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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.


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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.

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b.Their interest can be engaged with a series of statements that whet their cu…

A Speech Conclusion Has Two Primary Functions.

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

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