Some people show remarkable ease in delivering speeches. From maintaining eye contact, to choosing the right words to appeal to a specific audience, to utilizing correct body language & voice modulation techniques, to creating audience impact, some people can effortlessly ignite interest and hold attention. For the average speaker, though, delivering a speech entails ample preparation. Beyond thinking about how to appeal to the logic or emotions of people in the audience, there are many factors that need to be considered, like age, mood & listening skills of the audience.
This paper tackles the basics of speech preparation, and techniques to adapt to the audience and convey a message effectively. Foundation of Speaking I. Speech preparation techniques Preparing a speech can be both a challenge and an adventure. Speaking before an audience for the first time requires ample preparation and careful thought about the subject matter. It must be well-researched. It also pays to use the right techniques applicable to a certain speech situation. Speakers should also be aware, before making a speech, of audience characteristics, including age and possible things that they may find interesting and helpful.
The speech itself must be structured in such a way as to appeal to the audience. Devices like humor or human interest detail, are usually effective in gaining audience attention in the opening of the speech. Using visual aids or props to help emphasize the key points may also be helpful. To retain the attention of the audience, the speech must offer new and useful information. The best speakers try to think of possible questions that the intended audience may have, and prepare the answers in advance.
Speakers will also do well to remember that if the end goal is to get listeners to embrace an idea, take action, or adopt a new mindset or attitude, the speech must be carefully constructed in a coherent, organized manner using the right elements of style, and supporting evidence. Try to recognize also errors or fallacies in reasoning and revise the speech accordingly. The next important matter in making speeches is the delivery itself. It is very important to speak clearly and use words that are easy to understand. A speech that is not delivered in an audible manner, or carries an ambiguous message, is practically useless.
II. Pitfalls and sources of interference There are great, inspiring speakers who captivate audiences, and there are those who fail. Based on experience, the speakers who have been difficult to listen to or pay attention to are those who mumble what they say and are barely audible even with a well-functioning microphone and audio system. Some politicians or businessmen who are invited as guest speakers are an illustration of this. Speakers who use very technical language but who are addressing laymen in the audience, as well as those who are unable to connect with the audience, may likewise be tiring or difficult to listen to.
As for interferences within oneself which make it hard to concentrate on what others are saying, boredom or lack of interest in the subject matter, preoccupation with pressing matters, or even anxiety are common reasons that divert attention and prevent full concentration or listening well to a speech of feedback. Speakers who are unable to connect with the audience and thus fail to effectively convey their message may overcome internal interferences by changing their approach.
They should appeal to the listeners’ pathos, which aims to strike an emotional chord with the audience; and logos, which makes an appeal to the rational side” (Jeffreys, n. d. , par. 2). Individuals listening to a speech, for their part, can overcome the problem of dealing with interferences within themselves by focusing on the topic of the speaker. It is important to be open-minded, to make real effort to clear the mind of distracting thoughts, to listen to the speech in its entirety rather than just portions of it, and to learn to decode in order to grasp the message being conveyed.
It may also help to learn the art of listening by watching speakers on television or attending seminars. III. Adapting to external factors Given the scenario of an excellent speaker, during the final class period just before spring break, preceding me & taking the same general approach on the same topic and eliciting positive response from the audience and instructor, the probability is high the audience may expect much from me as well. The other possibility is that they may lose interest in what I have to say.
I will adapt to the situation by opening my speech with a humorous remark while praising the speaker ahead of me. I will then segue to my speech, make a few references along the way to a few points that may have been taken up by the prior speaker, and then highlight the things that were not tackled. I will keep my speech concise but still speak with ardor. IV. Tailoring a speech for certain audiences Preparing a speech should, first and foremost, take into consideration the audience.
“The most well written speech is a disaster unless it appeals to audience interests” (Jeffreys, n. d. , par. 5). Even during speech delivery, the speaker must be alert to audience reactions like facial expressions, body language, and other reactions. If I were to deliver a speech about global warming to middle school girl scouts, I will speak in simple language and use illustrations or examples suited for them. I may cite summer camping grounds, for instance, as backdrop and suggest ways of preserving a scenic outdoor environment.
I will encourage audience participation to keep the talk lively. If a speech on global warming will be delivered to members & officers of a local chamber of commerce, I will use examples appropriate to their professional level. I may use examples of corporate entities actively engaged in environmental preservation, and cite case studies pinpointing accomplishments and problems, and what the local chamber of commerce may do to help in the ongoing efforts.
Some technical language may be used, but majority of what I will say must still be in layman’s terms. I will use charts and maps or illustrations, or present these using an audio-visual presentation with well-researched data. If I were to speak about global warming to my classmates, I will also use plain and simple language to present the global situation, then provide an update in order to offer something new and interesting.
I will likewise tailor my speech to the student level and cite practical ways young individuals may contribute to saving the environment. For the local women’s garden club, I will tailor my speech by focusing on plant care. I will tackle biodiversity and cite concrete ways to preserve water resources, and other gardening tips References Jeffreys, M. (n. d. ). “Preparing and delivering a successful persuasive speech. ” Retrieved May 8, 2010, from http://www. selfgrowth. com/articles/Preparing_and_Delivering_a_Successful_Persuas ive_Speech. html
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