to a self-introductory speech:

It may seem hot here today, but it’s not near as hot as Dhaka, Bangladesh, where I was born and reared. I almost said “roasted.” John has just told us about the joys of urban living. Now you’re going to hear about what you might call a “country-fried” lifestyle.

Compare that opening with

My name is Rashadul Islam, and I come from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The first version seems fresh and spontaneous. The “us” and “you,” along with the casual humorous remarks, suggest that the speaker is reaching out to his audience. The second, unless presented with a great deal of oomph, will sound quite ordinary. The first opening invites listening; the second invites yawning.

Public Speaking Is Colorful and Compelling. We enjoy talking with good conversationalists often because their speech is colorful. Consider the following development of the “heat” theme from the above example:

That place was so hot it would make an armadillo sweat! It was so hot that rattlesnakes would rattle just to fan themselves!

Compare those words with the following:

The average summer day in Dhaka was often over a hundred degrees.

The literal meaning of both statements is not that different, but the first contains the kind of vivid conversational qualities that listeners usually enjoy.

Public Speaking Is Tuned to Listeners. Like a good conversation, a good public speech is tuned to listeners. As you converse with people in social situations, you learn to monitor their reactions. If they look confused, you try to explain yourself more clearly. You may even give an example or tell a story. If they frown, you may rephrase an idea or present evidence that supports your views. If they smile or nod, you may feel you have the green light to develop your thoughts.

If good conversations are interactive and audience centered, effective speeches are even more so. Speakers must be constantly aware of the reactions of listeners and make on-the-spot adjustments. But from the very beginning, a speech must be planned with the audience in mind. Your entire speech should be designed to answer the questions that audiences will instinctively ask:

  • Why should I be interested in this topic?
  • What do you mean?
  • How do I know this is true?
  • What can I do about it?

You must give listeners a reason to be interested in the introduction of your speech or you will lose them before you ever get started. Your speech must be clearly organize and your language simple and direct so listeners can understand what you mean. You must provide facts and fingers, examples, ad expert testimony to demonstrate the truth of your statements. If your speech is persuasive, you must give listeners clear directions concerning what they should believe or do.

It seems clear that public speaking – far from being a mysterious skill – is a natural expansion and application of an ability we develop from our earliest years. On the other hand, some features make public speaking distinctive.

Distinctive Features of Public Speaking

What makes public speaking distinctive as a from of communication are the relationships among a set of nine elements: speaker, purpose, message, medium, setting, listener, response, interference, and consequences. These elements interact with one another in ways that can affect those who participate and the world around them. They constitute a dynamic, interactive communication process.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Distinctive Features of Public Speaking (Speaker)

In public speaking, speaker and listener roles are clearly defined. There is little doubt as to who the speaker and listeners are. Public speaking spotlights the role of the speaker, but whether speakers can take advantage of


Public Speaking

1. Audience-centered

1. More audience-centered

2. Loosely Organized

2. Organized and planned

3. Off of the top of your head

3.Grounded in responsible knowledge

4. Often no clear purpose

4. Has a clear purpose

5. Informal language

5. More formal language

6. Speaker/listeners change roles

6.Speaker/listeners roles clearly defined

7.Informal environment/small group

7.More formal environment/large group

this attention depends on their ability to reward listeners with interesting and useful messages. As Aristotle pointed out more than two thousand years ago, our impressions of speakers themselves affect how we respond to what they say. We are far more inclined, he noted, to react, to react favorably when we think speakers know what they’re talking about and when we trust them. These qualities of competence and integrity form the basis of credibility. Aristotle also noted that audiences respond more favorable when speakers seem likable-when they seem to be people of good will. Modern researchers have uncovered still another important speaker characteristic, forcefulness (or dynamism). Some speakers strike us as vital, action-oriented people. When important interests are at stake and action seems called for, we may turn to such people to lead the way. These qualities of likableness and forcefulness combine to form the basis of charisma. Taken together, credibility and charisma provide an updated account of what Aristotle called the ethos of the speaker.

Distinctive Features of Public Speaking (Purpose)

People seldom speak in public unless they have some purpose in mind something they wish to accomplish. A purpose can be complex, privet, and psychological. With respect to the public work performed by public speaking, scholars called reroricians have been working to identify major types of purposes for over two thousand years. Aristotle, who lived about 2,400 years ago, near the end of a great era of civilization called the Golden age of Greece, divided purposes into three forms: forensic, deliberative, and ceremonial. The forensic purpose, enacted in speeches before the Athenian courts, satisfied the needs of the justice system. These speeches were concerned largely with past events and with the guilt and innocence of individuals. The deliberative purpose was fulfilled in speeches before the assembly dealing with the formation of public policy. How the future might be shaped and controlled was the business of such speeches. The ceremonial purpose was satisfied by speeches that celebrated what it meant to be an Athenian-an equivalent modern form might be a Fourth of July oration.

