Stripping Public Speaking Down

Let’s say this blog is a knight. A knight, in his dressing for battle, has armor covering nearly every inch of his body. This past month, the Speak King has been shedding light on the complexities and importance of public speaking, applying figurative “armor” to his readers in an effort to create public speaking “knights.” Well, there’s a chance I may have been getting ahead of myself. Instead of granting these pieces of armor, it takes a man worthy of being knighted underneath the metal suit with an understanding of the different concepts and methods of public speaking.

There are three different types of public speaking: informative, persuasive, and extemporaneous.

1. Informative speeches have a specific purpose and it’s the speaker’s mission to teach the audience information. To be successful, the audience will have left your speech with a gained knowledge of what you chose to speak about. Be careful of delving into too much information, because long speeches (as well developed as they may be) will bore your audience. Avoid jargon or any kind of language that would confuse the listeners; the success of the speech depends on the audience’s ability to comprehend and digest what the speech was about. DO NOT take sides! Informative speeches are to INFORM, which provides the audience with a clear understanding of a topic, and not to convince your listeners of anything.

2. This is where the convincing is key. The intention of a persuasive speech should be to change or alter the opinions of the audience. It is critical that basic information is shed on your topic, but you can’t just stop there. You must engage your audience with researched, convincing information in order to change their minds to your liking. It is key that you deliver a persuasive speech with passion, because if you don’t care, neither will your listeners. Connect with your audience by addressing the other side of your argument and considering it’s legitimacy, which breaks down their wall against what you’re saying and allows you to insert why you chose the side that you did.

3. Extemporaneous speeches are done on a whim with no preparation or previous knowledge that it would be conducted. This increases the likelihood of nervousness or a panicky nature, but don’t fret. Brainstorm the most crucial points of what is being asked of you and speak with confidence in what you’re saying. This exudes an increased sense of what you choose to say. Extemporaneous public speaking can be improved in one way: practice. Choose anything to speak about off the top of your head, stand in front of a mirror, and watch yourself. If you aren’t impressed, begin to use body language and annunciate important points.

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