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  • 1. THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING By Dr Ian Ellis-JonesBA, LLB (Syd), LLM, PhD (UTS), DD, Dip Relig Stud (LCIS), Adv Mgmt Cert (Syd Tech Col) Lawyer ~ Educator ~ Trainer and Facilitator ~ Minister of Religion ~ ConsultantSolicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia Lecturer and Legal Adviser, New South Wales Institute of Psychiatry Former Senior Lecturer-in-Law, Faculty of Law, University of Technology, Sydney Founder, Minister and Convener, Sydney Unitarian Chalice Circle Dr Ian Ellis-Jones is an experienced public speaker and high-level debater who has spoken before audiences in their thousands. A public speaking coach to lawyers and other professionals, Ian first studied elocution in Sydney NSW with Lucille Bruntnell (late Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London) before going on to study voice production for speech and drama with Sydney’s original and very eminent voice and radio coach Bryson Taylor. Copyright © 2013 Ian Ellis-Jones All Rights Reserved
  • 2. THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING Dedicated to the Memory and Spirit of Norman Vincent Peale. “Think of your speech as food for your audience. As a speaker you must fill people up!” – Dottie Waters, President, Walters International Speakers Bureau.Introduction“In the beginning was the word …”.1Words are so important. Words are things. Words create reality. Powerful stuff!A good public speaker needs to be a good wordsmith. Without that, no one can be aneffective public speaker. In order to be a good wordsmith, you must love words,love books, and love reading … and be a good and well-informed reader as well. Youalso need to be able to speak well, have a certain “presence”,2 and say what theaudience wants to hear.However, being a good wordsmith is not all that is required. That’s only the start.Norman Vincent Peale3 was one of the greatest public speakers of all time. It hasbeen estimated that, in his thousands of addresses and talks throughout his John 1:1.12 Or “power” image, being “whatever makes you feel like a presenter who can move and motivate anaudience” (Walters 1993:106).3 Dr Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993) was a distinguished minister of religion and writer. His mostpopular book, The Power of Positive Thinking, has sold more than 20 million copies in 41 languages andis the greatest inspirational best-seller of all time. He visited Australia on 4 different occasions forspeaking engagements. 1
  • 3. lifetime, he spoke to more than 30 million people. Dr Peale gave this most helpfuladvice to those who engage in public speaking: 1. Be INTERESTING. 2. Be ENTHUSIASTIC. 3. DON’T TALK TOO MUCH.4He gave other helpful advice to would-be public speakers, and much of that adviceis set out in this document.Why is public speaking so important?Public speaking is both an art and a skill, or rather a combination of skills.Public speaking is important … PERSONALLY … … … … … … because sooner or later each one of us will be called upon to make a speech in public … … … also, being an effective public speaker can be a source of real and lasting joy and contentment. PROFESSIONALLY … … … because, if you own or are working in a business, by public speaking you hope to gain not lose clients or customers.4 See foreword by Dr Peale in Walters (1993:xxiv). Actor, singer and public speaking coach DorothySarnoff (born 1917) has written that effective public speakers have energy, enthusiasm, intensity,conviction, animation, clarity, colour, expression, confidence, ease and humour. 2
  • 4. Yes, business, professional, social and personal satisfaction and development dependheavily upon your ability to communicate well, and that extends to speaking inpublic.However, public speaking does not appear to come naturally to most people. It is,for the most part, an ACQUIRED SKILL. Most people seem to have an aversion topublic speaking. Indeed, it has been said that our 3 greatest fears are as follows: 1. DEATH. 2. BEING ASKED FOR MONEY. 3. SPEAKING IN PUBLIC.5So, the more PRACTICE you get at speaking in public …Analyze your audienceBefore you speak … indeed, before you start preparing your speech … you mustANALYZE YOUR AUDIENCE.Who will be listening to you? An audience, especially one whose members come froma distinct group, profession, etc, has a “corporate personality” of its own. Thatpersonality could be intent, sophisticated, and aware of everything, or it could bedull or apathetic. You need to tailor your speech, and its content, as well as yourdelivery, to your particular audience.5 At least this is the view of AdSchool AFA lecturer Tim Matthews: see S Robertson, “The Skill of PublicSpeaking”, viewed 13 June 2007, <>. According toProject Management Source public speaking is rated as the number one fear by over 40 per cent of people inthe world: see “How to Improve Your Public Speaking: 27 Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials”, viewed 13 June 2007,<>. 3
