Know the Rules
What is effective speaking
Good public speaking is simply the art of good conversation carried a step or two beyond the usual. It is largely through the spoken word that we communicate with each other, develop understanding, exchange knowledge and find mutually acceptable goals. Through effective public speaking we can encourage, teach, entertain and inspire others.
If we look for the principles that are the basis of intelligent conversation we will find the principles of effective public speaking.
In chatting with friends we speak naturally, directly and spontaneously. Whether we are standing or sitting we move about quite freely. Our conversation becomes serious when we have an idea to convey and a reason to convey it. We are convinced that the idea is sound and we try to present it clearly and logically. We have no difficulty in expressing the idea in simple words because we believe in it.
When we talk in a small group such as our family, describing an experience or attempting to persuade them that some idea of ours is a good one, we use simple, direct language and we look at every member of the group as we talk.
In a larger group, such as a club, most conversations are on the same basis, except that we are likely to concentrate on a single subject of common interest. The members of the club group direct their thinking toward the special purpose for which they are meeting and choose their words more carefully than they do in casual conversation.
In speaking to an audience all these principles of good conversation are followed and, in addition, we must be sure to speak loudly enough for everyone to hear. Probably we will assume a little more dignity than in everyday conversation and we will guard our statements carefully lest we be quoted.
Effective speaking then is simply
persuasive conversation developed and adapted to fit the occasion, further a special purpose, and suit the people who listen.
Since all of us practice conversation every day in chatting with our friends or conferring with our families, we already possess the fundamental skills of public speaking. We need only concern ourselves with the slightly altered techniques that apply to making sure that we are understood by a larger group of people.
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