Why Study Public Speaking? Vital life skill and a secret weapon in career development According to a 2006 Job Outlook Survey, it is the number one skill that employers value. Public speaking ranked higher than honesty, team work, strong work ethic, analytic skills, flexibility, interpersonal skills and motivation. Recruiters of top graduate school programs convey that the most sought-after students are the ones with the “soft skills” of communication over the “hard” knowledge of a given career path. (O’Hair, Dan. A Pocket Guide to Public Speaking. 2007. Print.)
Why Study Public Speaking? Helps you to reason and think critically Learn how to logically construct claims and support them with evidence. Organizing and outlining speeches will help you to structure ideas and strengthen ideas Offers a way to express yourself, beliefs and values in a public format
Eye Contact Establishing good sustained eye contact is the goal of a speaker. Sustained eye contact is looking at all audience members during the course of a speech. It is important to maintain direct eye contact with the audience. Avoid looking over their heads or at a spot on the wall. The audience will be able to tell. The goal for all speeches is to look at the audience between 85 – 100% of the time.
Rate The pace at which a speech is conveyed The normal speaking rate for the average adult is between 120 and 150 words per minute. The most common problem with rate is that speakers deliver their speech too quickly which causes the audience to lose interest or become confused. How do you control your rate? Use strategic pauses Carefully pronounce and articulate words
Volume Is the relative loudness of a speaker’s voice The proper volume for delivering a speech is somewhat louder than that of a normal conversation Loudness depends on 3 factors 1. Size of the room and number of people in it 2. Background noise 3. Microphone if present Most common problem with volume is that speakers are too soft and this is corrected by projecting your voice and breathing correctly.
Fluency Use of words such as like, uh, uhm, you know, and, etc. These words fill dead space in a speech and must be avoided You eliminate the use of fillers by being prepared to deliver your speech
Pitch Refers to vocal quality and the high and low notes that a speaker produces with his voice. It is important to vary pitch when speaking. If a speaker has a single pitch, it’s called monotone and sounds boring. Rate and pitch work together to make the voice interesting to hear.
BibliographyFraleigh, Douglas M. Speak Up: An Illustrated Guide to Public Speaking. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. Print.Franklin, Sharon and Clark, Deborah. Essentials of Speech Communication. China: McDougal Littell, 2001. Print.O’Hair, Dan. A Pocket Guide to Public Speaking. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007. Print.