  • 5. To be persuasive you must have a keen understanding of HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY.People want to be built up. Never begin a talk without feeling a strong sense ofaffection and regard for your audience. Dr Peale wrote, “The human beingpersonality demands love and it also demands respect.”The essence of good communicationEffective communication begins during the PREPARATION STAGE.Your every communication, whether oral or written, consists of: the CONTENT of the ideas communicated, and the FEELING you covey with it.You communicate your ideas and feelings through: WORDS VOCAL NOISE (pitch, tone, pace), and BODY LANGUAGE (non-verbal).Although we tend to focus most of our attention on the words, rather than on vocalnoise and body language, research suggests that the total impact of acommunication is as follows: 7 per cent WORDS 38 per cent VOCAL NOISE, and 55 per cent NON-VERBAL … including your body language, the way you dress, the time allowed for your communication, the seating arrangements, the physical environment, etc. 4
  • 6. When you speak, you ENCODE your ideas and feelings you want to communicate intowords, vocal noises and body language that mean, at least according you geneticmakeup, learning, personality style and life experience, what you want, and hope, tocommunicate. You send your “message” to your listeners who then, irrespective ofwhether or not they are listening and otherwise paying attention to what you’resaying, must DECODE the “message” they receive according to their respectivegenetic makeup, learning, personality styles and life experiences.So, your APPEARANCE is so very important. That means you must: look as personable as possible be neat and tidy not slouch avoid stiffness.The really important thing is … DON’T TRY TO IMITATE OTHERS. BE YOURSELF, NOT SOMEONE ELSE.Yes, be yourself, and make use of all of your positive personality traits. It is only bybeing yourself that you will ever be … ORIGINAL.Learn from others, but don’t copy them. They are not you.Attention lasts no more than 10 minutesAccording to some studies, the average person has a MAXIMUM ATTENTIONSPAN of 10 minutes. However, a Swedish study found it was only 7 minutes … at the 5
  • 7. maximum! More recent studies have concluded that average attention span is nowdown to 1.5 minutes among younger people (ie Generation X’ers and Y’ers)!This 10, or 7, or 1.5 minute “limit” need not limit the length of your speech but youmust keep it in mind and ensure that you carefully change your pace, mode ofdelivery, expression and your subject-matter throughout your speech.You must also bear in mind that PEOPLE TEND TO HEAR WHAT THEY EXPECT TOHEAR, which may well be something altogether different from what you said orintended. Prejudices, predilections, beliefs, expectations and past experience onthe part of the listener will have an impact on what they hear. Some of this“distortion” is beyond your control, but you must telegraph your main points in aneffective manner and otherwise hold your audience.Your listeners will LISTEN IN SPURTS. They concentrate for a minute or so, thenlet up, and then concentrate again for a minute or so. Yes, most listeners only payattention to what is said for about a minute at a time. Part of the problem is thatwe think at about 600 words per minute, but, on average, we talk at about 140words per minute. Once you start to speak, by the time you’ve said a few words yourlisteners’ minds have already raced ahead of you to something else.The end result of all of the above is this … YOUR LISTENERS WILL REMEMBERVERY LITTLE OF WHAT THEY HAVE HEARD.Tell em, tell em again, and tell em what youve told themThis is the good advice often given to persons training to be ministers of religion …or salespersons of any kind! 6
  • 8. First, tell ’emYes, every speech must have a BEGINNING, a MIDDLE, and an END.Having said that, from a STRUCTURAL point of view, your speech should have 2distinct parts: an INTRODUCTION (the “beginning”), and the MAIN BODY of the speech (which will encompass and embrace both the “middle” and the “end”).First, your speech must have an INTRODUCTION. In many ways, it’s the mostimportant part of your entire speech. Indeed, you MUST grab the attention of youraudience in the FIRST MINUTE.After, maybe, one or 2 icebreakers (eg a question or an anecdote, humorous orotherwise), start confidently, even boldly, in your INTRODUCTION by telling yourlisteners: WHAT your subject is, WHAT you are going to cover, and WHY it is important to THEM.This enables you to state your “thesis” (main idea) upfront, in order to carefullysteer your audience in the direction that you want to take them. Use yourintroduction to make some personal reference to the subject-matter of your talk, 7
