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.”
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