WHAT IS PUBLIC SPEAKING
Public Speaking is the art of being able to entertain, inform, or persuade an audience, either in person or over various media. Vocal and physical presentation skills are needed, as well as the ability to organize and prepare the materials being presented.
Having taught Public Speaking for many years, I can help you. Public speaking gets easier with knowledge and practice. I can take you through an introductory set of lessons and/or evaluate the content and performance of a particular speech. Let me help you make your speech a success.
Do you command attention when you speak?
Do you speak with the energy, emphasis and variety, needed to get your message across?
You need the right vocal technique. It can be learned through understanding your vocal control knobs.
Intensity: Being heard and matching the intensity of your voice to that of your message.
Pitch and Intonation: Maintining pitch and intonation helps maintain your audience's attention and allows them to follow your thoughts clearly. Problems with pitch and/or intonation can make your speech lack energy, importance, and understandability.
Tempo: Varying tempo to the message is important. Many people, out of nervousness, go too fast much of the time, seeming nervous, and making the message seem less important.
Rhythm: This involves emphasizing and punching the right words to make your message clear. It also involves pausing for effect.
Pronunciation: Do you say “fer” instead of “for”? Do you say “git” instead of “get”? If your speech is informal, you may not need to change a thing. If your speech is of a more formal nature, I can help you clean up issues of pronunciation.
Enunciation: Enunciation is how crisply you speak. If you are speaking General American English and you are too soft delivering your consonants it can affect your understandability and can make your speech seem too informal. If you enunciate too strongly, you can sound snobbish.
Quality/Placement of the Voice. This is the type of voice you naturally have (nasal, rich and full bodied, smooth and open, pinched, gravelly, raspy, etc.). If your voice is high pitched and breathy, it may not work as well for some speeches
The content of your speech
Having good vocal and physical techniques are very important. These go hand-in-hand with a well-crafted speech. There are various types and complexities of speeches ranging from small off-the-cuff talks, to fully developed persuasive speeches requiring research and evidence to support an argument. Here are some speech types that come up:
Tribute Speech (or Special Occasion). Paying respect and tribute to a person or persons at an award show, a wedding, or a memorial ceremony.
Informative. Explain something to an audience so they understand it better. For example, a tour guide tells people about the city and its history.
Demonstration. Teach your audience a skill or a process. How to use a new computer program, or how to make a woodworking project.
Persuasive Speech. Present an issue that you strongly believe needs to be addressed, and propose a solution. Present research and solid evidence prove your case to your audience.
In all speeches it is necessary to have structure. You must grab the audience’s attention and preview the main topic of your speech in an introduction. You must then develop your main topic in more detail in the body of the speech. And you must briefly restate your main points, and tie it altogether in your conclusion.
Are you projecting confidence, authority, and connection with your audience?
Are you helping convey your message through gesture and expression?
Your physicality and body language is an aspect of communication as important, if not more so, than what you say, and your vocal presentation.
It has also been proven that people will remember your body language longer than they will remember the way you say something.
Here are some body language things to consider:
Use of gesture
Manner of Dress
In this day and age it is more important than ever to be able to communicate over electronic media. These media require special techniques to make your message as effective as possible. Working on camera can bring your audience closer and create more intimacy and connection -- it can also magnify distracting elements and body language issues. Working on microphones requires certain techniques that make your voice seem just right, rather than distorted or too thin. As both a teacher and practitioner of both voice acting and camera acting, I can help you navigate the aspects of public speaking that are particular to those media.
ELEMENTS THAT DISTRACT
There are many unconscious vocal and physical things people do when speaking that distract from their message. Hair twirling, pushing hair out of face, excessive blinking, not making eye contact, stumbling over words due to rushing, using stalls excessively (“um” “uh”), dropping the energy at the ends of lines, "3 steps to nowhere" (excessive unconscious moving around), and "washing machine" (twisting at the torso), are just some of them. I can help spot and correct these distractive elements.
What I teach is not the same as the services provided by a qualified and licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. The American Speech, Language and Hearing Association states that "Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults. ... These disorders usually happen as a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or dementia, although they can be congenital."