  • 9. the audience, and the purpose of the meeting. America’s greatest philosopher andpsychologist Professor William James (1842-1910) gave this advice to teachers … ONE CAN ONLY MAKE ONE POINT IN A LECTURE …… and the lecture he referred to lasted one hour!In short, use your introduction to develop INTEREST and ATTENTION FACTORS.However, keep your introduction brief. Get quickly to the point. Present the“problem”, “challenge” or whatever quickly. The MAIN BODY of your speech iswhere you address and answer the problem, meet the challenge, and so forth.At all times, TALK to your audience, not at them. Smile at them. Make them feelthat you are genuinely interested in them.Then, tell em again … and tell em what youve told themIf you intend speaking on a distinct theme and discrete topic area, then the MAINBODY of your speech should contain no more than 3 main sub-heads or main points,all of which: are illustrations, expositions or “proofs” of your theme or topic area,6 support your thesis or main idea, and take the form of advice, opinion or recommendation, or guides or methods for solving the “problem” or facing the “challenge”, or whatever.If you can cover your material with only 2 sub-heads or main points, that is evenbetter.6 Dr Peale (in White and Henderlider 1954) says that “the true example is the finest method I know tomake an idea clear, interesting, and persuasive. Usually, I use several examples to support each majorpoint.” These stories, whether about you or others, are sometimes known as “signature stories”. Theyadd both authenticity and interest to your speech. 8
  • 10. So, never give a 15-30 minute speech as such, but rather a series of 2 or 3 shortstories that make a single point.There need not be a formal CONCLUSION as such at the end of your speech.Instead, at the end of each sub-head or main point, in order to assist recall: SUMMARISE what you’ve said, REPEAT the main point, and STRESS key points, listing them progressively, even repetitively.Your summary at the end of each sub-head or main point should be more-or-less thesame for every other sub-head or main point. Thus, the summary and conclusion forthe last sub-head can serve as a conclusion for the entire speech. This is especiallyhelpful if you find yourself running out of time. You can then discard your final sub-head or point and simply rely upon your most recent summary as the CLOSE of theentire speech.If, however, your speech covers a number of different themes or topic areas, thenyou may need a formal CONCLUSION to bring everything together and summariseyour entire speech.In any event, concluding remarks, as such, should be short and to the point … butend your speech on a STRONG note (eg by asking a question or telling a humorousanecdote).SUMMARISE as you go along. SUMMARISE, SUMMARISE, and SUMMARISE.So, never forget … TELL EM, TELL EM AGAIN, AND TELL EM WHAT YOUVE TOLD THEM!But you must know when to stop speaking. Dorothy Sarnoff has written: 9
  • 11. Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.Let’s take a look at how all this might work in practice. EXAMPLE7 You are asked to give an address on whether the present legal definition of religion in Australia (as enunciated by the High Court of Australia in the Scientology case)8 is appropriate. You happen to believe that the present definition is inappropriate. Thus, you decide to structure your talk as follows: I. INTRODUCTION You will start by saying that the definition of what constitutes a religion is of enormous legal importance having regard to such matters as rating and taxing exemptions, the law of trusts (in particular, the law relating to charitable trusts for the advancement of religion), separation of church and state, clergy and communicant privilege, and so forth. You will then go on to explain what the High Court actually said about the matter in the Scientology case, namely, that according to 2 of the 5 justices belief in a supernatural Being, Thing or Principle is essential for a religion. Two other justices considered that belief in a supernatural Being, Thing or Principle was one of the more important indicia of a religion and, if it were absent, it was unlikely that one has a religion. II. BODY OF SPEECH You will make the following 3 main points. (NOTE. These 3 points are really illustrations or “proofs” of your main idea or thesis.9)7 This example is based on the thesis hypothesis of Beyond the Scientology Case: Towards a BetterDefinition of What Constitutes a Religion for Legal Purposes in Australia Having Regard to SalientJudicial Authorities from the United States of America as well as Important Non-JudicialAuthorities, a thesis submitted by Ian Ellis-Jones in fulfilment of the requirements of thepostgraduate degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Law (C02028), Faculty of Law, University ofTechnology, Sydney. Year of Submission of Thesis on Completion of Examination: 2007. Year ofSubmission of Thesis for Examination: 2006. Copyright © Ian Ellis-Jones 2007. All Rights Reserved.8 Church of the New Faith v Commissioner of Pay-roll Tax (Vic) (1983) 154 CLR 120.9 Or, in the case of a thesis, your thesis hypothesis consequent upon its investigation and testing. 10
