Currently, oratorical skill is highly valued in the professional environment; it may even provide career advancement. The skills of oratory require constant hard work, training, and introspection. According to the video “Speaking Effectively…To One or Thousand, Public Speaking Training Video”, there are four major factors influencing the effectiveness of the speech:
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- A mental factor includes thoughts and emotions about speaking. There is a psychological barrier that separates the speaker from the audience. On different sides of this barrier, everything is going on in different ways. Speaker is standing, and the audience is sitting. The listeners are silent, and the speaker is talking. Sometimes, it may create the relationship of opponents. The excitement of the orator is often reflected in the audience. For instance, a nervous and unconfident lecturer with trembling voice and dropped eyes cannot provoke the interest of the students. It would be appropriate to feel more comfortable and to come to the audience a little bit closer from time to time. They should see your eyes and feel your confidence (Livingston 123). Sometimes, it is better to be more informal in order to show the audience that you are one of them.
- A visual factor is responsible for the appearance of the speaker. Performance in front of a large audience recalls the theatrical performance, therefore, the clothing is of the speaker is of great importance. For example, during public appearances, orator may sit at the table, stand on a high chair, or stand on the podium, etc. Thus, pants and skirts have to be long enough, socks should be high, and shoes are to be clean. Wear comfortable clothes, which do not distract you with their inconvenience. Clothing and shoes should not bring you discomfort and distract your attention. Universal rule of successful public speaking is to avoid imbalance between what you say and how you look (Hamilton 15). In official cases, it is better to use official formal clothing. The orator should not have frozen immobile expression. Otherwise, it will cause indifference and boredom of the public. The basis of speaker’s appeal is a light, pleasant smile.
- A vocal factor contributes to the appearance of the speaker significantly. The enthusiasm is expressed in a passionate relation to the topic, shows the indifferent attitude of the speaker to the audience. Expressivity is a sign of enthusiasm, and it may be observed through voice contrasts, pitch, volume, tempo and style of speech. The lack of expressivity is characterized as monotony, which reduces the efficiency of perception and the comprehension of speech (Coopman 86). Expressiveness allows the speaker to distinguish the main words with the help of the voice, to attract the attention of the audience, shaping its attitude towards the topic. For example, in a written speech, the author emphasizes important words using bold font or italics. In the oral speech, the speaker puts emphasis on the important word, thus emphasizing its importance to the audience (Keith 225).
- A verbal factor is responsible for the appropriateness of the words you use in your speech. Check the dictionary meanings of sophisticated words that you use. Find out the correctness of their pronunciation. Language mistakes can cause ridicule in your address and destroy the speech, no matter how brilliant it may be in the content (Topper 53). For example, it is better to use simple language talking to the foreign public to avoid misunderstandings (Grippo 18).
Taking into account these four factors will make the public appearance more appealing to the public interests and will achieve its main objectives and goals.
Coopman, Stephanie J, and James Lull. Public Speaking. Boston, Massachusetts: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
Grippo, Joseph A. A Complete Guide to Public To Public Speaking. Denver, Colo.: Outskirts Press, 2009. Print.
Hamilton, Cheryl. Essentials of Public Speaking. Boston, Massachusetts: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.
Keith, William. Public Speaking. Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.
Livingston, Ruth. Advanced Public Speaking. Bloomington, Indiana: Xlibris Corp., 2010. Print.
Topper, Scott. Public-Speaking Basics. Los Angeles, California: IMpro Solutions Pub., 2011. Print.
“Speaking Effectively…To One or Thousand, Public Speaking Training Video.” YouTube. 2009. Web.