What is Public Speaking?

Education Through Leadership Public SpeakingPublic speaking is the process of speaking to a group of people in a structured, deliberate manner intended to inform, influence, or entertain the listeners. It is closely allied to “presenting”, although the latter has more of a commercial connotation.

In public speaking, as in any form of communication, there are five basic elements, often expressed as “who is saying what to whom using what medium with what effects?” The purpose of public speaking can range from simply transmitting information, to motivating people to act, to simply telling a story. Good orators should be able to change the emotions of their listeners, not just inform them. Public speaking can also be considered a discourse community. Interpersonal communication and public speaking have several components that embrace such things as motivational speaking, leadership/personal development, business, customer service, large group communication, and mass communication. Public speaking can be a powerful tool to use for purposes such as motivation, influence, persuasion, informing, translation, or simply entertaining. A confident speaker is more likely to use this as excitement and create effective speech thus increasing their overall ethos.

In current times, public speaking for business and commercial events is often done by professionals, with speakers contracted either independently, through representation by a speakers bureau paid on commission of 25-30%, or via a new crowdsourced model such as the speakerwiki.org website.

The objectives of a public speaker’s presentation can range from simply transmitting information, to motivating people to act, to simply telling a story. Professional public speakers often engage in ongoing training and education to refine their craft. This may include seeking guidance to improve their speaking skills—such as learning better storytelling techniques, for example, or learning how to effectively use humor as a communication tool—as well as continuous research in their topic area of focus.

People who speak publicly in a professional capacity are paid a speaking fee. Professional public speakers may include ex-politicians, sports stars and other public figures. In the case of high profile personalities, the sum can be extraordinary.

The common fear of public speaking is called glossophobia (or, informally, “stage fright”), although many people simply confuse normal nerves and anxiety with a genuine phobia.

Public speaking and oration are sometimes considered some of the most importantly valued skills that an individual can possess. This skill can be used for almost anything. Most great speakers have a natural ability to display the skills and effectiveness that can help to engage and move an audience for whatever purpose. Language and rhetoric use are among two of the most important aspects of public speaking and interpersonal communication. Having knowledge and understanding of the use and purpose of communication can help to make a more effective speaker communicate their message in an effectual way.

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2 Comments to “What is Public Speaking?”

  1. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I am quite sure I’ll learn a lot of new stuff right here! Good luck!

  2. Pretty great information you are sharing.

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