Great speakers are categorized mainly on two agendas. They either reason with great aptitude and strength, or they touch on the realistic aspect of people’s daily lives and speak from the heart. Often, most speakers try to employ both techniques or mix the two on one idea. Any way an individual looks at it, the effects of public speaking is enormous. The power of speeches is often reflected in coming revolutions and revolts. Public speaking by good speakers often drives society (Osborn, 2008).
They direct the vision and incite feelings into masses.
They help awaken a dead public and bring about social change. Speeches by famous state leaders such Roosevelt, and their quotes such as “Ask not what the country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” spiraled the American nation out of recession and gave a sense of hope to the general public. They instill motivation, inspiration and hope into entire nations that spell positive change in society as a whole (Osborn, 2008).
However, if speeches go wrong they can bring nations to collapse. Bad speeches result in loss of faith in leadership or the credibility of the speaker.
Thus, the topic losses argument and drives people in the opposite direction. This can have an enormous effect on the outcome of whatever is to be achieved through a speech. Bad speeches often tilt audiences to the other side which is not desired by the speaker (Osborn, 2008). Devising good speeches: When writing speeches, authors must keep in mind the following (Osborn, 2008): 1) Analyzing the audience 2) The main purpose of the speech 3) Brainstorming 4) Outline 5) Create a conversation 6) Involve the audience 7) Delivery
Though these simple factors seem common in all speeches they are often the most commonly disregarded.
The first step of devising a good speech is to keep in mind the audience that you are speaking to (Osborn, 2008). A professional will not go and use technical jargon in a class of 6th graders. He will have to adjust the speech because the main emphasis is communication. To make sure communication happens in the best manner possible; analyzing the audience is the most important point of a speech. The main purpose of the speech is what the writer wishes to talk about.
It could be a particular topic or subject or a social issue that he wishes to communicate to the public in some way (Osborn, 2008). Knowing what the main purpose of the speech is, the speaker clearly defines their role and boundaries. Thus, the speech is more directed and substantiated with relevant material. Brainstorming is technique used to generate ideas for a particular topic. To gather relevant information about a topic or things a speaker might be able to mention in his or her speech, brainstorming is crucial.
The outline development gives the speech organizational structure. The beginning, the middle and the end of the speech are clearly defined which help the speaker deliver the speech in a directed flow rather than a haphazard manner (Osborn, 2008). This is crucial to make sure one important point in the speech is followed by another to strengthen arguments being made. Creating a conversation is often crucial in public speaking. The fact is that when you’re dealing with the public, you have to be the public (Henderson, 2007)!
If the speech is to influence a segment of the population or leave an effect, having a conversation with the audience rather than simply speaking will leave a much more significant impact on the listeners (Henderson, 2007). Involving the audience is an extension of creating a conversation. By keeping the audience involved in the speech and related specific points to the relevance of the audience, speakers often employ this to gain attention (Jaffe, 2006). Similarly, rhetorical questions are asked to make the audience ponder over the point being discussed and to awaken them from their possible slumber.
Finally, the delivery stage is crucial. How a person will plan the physical message, the visual message and the vocal message is essential (Zeole, 2008). The tone of voice, the level of aggression and the way the speaker speaks leaves an impact on the audience. Thus, concrete facts or those that the speaker wishes to lay emphasis on should be made in a different tone of voice then ordinary points. Similarly, the style by which a speaker speaks is also crucial to gaining attention of the audience. Without attention from the audience the basic aim of communication is in disarray (Zarefsky, 2007).
Adolph Hitler: With all the negativity attached to Hitler, one thing that he accomplished quite significantly was his ability to speak. His public speaking skills managed to arose the emotions of an entire nation. He was able to accomplish what his main aim was, to gain the support of the people (Moore, 2006). Hitler used to make many pauses between his speeches. Whenever he started a speech he would always pause and give the audience time to recognize him. Thus, creating an impression on the public always (Domarus, 2007).
He followed that with hand movements which are still recognized today! His ability to change the tone of his voice during speeches was incredible. He would speak silently on some issues perhaps even whisper. While on others he would yell at the top of his lungs. The rate at which he spoke was also under his control entirely. Often a time he would speak faster and other times slower to solidify his arguments. He could easily relate the speech to his audience by talking about visual concrete things such as country, land, and the people. More than just mere abstractions.
His ability to make use of repetition to strengthen his points was uncanny. He would repeat the same point under different vocabulary to strengthen his arguments (Domarus, 2004). Furthermore, Hitler always spoke on specific topics. He never let the topic of the speech go broad and thus laid more emphasis and excited more feelings when the topic was a narrow one (Domarus, 2004). Finally, the eye contact which he kept with the audience kept the audience actively involved in the speech. His emotional ploys would be the focus rather than just reasoning alone.
He fought a speech at a very emotional level with the audience. Barrack Obama: When we talk of Barrack Obama, we know that he won the presidential elections of America. No doubt his convincing and persuasive style of speaking had a role in his victory. To get votes you must be able to influence. Barrack Obama strengths as a speaker is clear. His first emphasis is generally on content. By stating the problem, building up the situation with detail, who is to blame, and then creating and delivery a situation shows great organizational structure of his speeches.
The audience understands the message on a step by step basis (Leane, 2008). His use of repetition, metaphors, and descriptive language gain the attention of the audience significantly and helps relate the topic under discussion to the audience. Furthermore, his style of delivery is of particular importance. His ability to gain trust of the audience by being honest and straight with the audience has led to a perception about him that has developed through his delivery style (Leane, 2008). His tone of voice, the speed and the pauses he uses are quite significant in his persuasive speeches.
Often when nearing an important point, Obama is seen to start speaking faster and in a louder tone (Leane, 2008). His employment of pauses between various points gives the audiences a chance to ponder over what he is exactly saying and absorb it. These factors bring about a greater intensity in his speeches. Comparison between Hitler and Obama: As clearly evident from the above two paragraphs, both speakers had certain similar qualities in terms of public speaking. 1) Both employ the use of repetition, and tone of voice changes.
2) Both describe events in a descriptive manner rather than abstract 3) Both speakers use emotions to relate to the audience 4) Managed to create a bond between themselves and the public. References: Beebe, Stephen (2005). Public Speaking: An Audience-Centered Approach. Allyn & Bacon. Domarus, Max (2004). Hitler: Speeches and Proclamations, 1932-1945–The Chronicle of a Dictatorship. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. Domarus, Max (2007). The Essential Hitler: Speeches and Commentary. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. Henderson, Roy (2007).
There’s No Such Thing as Public Speaking: Make Any Presentation or Speech as Persuasive as a One-on-OneConversation. Prentice Hall Press. Jaffe, Clella (2006). Public Speaking: Concepts and Skills for a Diverse Society. Wadsworth Publishing. Leane, Shelly (2008). Say It Like Obama: The Power of Speaking with Purpose and Vision. McGraw-Hill. Moore, Sara (2006). HOW HITLER CAME TO POWER. AuthorHorse. Osborn, Michael (2008). Public Speaking. Allyn & Bacon. Zarefsky, David (2007). Public Speaking: Strategies for Success. Allyn & Bacon. Zeole, Richard (2008). The 7 Principles of Public Speaking. Skyhorse Publishing.
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