  • 12. 1. The present definition of religion is inappropriate in that it does not readily accommodate a number of important belief systems that are generally regarded as being religious belief systems, even though they do not involve any notion of the supernatural in the sense in which that word is ordinarily understood. Examples of such belief systems include Confucianism, many forms of Buddhism and modern day Judaism and Christianity, and Christian Science. Conclusion: The definition is inadequate. 2. The present definition of religion is inappropriate in that the High Court has provided little or no meaningful guidance as to how one determines whether a particular belief system involves a “supernatural” view of reality. In that regard, the High Court saw the “supernatural” as the “belief that reality extends beyond that which is capable of perception by the senses”. However, that is not supernaturalism but parapsychology which is the scientific study of supernormal phenomena by experimental or other systematic means. Conclusion: The definition is inadequate. 3. The present definition of religion is inappropriate in that it is philosophically impossible to postulate a meaningful distinction between the “natural” and the supposedly “supernatural” in a way that would enable the courts and other decision makers to meaningfully apply the test enunciated by the High Court in the Scientology case. Why? Because it is not possible to validate supernaturalism either empirically or philosophically. There is an inherent meaninglessness in calling things “supernatural” as it is impossible to conceive of there being, let alone describe, any existence, or other order or level of reality, other than "natural" existence. Conclusion: The definition is inadequate.NOTE. The summary and conclusion for the third sub-head can serve as a conclusionfor the entire speech. However, if you wish there can be a formal conclusion as suchat the end of your speech. 11
  • 13. Speech deliveryWhat makes an effective public speaker?Basically, it’s a combination of genetic predisposition and makeup, conditioning,personality style … and good ELOCUTION particularly in the second sensedescribed below: Main Entry: el·o·cu·tion Pronunciation: "e-l&-kyü-sh&n Function: noun Etymology: Middle English elocucioun, from Latin elocution-, elocutio, from eloqui 1 : a style of speaking especially in public 2 : the art of effective public speaking - el·o·cu·tion·ary /-sh&-"ner-E/ adjective - el·o·cu·tion·ist /-sh(&-)nist/ noun10An emphasis on some basic elocution does not mean the abandonment of AustralianEnglish which, at its best, is an altogether acceptable form of good English speech.The true foundation of good speech is proper DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING11 asopposed to chest breathing, which most people engage in.12DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING involves expanding the lungs downwards as well, sothe diaphragm needs to move downwards.10 Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, viewed 7 June 2007, <>. An emphasis on some basic elocution does not mean theabandonment of Australian English which, at its best, is an altogether acceptable form of good Englishspeech.11 In addition to diaphragm breathing, correct posture is very important to voice projection. Hold yourbody upright when you speak. If your body sags, your voice sags.12 There is also what is known as “abdominal breathing”. 12
  • 14. EXERCISE DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING The floor of the chest cavity which contains the lungs is made up of the diaphragm, which is a great dome of flattish muscle at the bottom of the chest between the lungs and the stomach. The diaphragm has the capacity to move upwards and downwards changing the volume of the chest cavity and of its passive occupants, the lungs. All good stuff, but it is a very sad fact that most people hardly use their diaphragm when breathing. Now, the diaphragm is a muscle you cant see, so you have to concentrate on the muscles in front. One way of doing that is as follows. If somebody is about to hit you in the abdomen, what do you ordinarily do? You tense your abdominal muscles. Do so now. Slightly tense your abdominal muscles and, at the same time, push your abdomen outwards as you breathe in. The diaphragm descends (lowers) and the ribs move upwards and outwards, making the chest cavity longer and larger. The diaphragm and intercostal muscles (the muscles between the ribs) should be used to take the in-breath to the middle and lower parts of the lungs. The diaphragm is also the principal muscle used for breathing out; the diaphragm rises as you exhale, making the chest cavity shorter again. Use your abdominal muscles in this way to control your breathing. Diaphragm breathing gives the voice depth and also conveys a sense of assurance and authority which is extremely important for a public speaker.In addition to: Having a WELL-ORGANIZED and TIGHTLY STRUCTURED SPEECH, and being one’s own PERSONALITY,an effective public speaker has the following SPEAKING SKILLS which collectivelyproduce a high STANDARD OF SPEECH: 13
