Public Speaking Oral Communications Holmes Jean Powers

Skills in public speaking are same skills used in everyday conversation

Organize thoughts logically
Tailor message to audience
Telling a story for maximum impact
Adapt to listener's feedback

Many skills used in conversation also apply in public speaking

If you concentrate on stage fright, you won't do well on your speech

Know 6 ways of dealing with nervousness

Acquire Speaking Experience
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Think Positively
Use the Power of visualization
Know That Most Nervousness Is Not Visible
Don't Expect Perfection


whatever a speaker communicates to someone else

Examples of feedback

You're giving your speech & someone has puzzled look on his/her face, you know you need to go back over the point.

Example of Interference

Someone coughing in the audience so you can't hear the speaker.


The means by which a message is communicated

Frame of reference

the sum of a person's knowledge, experience, goals, values, and attitudes. No two people can have exactly the same frame of reference.

2 kinds of major speeches

1. Persuasive - 5 references
2. Informative - 5 references

Audience analysis

an important factor in selecting a topic, organizing a speech, and choosing supporting material.

Situational audience analysis

Audience analysis that focuses on situational factors such as size of the audience, physical setting for the speech, and the disposition of the audience toward the topic, the speaker, and the occasion.
Usually builds on the demographic analysis
The larger

Once you have the topic, you must consider in more detail the audience's:

Interest in the topic
Knowledge about it
Attitudes toward it

General All Purpose Databases:

As their name implies, general databases cover a wide range of periodicals & subjects including academic journals and technical publications:
ProQuest Research Library - general interest
Academic Search - popular & scholarly
Reader's Guide Full Text - gen

Doing a Persuasive speech on Parkinson's disease & want to find recent articles published in general interest periodicals & academic journals. The best resource to use would be?

ProQuest and Lexis Nexis

Virtual libraries are also valuable because they can help you locate higher quality materials that are overlooked by even the most thorough of search engines.

These materials are part of what is called the invisible Web - millions of databases & other resources that, because of technological factors, are not indexed by search engines.
By accessing this invisible Web, virtual libraries expand the kinds of intern

Criteria used to evaluate soundness of documents (not jewels and junk as in book) found on internet:

1. Authorship
2. Sponsorship
3. Recency

Reference Resources:

Statistical Abstract of US - numerical data about life in US
ex: if you want to know the number of people in the US who die from accidental drowning.

Citing Internet Sources

*When citing internet sources, include the same information you provide for print works - author, title, date of publication, & organization responsible for the document if the name is not known.
*To find information about author, try to determine the org

Tips for using examples

1. Use examples to clarify ideas
2. Use examples to reinforce your ideas
3. To personalize your ideas
4. Make examples vivid and richly textured
5. Practice delivery to enhance your extended examples.

Use statistics sparingly to give them greater impact

Always write phone numbers for audience to see during speech.

As you put together your speech make sure:

1. Are statistics representative
2. Are statistical measures used correctly
3. Are statistics from a reliable source
(Accurate, relevant, reliable)

2 kinds of testimony and examples

Expert Testimony - ex: Testimony from people who are recognized
Peer Testimony - ex: Any member of your family or friends (aunt uncle brother sister cousin, etc.)

Many skills used in conversation also apply to public speaking.

As you learn to speak more effectively, you may also learn to communicate more effectively in other situations.


The person who is presenting an oral message.

the meaning of a message will never be exactly the same to the listener and the



the messages, usually nonverbal, sent from a listener to a speaker.


Anything that impedes the communication of a message, interference can be external or internal to listeners.


The use of language to defame, demean, or degrade individuals or groups.

Global plagiarism

Stealing a speech entirely from a single source and passing it off as one's own.

Incremental Plagiarism

It occurs when the speaker fails to give credit for particular parts - increments - of the speech that are borrowed from other people. The most important of these increments are quotations and paraphrases.

Listeners also have ethical obligations:

1. To listen courteously and attentively
2. To avoid prejudging the speaker
3. To maintain the free and open expression of ideas

Even when we think we are listening carefully, we usually only grasp

50% of what we hear.

When business managers are asked to rank-order the communication skills most crucial to their jobs, they usually rank what as #1?


Critical Listening

Listening to evaluate a message for purposes of accepting or rejecting it, as when we listen to the sales pitch of a car salesperson or the campaign speech of a political candidate.

Four Causes of Poor Listening

Not Concentrating
Listening Too Hard
Jumping to Conclusions
Focusing on Delivery and Personal Appearance

Along with choosing a topic you need to determine the general purpose of your speech. Usually it will fall into one of two overlapping categories - to inform or to persuade.

When your purpose is to inform, you act as a teacher or lecturer. To give them the information they did not have before.
When your purpose is to persuade, you act as an advocate or a partisan.
Change or structure the attitudes or actions of your audience.

Once you have chosen a topic and a general purpose:

you must narrow your choices to determine the specific purpose of your speech. The specific purpose should focus on one aspect of topic.

What do people want to hear?

Very simply they usually want to hear about things that are meaningful to them. People are egocentric.

Demographic Audience Analysis

One of the ways speakers analyze audiences is by looking at demographic traits such as age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, group membership; racial, ethnic, or cultural background, etc.

Disposition toward the topic

Once you have your topic, you must consider in more detail their interest in the topic, knowledge about it, and attitudes toward it.

What is the aim of speechmaking?

to gain a desired response from listeners

Search engines help you find what's on the internet,

but they don't evaluate the quality of the sources they retrieve.

Hypothetical example

An example that describes an imaginary or fictitious situation.

There is usually more to statistics than meets the eye. when you track down statistics for your speeches, be sure to evaluate them in light of the following questions.

Are the statistics representative?
Are the statistical measures used correctly?
Are the statistics from a reliable source?

Research has shown that the impact of examples:

is enhanced when they are combined with statistics that show the examples to be typical.

Round off Complicated Statistics

Use Visual Aids to Clarify Statistical Trends

Spatial order

Main points proceed from top to bottom, left to right, front to back, inside to outside, east to west, or some other route.

Supporting materials

The materials used to support a speaker's ideas. The three major kinds of supporting material are examples, statistics, and testimony.


A word of phrase that indicates when a speaker has finished one thought and is moving on to another.

In most speeches, the introduction has four objectives:

1) Get the attention and interest of your audience
2) Reveal the topic of your speech
3) Establish your credibility and goodwill
4) Preview the body of the speech

Tips for the Conclusion

1. As with the introduction, keep an eye out for possible concluding materials as you research and develop the speech.
2. Don't be long-winded. The conclusion will normally make up no more than 5 to 10 percent of your speech.

Gaining attention and interest can be done in several ways:

You can show the importance of your topic, especially as it relates to your audience. You can startle or question your audience or arouse their curiosity. You can begin with a quotation or story.

By outlining, you can judge:

whether each part of the speech is fully developed,
whether you have adequate supporting materials for your main points,
and whether the main points are properly balanced.
that ideas flow from one to another, that the structure of your speech will "stand

Preparation Ouline

A detailed outline developed during the process of speech preparation that includes the title, specific purpose, central idea, introduction, main points, subpoints, connectives, conclusion, and bibliography of a speech.

By outlining you make sure:

related ideas are together
your thoughts flow from one to another
the structure of your speech is coherent

2 kinds of outlines

Detailed preparation outline
Brief speaking outline