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Lesson 1. Introduction to Public Speaking. Effective Public Speakers can…. Good communication skills help you succeed in school and at work, improve your relationships with family and friends, and deal with challenges.

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Lesson 1

Lesson 1

Introduction to Public Speaking

Effective public speakers can
Effective Public Speakers can…

  • Good communication skills help you succeed in school and at work, improve your relationships with family and friends, and deal with challenges.

  • Public speaking skills help you meet new challenges and you are able to :

    • Speak confidently with new people.

    • Choose interesting subjects.

    • Organize a speech that captures the audience’s attention.

    • Participate in serious discussions about school and community issues.

    • Use language properly.

    • Be more sensitive to the opinions of others.

      Persuasive public speakers blend the right arguments with a clear and confident delivery. They are both entertaining and informative. They cleverly use many different kinds of effective techniques, research and know their topics, organize and practice their presentation, and anticipate their opponents’ reactions. You will learn to adapt different speaking techniques to enhance your natural abilities unique only to you.


  • An effective speech should follow a simple structure and have a logical sequence of ideas.

Nonverbal communication skills
Nonverbal communication skills

  • Body language is an important part of the persuasive delivery Unless you are aware of your body language, you may sabotage your speech.

  • Successful public speaking includes:

    • Body positioning and movement

    • Eye contact

    • Gestures

    • Poise

  • To begin a speech:

    • Wait until the audience is ready

    • Make eye contact

    • Relax with a deep breath

    • Be enthusiastic

  • Verbal communication skills
    Verbal communication skills

    • Your vocal delivery—how you present your speech—will influence how your audience hears your message. But what does it mean to speak persuasively? How should you deliver a speech to convince someone?

    • Effective public speaking involves various elements:

      • Volume

      • Rate

      • Emphasis

      • Articulation

      • Organization

      • And, word choice

        ARTICULATION—The Great Debaters clip

    Verbal communication skills1
    Verbal communication skills

    • Letter Groups—slowly repeat each of the following letter groups:

    • www, www, www, www, wdw, www, www, www, wtw, wtw, wtw

    • lll, lll, lwl, lll, lll, ltl, lkl, lll, lwl, lwl, lhl, ltl, lkl, lkl, lwl

    • www, bbb, ddd, www, kgh, ddd, www, kgh, lkl, www, wdw, lwl, wbw, www

    • Tongue Twisters—speaking at a conversational or slightly faster rate of delivery, repeat each of the following tongue twisters three or four times.

    • Six sick slick slim sycamore saplings

    • Three free throws

    • Unique New York

    • Toy boat. Toy boat. Toy boat

    • Lovely lemon liniment

    • Black bug’s blood

    • Preshrunk silk shirt

    • Flash message!

    • Are our oars oak?

    Similarities—articulate each pair of similarly sounding words. Make sure that a listener can hear the difference clearly

    Exercise tomorrow speech
    Exercise– “’tomorrow’ speech”


    • “’Tomorrow’ Speech” Shakespeare

    • Macbeth’s plan to become a ruler of Scotland by assassination has failed. He is under attack at his castle. He realizes that his scheming has achieved nothing and that he has lost everything. He is disgusted by his failure and knows that his end is near.

    • Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow

    • Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

    • To the last syllable of recorded time;

    • And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

    • The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle!

    • Life’s but a waking shadow, a poor player

    • That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

    • And then is heard no more: it is a tale

    • Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

    • Signifying nothing.

    Exercises listening and discussion points
    EXERCISES—LISTENING and discussion points


    • Great Speeches—Are Women Persons? Susan B. Anthony (1873)

    • Read the speech silently. If you do not understand some of the words use in the speech, consult the vocabulary list provided. Then, have another student read the speech to you. Answer the discussion questions at the bottom of the speech.

    • Debate Speech—” The death penalty should be abolished.”

    • A speaker is making a case to prove the topic “The death penalty should be abolished.” Have another student read the speech aloud to you. Listen and take careful notes, as if you were going to answer the main arguments. Answer the discussion questions at the bottom of the speech.

    Final tips for public speaking
    Final tips for public speaking

    • Proper preparation will help reduce speech anxiety.

    • Set realistic goals. Identify the purpose of the speech and what you must do to make it effective.

    • Know your material. Research the topic and understand the information. If you are secure about the information, your confidence will carry over to you performance.

    • Speak extemporaneously and not from memory. If you memorize your speech, you might forget part of it. Understand the information and speak from limited notes. If you know the material, an outline should be sufficient to carry you to and effective end. You might need notes to follow the organization of your presentation, but you ill not need a full written or memorized speech. You should be able to talk about an issue in a natural way.

    • Have a positive attitude. Think positively about yourself, and you will deliver your speech with confidence. Visualize presenting your speech effectively. Finally, do not worry if your audience likes you. Remember, most people fear public speaking and so they think highly of anyone who attempts it.

    • Practice! Practice! Practice!