  • 15. a PLEASING, HIGH QUALITY VOICE with GOOD ARTICULATION, as follows: o solid PROJECTION in the form of:  good, strong VOCAL PRODUCTION, and  VOLUME, o good TONE placement, with:  appropriate controlled PITCH (good MODULATION and INFLECTION),  good RESONANCE, and  expressive INTONATION, o VARIANCE IN VOCAL ELEMENTS (pitch, volume and speed) when necessary for effect, to avoid monotony and to otherwise generate and maintain audience interest in the subject-matter of your speech,13 o CLARITY in the forms of proper PRONUNCIATION, ARTICULATION and DICTION, avoiding carelessness in the form of such things as gross assimilation and gross elision, o good RHYTHM, PACE and mode of delivery, with appropriate use of PAUSES, and o FLUENCY in the form of fluid dialogue14 with appropriate speed and intensity, and a direct but not confronting MANNER OF SPEECH, with: o an appropriate use of formal and informal speech (but avoiding slang)13 Change your pitch, volume, and speed at least once every 30 seconds or so, if only for just oneword.14 Avoiding “ums” and “uhs”. 14
  • 16. o good use, but not overuse, of rhetorical questions15 and declarative sentences, o varied VOCABULARY, o good GESTICULATION and good POSTURE/BODY MOVEMENT (as regards the latter, your neck must be well-positioned to optimize your voice box – see the drawing on the next page), o effective EYE CONTACT with the audience, and o an appropriate use of HUMOUR (but avoiding sarcasm and bad language unless it be a bucks party or something similar).16 THE MAIN ORGANS OF SPEECH15 Good public speakers like Norman Vincent Peale and Fulton Sheen never left any of their ownrhetorical questions unanswered.16 The best, and most innocuous, way of using humour wisely is to play yourself down. Most of the jokesshould be at your own expense. In addition, don’t be sarcastic. Witty, yes; sarcastic, no. Also, don’tforget to smile a lot throughout your speech. 15
  • 17. Before speaking: WARM UP your voice. BREATHE DEEPLY. Deep breathing, of the kind described earlier, is not only good for the voice, it also helps to relax your whole body as well as your mind. STRETCH AND GENTLY MASSAGE your shoulders, chest, neck, jaw and face.When using a LECTERN: DON’T lean on the lectern, and DON’T just stand behind the lectern, but move around (but not like a caged lion).Ensure CORRECT POSTURE in thestanding position (see drawingopposite). As mentioned above, theNECK must be well-positioned tooptimize the VOICE BOX.Develop APPROPRIATE GESTURES ofthe hands, arms, body and face. Goodspeakers are animated. 16
  • 18. As regards effective EYE CONTACT with your audience, you must speak to and lookdirectly at your audience, but don’t “eye surf”. Although the eyes should be inaction almost constantly, don’t “picture” your audience, that is, don’t let your eyesdart quickly across the room. Focus on one person in the audience at a time, thenanother, as if having a one-on-one conversation with each person in the audience.Avoid window gazing, floor gazing, etc. Effective public speakers play off theiraudience with both gestures and eye contact.Don’t worry about FEELING NERVOUS. That’s a good feeling; it’s the effect ofadrenalin. Use that rush of adrenalin to your best advantage. Transform it intoenthusiasm and passion for your subject-matter and your audience.If you want to improve your speech start by observing others … and yourself.SHOULD YOU SPEAK EXTEMPORANEOUSLY? Ideally, yes. However, that will notalways be possible for a variety of reasons including but not limited to thecomplexity of the subject-matter, the time available to prepare for the speech, andso forth. Even extemporaneous public speaking requires careful advance preparationand, in that regard, Dr Peale’s advice is that you should still “carefully prepare apattern or sequence of ideas but leave the exact expression of those ideas to theinspiration of the moment” (Broadhurst 1964:45).17Using visual aidsVisual aids should be SIMPLE and NON-OBTRUSIVE … but large enough to be seen!Avoid visual information overload and overkill. Recent research from UNSW17 World’s Work edn, 1964. 17
