Public speaking can be very beneficial both in personal and professional life. In personal life, public speaking helps an individual to develop courage, conquer his or her fears, and gain more confidence in his or her strengths. Moreover, speaking in public supports a person to learn the art of argumentation and persuasion that will also be beneficial in the workplace (Carnegie, 2014, p. 67). In professional life, public speaking helps a person to build a business and establish social contacts. Furthermore, speaking in public promotes the development of speaking and professional skills as well as raises one’s chances of finding a job. At the same time, public speaking can enrich knowledge of the language and make a person an interesting companion.
Top skills valued by employers include the high level of verbal communication, confidence, the ability to work in a team, understanding and knowledge of the potential working process, and ability to solve possible problems in the workplace (Carnegie, 2014, p. 98). Moreover, employees have to be initiative and self-motivated in order to work for the benefit of the company. Employers value person’s ability to plan and conduct organizational activities and fulfill responsibilities, too. A good worker should be ready for stressful situations and adapt successfully to the changing environment. Furthermore, one’s skill to manage time in effective way is appreciated by employers. The ability to learn, analyze data, and a high degree of computer competence are among the valued aptitudes.
To build public speaking skills, it is necessary to be always prepared for the speech. In this regard, it is crucial to know the topic of the future discussion as well as the audience and be ready for debating or persuading if required. Moreover, it will also be beneficial to watch renowned public speakers on video or in real life if it is possible in order to learn from them. To become a professional public speaker, a speaker has to be always positive and focused on the speech, audience, its desires and needs (Carnegie, 2014, p. 27). Additionally, practice is the best way to improve skills, learn to avoid mistakes, and become more professional. Thus, to build public speaking skills, a person should be prepared, possess a good knowledge of the topic, be positive and confident, ready for debating, and learn from others and own mistakes.
There can be a number of barriers to effective listening. A competent public speaker has to know them and the ways of overcoming them. To ensure effective listening and avoid interruptions during the speech, it is necessary to schedule some time for questions, arguments, and pieces of advice from the audience (Carnegie, 2014, p. 44). Moreover, it will be also beneficial to get to known the audience and its preferences in order to be interesting to the listeners. At the same time, people have to be familiar with the topic too to prepare themselves and shape the expectations. This will help to avoid listeners’ self-dialogs and encourage them to spend time listening and thinking on the topic. In addition, to prevent prejudices, biases, and stereotypical thinking, a public speaker has to be positive, open-minded, and attractive to the audience.
It is important to identify and analyze rhetorical strategies in order to better understand the audience as well as achieve the desired result. Being the means by which the speaker talks to and persuades his or her audience, rhetorical strategies assist him or her to reach the goal of the speech. Rhetorical strategies support a public speaker, encourage the audience, set listeners on the right mood, and help persuade or appeal (Carnegie, 2014, p. 87). That is why identifying them can be advantageous for the speaker. At the same time, analyzing rhetorical strategies assists a public speaker to comprehend causes and effects of persuasion. In this respect, it is crucial to analyze rhetorical strategies because they help to understand how to build a powerful argument and what techniques to use for a certain purpose (Carnegie, 2014, p. 89). Thereby, identifying and analyzing them is a key to construct a strong persuasive speech.
Attitudes, beliefs, and values play an important role in public speaking. Understanding the above-mentioned psychographics of the audience, a public speaker can develop the general image of the listeners and adapt the speech-specific message. Moreover, comprehension of attitudes, beliefs, and values helps to determine how the audience may respond to the idea of the speech (Carnegie, 2014, p. 65). Thus, the speaker can predict the behavior of audience, take measures, and use specific rhetorical skills and techniques to be more persuasive and convincing. Since attitudes, beliefs, and values reflect person’s outlook, the speaker can use them to force the audience to accept a particular idea. In addition, it is important to consider what the listeners value and believe in because it is a part of the general psychological portrait of the audience.
The process of selecting and narrowing the topic is vital because the right audience-oriented topic is one of the key elements of speech success. To select a good and appealing topic, a speaker should consider the attitudes, beliefs, and values of the audience and then capture its attention by being persuasive (Carnegie, 2014, p. 110). Moreover, the topic has to have a specific purpose what, in turn, will aid the speaker to build the speech logically. The way of narrowing a topic is also of great importance because every word, phrase, and sentence can be said in a different manner. Thus, it is the speaker who has to choose the right intonation and pitch of the voice to narrow the topic in the way it helps him or her to reach the purpose. Therefore, selecting and narrowing the topic have great importance for the public speaker.
Literal and figurative analogies can be regarded as the means of comparing two things. Figurative analogy presents the difference of the two items that share only one common feature (Carnegie, 2014, p. 132). On the contrary, literal analogy reflects similarity between two things, which are almost identical (Carnegie, 2014, p. 137). Metaphors and similes belong to figurative analogies. Literal and figurative analogies are very important because they add specifics to abstract ideas. In public speaking, literal and figurative analogies show the individuality of the speaker, enrich the speech, and make it captivating for the audience.
In public speaking, primacy is required as it pertains to organizing one’s speech. While primacy is a placing of ideas from the most to the least important ones, it is beneficial to resort to it. It assists with building a speech logically (Carnegie, 2014, p. 145). To use primacy effectively, important information has to be presented at the beginning of the speech because it makes a huge impression. Moreover, opening statements should be strong since there is only one chance to make a right first impression. At the same time, the closing of the speech has similar importance because it is the last thing the listeners hear and remember. Thus, primacy can be regarded as a key component of powerful and efficient speech.
The purpose of conclusions is to review the main points of the speech. However, a conclusion should not be abrupt or sudden (Sandmann, 2011, p. 12). It is a task of the speaker to make the listeners ready for it. At the same time, a conclusion should not contain any new information in order not to confuse the audience. It is better to follow the structure of the speech in conclusion using the same question or quotation, which was mentioned at the beginning (Sandmann, 2011, p. 12). While a conclusion is the last thing the audience hears, it has to be powerful and thought-provoking reminding the listeners the speech purpose.
Carnegie, D. (2014). The art of public speaking. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Sandmann, W. (2011). Introductions and conclusions. In The Public Speaking Project. Mankato, MN: Minnesota State University.