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Chapter 1. Introducing Public Speaking. Introduction to public speaking: Introduction. Effective public speaking can inspire, persuade, educate, and entertain. Because of this public speaking is a required course at many colleges.

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Chapter 1

Introducing Public Speaking


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Introduction to public speaking: Introduction

  • Effective public speaking can inspire, persuade, educate, and entertain.

  • Because of this public speaking is a required course at many colleges.

  • Despite this, many employers report a lack of public speaking skills among job candidates.

  • You can learn to overcome speech anxiety and master public speaking just like you would learn to read, ride a bicycle, develop or another skill.



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Introduction to public speaking:An overview

  • This introduction to public speaking reviews:

    • What is public speaking? What distinguishes it from other types of speech?

    • Why study public speaking?

    • Public speaking: a great tradition

    • Public speaking: a dynamic discipline


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What is public speaking?

  • Public speaking features communication between a speaker and his or her audience.

    • The speaker does most of the talking.

    • The audience gives feedback.


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What is public speaking?

  • Public speaking is audience centered.

  • Good speakers:

    • Consider audience's interest and needs

    • Adapt to the occasion


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What is public speaking?

  • Public speaking emphasizes the spoken word.

    • Visual aids assist the speaker; they are not the sole focus.

    • Good speakers use non-vocal elements of delivery to communicate.


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What is public speaking?

  • Public speaking is usually a prepared presentation.

    • The best speakers spend significant time preparing.

    • Even impromptu speeches typically piece together a string of relevant ideas.


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Why study public speaking?

  • Studying public speaking can help you deliver effective presentations in the classroom, on the job, and in your community.


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Why study public speaking?

  • Using Public Speaking as a Student

    • Many courses require speeches.

    • Well prepared and delivered speeches make a better impression on the professor and the class.

    • Extracurricular groups often have a public speaking component.


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Why study public speaking?

  • Using Public Speaking in Your Career

    • Employers cite communication skills as the most important quality for a job candidate.

    • Workers report that communication is important in their jobs.


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Why study public speaking?

  • Using Public Speaking in Your Community

    • Membership in community organizations may require speaking.

    • Community leadership certainly will require speaking.



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Public speaking: A great tradition

  • There is a great tradition of the study of speaking in antiquity.

  • In 5th century B.C.E. Greece, speaking at assembly gave rise to the first formal studies of rhetoric, the craft of public speaking.

    • Aristotle formalized the analysis of rhetoric.

    • His work influences the study of public speaking today.


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Public speaking: A great tradition

  • In 1st century B.C.E. Rome, vigorous debate took place in the Senate.

    • Cicero was a Senator and famous orator whose writings on rhetoric remain important.

    • Quintilian emphasized the notion of the ethical orator—a good person speaking well.


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Public speaking: A great tradition

  • Historically, public speaking was studied across the globe.

    • From the 5th through the 3rd Century B.C.E., traveling scholars debated philosophies throughout ancient China.

    • Traveling storytellers and Islamic scholars spoke throughout Africa in the 15th Century.

    • Many Native Americans prized oratory over bravery in battle.



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Public speaking: A great tradition

  • The tradition of public speaking flourished in American history.

    • The Great Awakening of the 1730s-1740s was an oratorical religious revival.

    • George Whitfield spoke in fields because churches weren't big enough.

    • Jonathan Edwards made worshippers shriek in fright with “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” in 1741.

    • Recently, the “Promise Keepers” filled football stadiums to hear speeches on family and religion.


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Public speaking: A great tradition

  • There were many key speaking opportunities in revolutionary America.

    • The Boston Tea Party is a well-known instance of colonists speaking out in protest of taxation.

    • There were numerous political debates around the framing of the Constitution.


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Public speaking: A great tradition

  • The antislavery movement was one of great oratory.

    • The Lincoln-Douglas debates before the Civil War drew massive crowds.

    • Frederick Douglass moved audiences with accounts of life under slavery.

    • Abolitionist Angelina Grimké won adherents with her tales of slave abuse in South Carolina


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Public speaking: A great tradition

  • The women's suffrage movement emerged at the same time.

    • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and others led the movement.

    • They used oratory to persuade Americans that women deserved the vote.


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Public speaking: A great tradition

  • Public address flourished in the 20th century.

    • After World War I President Wilson traveled through the U.S. to promote his League of Nations idea.

    • In 1963, Martin Luther King brought 250,000 to the capitol with his March on Washington and his “I Have A Dream” speech.


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Public speaking: A great tradition

  • Today, it may seem as if speaking is less important.

    • We are more likely communicate now by cell phone or text message than to listen to a speech.

    • However, after the attacks of September 11, 2001, millions of people felt it crucial to hear the President speak about the tragedy.



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Public speaking: A dynamic discipline

  • From Linear to Transactional: Evolving Views of the Public Speaking Process

    • The linear model emphasized a source encoding a message through a channel impeded by noise to a decoding receiver.


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Public speaking: A dynamic discipline

  • From Linear to Transactional: Evolving Views of the Public Speaking Process

    • Recent models stress the idea of transaction: both parties are in communication, sending and receiving messages and feedback, and creating shared meaning.


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Public speaking: A dynamic discipline

  • Awareness of Audiences’ Cultural Diversity

  • There is increasing cultural diversity in the United States.

    • Culture is the traditions, values, and rules for living that people pass from generation to generation.

    • Increasingly, Americans come from other countries, bringing cultural diversity.


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Public speaking: A dynamic discipline

  • Awareness of Audiences’ Cultural Diversity

  • Because of the diversity of cultures, it is unlikely people you interact with share the same worldviews and values.

    • We must adapt the way we use humor.

    • We must adjust our understandings of how audiences express feedback.

    • The recent immigration debates illustrate the complexity of this issue.


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Public speaking: A dynamic discipline

  • Emphasis on Critical Thinking

    • You should feel confident that all the ideas you present to an audience are reasonable.

    • You should always evaluate the truth claims you make.



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Public speaking: A dynamic discipline

  • The Increasing Importance of Ethics

  • Unethical communication seems to have increased.

    • In recent years, journalists covered politicians and CEOs lying to the American public.

    • 1/3 of adults do not consider the traditionally reliable figures of doctors and clergy as credible.


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Public speaking: A dynamic discipline

  • It is thus even more important that we treat our audiences ethically.

  • The persuasive power of public speaking comes with responsibilities.

    • Always tell the truth.

    • Provide balanced, accurate information.

    • Avoid manipulative reasoning.

    • Supply proper support for your argument.


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