  • 19. indicates that it is more difficult to process information when it is coming at us inboth the written and spoken forms at the same time (cf PowerPoint presentations).The UNSW research “shows the human brain processes and retains moreinformation if it is digested in either its verbal or written form, but not both at thesame time” (Patty 2007).Some of the most effective public speakers of all time have used either no visualaids at all or only the most simple types. For example, the popular American bishopand TV personality Fulton Sheen, in his Life is Worth Living program, made veryeffective use of a simple chalkboard. So, DON’T BE TRENDY AND FADDISH justfor the sake of it. The weight of evidence is now very much the other way.Don’t be too hard on yourselfGood public speaking takes PRACTICE … lots of it. Learn from mistakes and, mostimportantly, don’t take yourself too seriously. Indeed, you will be a better publicspeaker if you don’t.Dale Carnegie, an expert on public speaking, once wrote: There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave: The one you practiced … the one you gave … the one you wish you gave! 18
  • 20. GLOSSARYAbdominal breathing, also known as lower-chest breathing, is when the frontabdominal wall is thrust outwards during inspiration, which occurs when theintercostal muscles (the muscles between the ribs) are not used sufficiently. Seealso chest breathing and diaphragmatic breathing.Articulation refers to both the total process of the production of speech sounds aswell as enunciation (qv). More specifically, articulation refers to the degree ofclearness with which the sounds are produced, and involves the properunderstanding and use of the moveable organs of speech which form our consonantsand vowels. Articulation is said to be “good” when sounds are uttered distinctly.Chest breathing, also known as clavicular breathing, which most people engage in,involves expanding the rib cage outwards so the lungs are also forced to expandoutwards. See also abdominal breathing and diaphragmatic breathing.Diaphragmatic breathing involves expanding the lungs downwards as well, so thediaphragm needs to move downwards. See also abdominal breathing and chestbreathing.Diction refers not just to your distinctive vocabulary but also to good enunciation(qv), meaning that speech sounds are distinct and clear. The consonants are moreimportant than the vowels in clarity of speech.Enthusiasm, in relation to public speaking, means that you, the speaker, must haveand display great excitement for and interest in your subject-matter together witha strong passion to communicate that enthusiasm to your audience. The origin ofthe English word “enthusiasm” can be traced to the Greek en theos (“in the god”,“of the god”, “a god within” or, more accurately, “to be possessed by the god”). Allgood public speaking comes from enthusiasm or, if you wish, divine inspiration.Enunciation refers to the act of combining speech sounds into words as well as andthe degree of clearness of utterance.Gesticulation refers to appropriate gestures of the hands, arms, body and face.Gross assimilation occurs when different sounds are run together.Gross elision occurs when sounds are dropped. 19
  • 21. Inflection refers to the sliding of the voice from one pitch to another, being achange of pitch within a key, whereas modulation (qv) refers to a change in thevoice from one key to another.Intonation means clear and varied inflection (qv) and modulation (qv) in the voice,with consequent changes in pitch or tone or voice.Modulation is the process of changing the voice from one range of pitch (“key”) toanother, effected by the tightening and slackening of the vocal cords. See alsoinflection.Nasality refers to a quality of the voice that is produced by the nasal resonators(the small bones and cavities directly above, behind and beside the nose). Excessivenasality most frequently occurs as a result of a lazy soft palate, tense jaw andtongue, and a mouth that is not open wide enough. Ensure that your teeth areparted a little when you talk.Pace, or speed, is the rate at which words are spoken. The normal English speakingrate of most people is 150 to 170 words per minute, with overall speaking rateranges being between approximately 130 to 200 words per minute. A rate of 140words per minute is ordinarily too slow for normal speaking but is generally OK formost types of formal public speaking. All things considered, a rate of 140-160words per minute is a good pace for a persuasive speech.Pause, also known as caesura, means an audible pause, break or interruption inspeaking. American comedian Jack Benny said, “It’s not so much knowing when tospeak, as when to pause.” Pause before and after each important point, but don’toverdo it. A couple of seconds of silence can be very effective, but no more.Pitch refers to the highs and lows of a speaker’s voice. The speaker’s total range ofpitch consists of the highest and lowest pitches which the speaker can uttercomfortably together with all the pitches in between. Most people these daysprefer to hear “low” tones as opposed to squeaky, high-pitched voices, but avoid aboring, monotone voice. A controlled, well-pitched voice is a distinct advantage.Pronunciation refers to the choice of sounds and the manner of accentuation ofthose sounds when words are produced. A good speaker avoids mispronunciations.Resonance refers to a sound quality or timbre enriched by overtones (harmonics)without over-nasality which enables us to recognize and distinguish individual voices.The proper use of your resonance cavities ensures that sounds produced by thevocal cords are amplified and reinforced. 20
