0709- Principles of Successful Public Speaking

Background reading material for Year 2 Semester 1 PPSD session on September 12, 2007 by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr.

Purposes of public speaking

Public speaking has several purposes. It informs, entertains, inspires, convinces, motivates, teaches, and trains.


Elements of public speaking

Public speaking involves the speaker, the message, the delivery, and listeners.


The speaker

The speaker must have integrity, knowledge, a positive attitude, sensitivity to the audience and the situation, oral skills, self-confidence, self-control, good preparation, energy, sincerity, and credibility (based on physical appearance, posture, gestures, movements, and voice quality).


The message

The message of a successful speech is short, simple, sincere, related to the audience, well prepared, based on knowledge of the subject, innovative, and creative. The topic is narrowed to 2-3 points. The introduction is a concise overview that raises interest and expectations. The body of the speech consists of main points as well as links and transitions to ensure a smooth flow. The conclusion summarizes key ideas, gives a sense of completeness, and appeals to the audience.


The delivery

The language must be clear and appropriate for the topic, situation, and audience. Rehearsing a speech increases the speaker's confidence. The methods of delivery are from memory, by reading manuscript, ex-tempore, and impromptu. Retention is increased by audio-visuals, repetition, periods of silence, audience participation, short and simple speeches, examples and stories, acronyms, memorable quotes, sincerity, appropriate body language and emotion.


The audience

Problems from the audience are heckling, hostility, inattention, and challenges by experts. The speaker must anticipate questions and prepare for them. He must empathize with the questioner and show he understands them.

ŠProfessor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. September 2007