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 What is Public Speaking?

 Importance of Public Speaking

 Selecting a Speech Topic
 Criteria in Selecting a Topic
 Analysing the Audience
 Purpose of a Speech
 Analysing the Setting
 Conducting Research
- level 4 of communication
- 1 person addressing or delivering a
message to an audience of usually
more than 20 people who has assembled
to hear the speaker
Example: delivering a speech
teaching a class
- speaking to an audience in a structured,
deliberate manner intended to inform,
persuade, motivate or entertain
the audience
- the audience will listen, without interrupting
the speaker
Developing Public Speaking skills is
important because…
Daniel Webster (1782-1852)
Remember that…
1. Public Speaking is a “rhetorical” art,
not a “performing” art.
2. People come not to hear how well you
deliver a speech; they come because
they are interested in the
subject matter (content).
3. You are not born with public speaking
skills, it is a skill that you learn and
Where do I begin?
What should I do first?
How do I start?

1. Select the Topic

2. Consider the Purpose
Selecting a
Speech Topic…
Selecting a Speech Topic
1. Not easy to attract an audience.
2. Developed from:
a) Subjects that are important
b) Subjects that are interesting
c) Subjects that you are familiar with

3. Think of things you have had direct

experience with and have knowledge
4. Consider topics you have studied before
or read about.
1. Obesity
2. Selfie
3. The Chinese Caligraphy
4. Laughter is the best medicine
5. Heightism
6. Real wealth is never measured in money
7. Why did the chicken cross the road?
8. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
9. Why some people get so lucky in life?
10.How to build self-confidence
Criteria in Selecting a Topic
1. Appropriateness
 consider whether the topic is suitable to the
 is determined by the occasion, the
audience and the speaker’s
2. Complexity
 consider the complexity of the subject matter
 don’t go beyond what the listeners can
comprehend, nor insult their intelligence
3. Significance
• don’t waste time on trivial (unimportant) issues.
• consider its relevance to the audience.

4. Scope
• bring your topic into focus.
• if the subject is broad, you will be pressured to
cover too much in the given time.
• narrow down the scope.
Analysing the
Analyse the Audience
 Audience analysis – a study of the
intended audience for your speech.

How to analyse the audience?

 By gathering audience demographic data
- age, race, gender, education level, occupation,
language, lifestyles, etc.
Purpose of analysing the audience
 By analysing the audience, it will let you
select a topic that is appropriate for the
 It also helps in audience adaptation –
the process of tailoring (adjusting/altering) the
information suit the audience.
Eg. age/education level level of language
race  language used
Purpose of a Speech…
Purpose of a Speech
There are 4 general purposes of a speech :

a) to inform
b) to persuade
c) to motivate
d) to entertain
a) to inform
 almost all speeches contain information,
but a ‘speech to inform’ purely gives
information only and nothing else
 points are presented objectively, to impart
knowledge and enhance understanding
without trying to persuade or influence
audience to accept your ideas or solutions
 also known as ‘expository speech’ – to
expose, not to interpret information
b) to persuade
 if you were making a speech in court or if
you were a politician, you would probably
be giving a ‘speech to persuade’
 mainly to try to get audience to think
favourably about your points, to think
like you and support you
 still giving information, but would also
lead audience to a particular conclusion
 may probably use both emotions and logic
c) to motivate
 mainly to inspire people or to try to
generate enthusiasm and to move people
to action
 will usually reach audience at the
emotional level and audience become
very charged-up or hyped-up after
d) to entertain
 designed mainly for the sake of amusement
 would not expect audience to learn
anything, but just simply to enjoy the
 also known as ‘after-dinner speech’
 appropriate when audience is in a relaxed
or light-hearted mood
Analysing the Setting…
 Answers to several questions about the setting
should also guide your topic selection and other
parts of the speech planning.

1. What are the special expectations for

the speech?
- every speaking occasion is surrounded by
expectations from the audience
a. motivational seminar – motivation, tips, etc.
b. religious talk – religious issues
2. What is the appropriate length for the
- must choose a topic that is narrow enough to be
accomplished in the time given
- speakers who speak less or more time than the
schedule, may interfere with the program and
lose the respect of both their hosts and their
3. How large will the audience be?
- it may affect how you adapt your material &
how you present the speech

4. Where will the speech be given?

- space affects the speech
- find out & consider the layout of the room as
you plan the speech

5. What equipment is necessary to give

the speech?
- the unavailability of equipment may limit the
topic choice
Selecting the Topic

Six questions to ask before you decide

– Is/Does the topic…

a. too simple or too difficult for the audience?
b. a bore?
c. relevant to the audience?
d. fit the expectations of the audience?
e. too broad for the time allocated?
f. require any equipment?
Conducting Research…
Conducting Research

3 ways of conducting research:

i) Personal knowledge, experience &


ii) Secondary research

iii) Primary research

i) Personal knowledge, experience
& observation

- share your personal knowledge or

experience(s) in your speech
- supplement with careful observation of
certain scenarios or situations
ii) Secondary Research
- locating information about your topic
that has already been discovered by
other people
Eg. books, articles, newspapers, encyclopedias,
Internet, etc.
iii) Primary Research
- conducting your own study to acquire
information for your speech
- more intensive, time consuming &
Eg. survey, interview, experiments
 Verdeber, K. S., Verdeber, R. F. & Sellnow, D. D.
(2010). Communicate. (International Student
13th ed.) Belmont: Wadsworth. (pg. 250 – 265).

 Hasling, J. (2010). The Audience, The Message,

The Speaker. (8th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
(pg. 67 – 71).