By identifying three basic forms of purpose: speeches that inform listeners, speeches that persuade them, and ceremonial speeches given on special occasions. To help you form your purpose-to find and develop an appropriate topic and theme for your speech-we offer suggestions.

Distinctive Features of Public Speaking (Message)

Successful public speaking offers a massage that is designed to serve the speaker’s purpose. It is based on responsible research and careful thought and should be internally consistent and complete. Its aim is to coax an audience to give sympathetic attention to the speaker’s ideas. It has been carefully worded and rehearsed so that it achieves maximum impact. The message is the product of the speaker’s encoding processes-the effort to convey through words, tones, and gestures how the speaker thinks and feels about the subject. Audience members respond by decoding the message, deciding what the speaker mended and determining the value of the message for their lives.

Shaping a message is a basic public speaking skill. It begins with a search for supporting material-facts, examples, testimony, and stories-that will help convey your purpose.

How you word your message can determine its fate. In the 2,000 presidential elections, George W. Bush used the term compassionate conservatism to describe his philosophy of government. This term quickly became the central theme of his campaign, made it seem focused and coherent, and helped many people relate to him. On the other hand, the wrong words can destroy a speaker’s ethos. One senator, speaking in support of a balanced federal budget, did not help the cause when he declared: “We’re finally going to wrasse to the ground this gigantic orgasm that is just out of control.”

Distinctive Features of Public Speaking (Medium)

The medium transmits a speaker’s message. When public speaking takes place in a direct, face-to-face encounter, the medium is the air through which the sound travels. When a speech is presented outside or in a large auditorium, a microphone and amplifiers may be part of the medium. We tend to take the medium for granted until we discover something wrong with it, like poor acoustics. Public speeches can also be transmitted through the electronic media of radio, television, and video-or-audiotapes.

The electronic media have major effects on the entire communication process. For example, radio emphasizes the attractiveness, clarity, and expressiveness of a speaker’s voice. Television brings a speaker into a close relationship with viewers, so personality and physical appearance take on added importance. When speakers want news coverage, they must compress important ideas into twenty-second sound bites, and the language must be immediately clear and colorful. Any change in the medium can complicate the speaker’s job.

Distinctive Features of Public Speaking (Setting)

A speech occurs within a physical and psychological setting that can determine how well it succeeds. The physical setting in which a speech is presented can include such factors as the time the speech is given; the time allotted for the presentation the pace of the presentation, and the size and arrangement of the audience. For example, when speaking outside, a speaker may need a more forceful presentation than when speaking in a small room. A larger audience may require a more formal manner of presentation than a smaller audience. The very quality of the physical setting can affect the speech. For example, one of the most profound discussions of the ethics of communication, Plato’s Pbaedrus, written in ancient Greece some 2,400 years ago, takes place in a woodland setting that frames and colors its message appropriately. In this setting, Socrates envisions an ideal communication that promotes spiritual growth for both listeners and speakers.

One classroom setting in which we taught recently required us to open windows and doors because both heating and air conditioning were inadequate. Speakers often had to contend with unpredictable distractions from outside. The room had an oblong shape, shallow in depth but wide, so that listeners were spread out in front of the speaker. This required the speaker to shift attention from side to side to maintain eye contact. Most of our students eventually learned to adapt to this setting.

The psychological setting for a speech includes such factors as the occasion for the speech and the context of recent events. The occasion for a speech sets the stage for what listeners expect. If they anticipate an informative presentation on investing in the stock market but instead hear a sales pitch for mutual funds, they may feel exploited. Recent events can change the climate of communication and a major crime occurs on campus shortly before your presentation, you may need to adapt your message to fit the changed situation.

Distinctive Features of Public Speaking (Listener)

A constructive listener is supportive yet listens carefully and critically. Such listeners seek the value in all messages. Because the fate of a message depends on how listeners respond to it, the audience must be at the center of your thinking as you plan, prepare, and present your speeches. What needs or problems concern them? What subjects interest them? What biases could distort their reception of message? Such questions are crucial to the selection of your topic and to the way you frame your message. Moreover, you should be sensitive to the fact that your words could affect the lives of listeners and even their perception of themselves.

Listeners do not come to a speech with a blank slate. Their minds are filled with past experiences, information or misinformation about a topic or speaker, attitudes and values, aspirations and fears. All of these factors form the frame of reference that a listener brings to a speech. The better you understand these audience factors, the more effective your speech will be.