Science and Art of Public Speaking
Speaking is an art of verbal communication among human beings. If viewed biologically, it is the symbol of humanity: because it is one of the qualities which distinguish humans from animals. If looked upon psychologically, it constitutes the outlet for the ideas which get collected in the mind; because it is the major way of self- expression. If seen sociologically, it is one of the causes whose effect resulted in society- creation; because it is the most effective source of communication among human beings, and because society is nothing, but an organised group-living through effective communication. It is a fact an all-embracing act of human life.
Public Speaking is a special act of verbal communication, between a person the speaker, and a group of persons, the audience; i.e. it requires for its display, the speaker, the audience and the subject to be discussed, popularly known as “Aristotle said”.
The speakers speaking is equivalent to the writer’s writing; one uses his tongue and vibrates the air, and other uses his pen and vibrates the paper. But speaking is superior to writing in the sense that former is active and direct communication and later is inactive and indirect communication.
According to the idea of the renowned speaker of our times, Dale Carnegie, every man upon the globe has the potential of learning the art of public speaking. It is not an inborn quality, but it is definitely an acquired. Every one highly charged with strong desire to become speaker, and firm determination to undergo the hardship, can merchant with certainty on this highway.
There are two practical aspects of Public Speaking, one its preparation and other its delivery.
The preparation of speech should mainly be carried out by self-thinking. The various ideas should be elaborated by creative thinking upon various aspects of the subjects. But this requires a good deal of knowledge about various subjects and topics in advance, which comes through the study of books and observation in the environment. So the good speaker should have a well-established habit of good study and good observation. A little help for the preparation of speech can be sought from the books and the fellow beings.
Advantages of preparation of speech by the speaker himself with only little consultation from the books are that it will create a sense of belonging to the speech, as it will be his own creation and it will reflect give rise to the sense of confidence in him. Hence speech thus, prepared will offer no difficulty in its delivery.
Morphologically the speech can be divided into three parts, the beginning, the middle and the end. The most important parts of speech are the beginning and end. For the beginning, it should immediately arrest the attention of that audience, and the end should be such that it should have lasting impression on the minds of the audience. The middle of the speech should be used for various arguments etc. In the favor or against the subject as the case may be. The speech should be concise and comprehensive and fortified with qualities of good language. (Good language develops through good reading and good speaking).
As a rule, speech should not be memorized world by because it will spoil “the naturalness” which is an essential element of good delivery. But the beginner until he gains confidence, can do that and also it should not be delivered extemporary because it will be like sailing into an uncharted sea. But some expert’s speakers can do that.
The experience has revealed that the beginning and the end of the speaker should be memorized; and so far as the middle is concerned, it should be prepared well, but should not be memorized word by word and should be delivered according to the circumstances about the time of speech and be manipulated at will.
The delivery is most important the preparation because it’s the actual and material manifestation of the art. Improperly prepared speech if delivered in a proper way is more successful than properly prepared speech and delivered in an improper way.
The central principle governing the delivery of the speech is “naturalness” every sort of artificially should be avoided, and it should be delivered as if one’s speaking spontaneously and without imitation. It should be executed as if one’s really communicating one’s sincere message to the audience.
Successful speech is not merely the mechanical utterance of words but it is accompanied by emotions. But the expression of emotions should be very controlled and managed, and there should be no underacting or overacting. The problem that, what to extend bodily movements and facial expressions should be executed, is automatically solved if the principle of naturalness is followed in speech delivery. Naturalness in speech delivery is achieved by practice and experience.
Due to attention should be given to the control and management of the pitch of voice, the pauses and the varying speed of speech. For the beginner the greater problems to overcome the audience fear, which he feels because of the lack of confidence in him. The confidence can be developed by proper preparation of the speech, effective self-suggestion and most important of all the practice. Practice makes man perfect aptly applies here. The experience in the field of speaking will bring to the speaker the unparalleled conference and dexterity.
Aristotle defined speaking as an “art of stimulating and persuading. So far as the usefulness of the arts concerned, the definition is the most perfect, because it is an effective means of motivating a group of people for some purpose. It’s the most effective weapon for winning the attitude of society, history is brought with the enumerable example.
Thullius Cicero of Rome did use this art for political and social purposes in first century B.C, and Edmend Burke of England did the same in eighteenth century A.D.
This art is unique in that, it is the Hallmark of political and social leadership. It is practical politicians and social leader’s most effective weapon.
Political and social success is no problem for the person who is well versed in this art.
It is, in fact, a shortcut to political and social distinction.
In short, at the time of the speech, there should be values and ethics.