  • 22. Speaking rate. See pace.Speech is simply voice modified by changes in the pharynx (being the part of thethroat that begins from behind the nose to the beginning of the voice box and theoesophagus), mouth and nose.Speed. See pace.Tone refers to the quality or character (“timbre”) of the sound of a particularperson’s voice. The expression can also refer to the particular or relative pitch (qv)of a word, phrase or sentence. The “secret” of good speech is quality of tone. Theoriginal sound made by the vocal cords is thin and requires resonance for beautyand fullness.Voice refers to the sound produced by the vocal organs, specifically through theexpiration of air through vibrating vocal cords. The expression also refers to theability to produce such sounds. The mechanism of voice involves the followingstructures: the lungs, the larynx, and the resonance cavities (especially the larynx,pharynx, nose and mouth).Voice quality refers to the net calibre of the voice in terms of its character andattributes. Although not the same thing as speech, voice quality neverthelessmodifies speech considerably.Volume is the “intensity” or “fullness” of vocal tone (that is, the relative loudness orsoftness with which the words are spoken). For speech to be good and intelligiblefrequencies of 500 to 4,000 are necessary, and it must be of adequate intensity.Project your voice out over the entire audience. 21
  • 23. BIBLIOGRAPHYBaker, S J 1947. Australian Pronunciation: A Guide to Good Speech. Sydney: Angus and Robertson.Baker, S J 1966. The Australian Language, 2nd ed. Sydney: Currawong Publishing.Belson, D 1955. What to Say and How to Say It For All Occasions. Secaucus NJ: The Citadel Press.Bennett R 1941. Practical Speech Training for Schools. London: University of London Press.Blair, D and Collins, P (eds) 2001. English in Australia. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Broadhurst, A R 1963. He Speaks the Word of God: A Study of the Sermons of Norman Vincent Peale. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall.Carnegie, D 1962. The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking: A Revision by Dorothy Carnegie of Public Speaking and Influencing Men in Business by Dale Carnegie. New York: Association Press.Fullilove, M (ed) 2005. “Men and Women of Australia!”: Our Greatest Speeches. Sydney NSW: Vintage Books (Random House Australia).Krummel, D 1951. The Art of Speech, 3rd ed. Kemp Place, Valley, Qld: W R Smith & Paterson.Le Clair, M and Fortune, P 1986. A Lazy Man’s Guide to Public Speaking. Strawberry Hills NSW: Peter Fortune.Leitner, G 2004. Australias Many Voices: Australian English - The National Language. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Mitchell, A G 1946. The Pronunciation of English in Australia. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. 22
  • 24. Patty, A 2007. “Research points the finger at PowerPoint”, The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 April 2007, [Online edition] viewed 7 June 2007, < disaster/2007/04/03/1175366240499.html>.Peale, N V 1952. The Power of Positive Thinking. New York: Prentice-Hall.Prochnow, H (V) 1955. Speaker’s Handbook of Epigrams and Witticisms. New York: Harper & Row.Prochnow, H 1991. It Gives Me Great Pleasure: The Complete After-Dinner Speaker’s Handbook. London: Piatkus.Robertson, R. “The Skill of Public Speaking”, viewed 13 June 2007, <>.Rozakis, L 1999. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Public Speaking, 2nd ed. Indianapolis: Alpha Books.Sarnoff, D 1970. Speech Can Change Your Life: Tips on Speech, Conversation, and Speechmaking. New York: Doubleday.Sarnoff, D 1989. Never Be Nervous Again: Time-Tested Techniques for the Foolproof Control of Nervousness in Communicating Situations. New York: Ballantine Publishing Group.Speeches that Changed the World: The Stories and Transcripts of the Moments that Made History 2005. Intro by S S Montefiore. Sydney NSW: Murdock Books (Pier 9).Walters, L 1993. Secrets of Successful Speakers: How You Can Motivate, Captivate , and Persuade. New York: McGraw-Hill.White, E and Henderlider, C 1954. “What Norman Vincent Peale Told us About His Speaking”, The Quarterly Journal of Speech, XL (December). 23