Public Speaking Skills

An Insight into Public Speaking

In this new century, communication is the key to success. It provides a benefit for keeping up with the quick speed of the times. Certainly, public speaking advances this objective.

Today's perspectives are diverse and frequently divisive, which has raised the demand for public speaking. People must express their opinions for society to work properly.

Public speaking has played a crucial role in establishing and maintaining a democratic society and way of life for roughly four thousand years. It has a significant impact on practically every element of life, including how we act and think. Additionally, it is employed in court hearings, congress, and even in a classroom.

Speaking in front of an audience can occasionally be difficult, if not embarrassing. This is true for everyone, even for highly respected individuals like academics, doctors, artists, and business people. When speaking in front of an audience, they could hesitate, which is frequently accompanied by sweaty palms, stuttering, and the tip-of-the-tongue phenomena. These conundrums frequently result in tremendous difficulties for the speaker (particularly with self-expression) and undesirable outcomes for the audience.

You likely purchased this book because you need helpful advice for a speech you will be giving shortly. Or maybe you noticed the connection between success and excellent communication and understood how this could benefit you. I was hoping this book would accomplish that.

In order to help you become a better public speaker, technical phrases and jargon are explained here in a friendly manner.

Numerous books have been written about public speaking. However, few actually offer helpful advice. This book seeks to provide readers with straight, helpful information in a way that other books haven't.

People who genuinely enjoy speaking in front of groups but lack the luxury of time to practice have been carefully considered. This will enable you to improve with each subsequent speech and make your next one a terrific one.

It seeks to assist individuals in creating and delivering engaging, understandable, and cogent speeches. This book also makes an effort to address the concerns and queries of the sporadic speaker.

A recap of experiences in public speaking and how they have contributed to success is also included in this book.

Public speaking is also about creating speakers, and eventually good people, as Aristotle stated that "a speaker needs three traits - good sense, good character, and goodwill toward his hearers."

The same standards, such as the rule of preparation, apply whether the speech is short or long.

Speaking well is a habit that comes from preparation.

Some people claim to speak from "inspiration," but in reality, they have spent their entire lives practicing their speeches.

Public speaking and You

Some people speak from birth. majority are not. Therefore, you are not alone if you feel uncomfortable giving speeches and doing so in front of a large group of people.

Anxiety on stage is inevitable. Before every production, actors experience some level of anxiety.

Perhaps you believe public speaking is not necessary for your line of work. This is where you're mistaken since public speaking will ultimately be relevant to your profession in some way, regardless of what it is. Therefore, the emphasis of this chapter is on the importance of public speaking in everyday life as well as certain intricacies of the communication process.

Four General Types of Public Speakers



The Avoider

Make every effort to avoid speaking in front of others. Sometimes avoiders look for jobs that don't need them to do presentations.

The Resister

When invited to talk, she experiences trepidation. This fear could be very great. Although they may not enjoy it, those who refuse must speak in front of others. They speak quite reluctantly when they do.

The Accepter

Although capable at giving presentations, she lacks enthusiasm for them.

Accepters who are accepted occasionally do so and like it. On rare occasions, the presentations can be very compelling and fulfilling.

The Seeker

Always look for speaking opportunities. Aspirants are aware that worry can act as an energizing stimulus during presentations. By speaking frequently, seekers diligently attempt to develop their professional communication abilities and confidence.

What roles can Public Speaking Play in Your Life?

Your success in public speaking may lead to a plethora of options. You can break new ground with its aid. Through personal growth, influence, and career advancements, it can widen your horizons.

  1. Public speaking Improves your Personal Development

Realizing a person's worth is the most important need, according to Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The personal joy that comes with giving speeches helps the speaker appreciate his own worth because of how each effective speech makes him feel.

Particularly when the audience responds favorably, the speaker gains confidence. When invited to speak in front of an audience by a figure of authority, it also lessens fear. A student who detested speaking in front of the class once failed a course five times. But after conducting some independent research on confidence enhancement, he made the decision to try public speaking and was successful. He even offered to do more presentations because he had grown to like the experience.

You can communicate your thoughts in a methodical and powerful way by using public speaking techniques like research, conceptualization, and organizing. As a result, you will be able to explain yourself more clearly. Additionally, you'll develop greater social tolerance. Speaking abilities can give you a bigger voice when you converse with influential people. Lastly, when the audience enthusiastically accepts you, public speaking satisfies your sense of accomplishment. Your level of communication ability and knowledge is demonstrated by this. All of these support your sense of self-worth.

  1. Public speaking Influences Your Society

The society as a whole can gain from the art of communication, not just you. Most governments pay attention to what their constituents have to say; if you have good communication skills, you may speak on behalf of the people and assert your rights.

A public discussion would serve as an illustration of this. Typically, at regularly scheduled meetings, a neighborhood addresses specific problems or potential solutions. Different viewpoints are conveyed during the conversation, and public speaking is clearly interacted with there.

Speaking in public is necessary for people from all walks of life, whether formally or not.

From school children performing in front of their peers, to participants in town meetings, to individuals speaking up about national issues, from a street vendor to a corporate CEO. Really, there is no way to escape public speaking.

  1. Public speaking Advances Your Profession

Your career and, eventually, your finances may benefit from public speaking. Success is typically measured by responses to inquiries like, "How long have you been at your job?" or "Do you have an MBA or a comparable degree?” However, studies have shown that whether a person is frequently requested to give speeches is the best predictor of success in any career. People who deliver more speeches typically earn more money than those who deliver fewer or no talks. Consider this typical engineer. She signed up for a six-week, two-hour a week public speaking course. She received a promotion to senior engineer after two months! Her superior presentations have caught her boss' attention.

Your supervisor will want you to chair meetings and deliver speeches to the staff, subordinates, or clients more frequently the longer you work there and the higher up the organizational ladder you are. The more authority you have over those who report to you, the more you'll need to communicate clearly. According to a manager who once said, "Nearly everyone in the company talks in public or makes a statement at some point or another, from the chairman of the board to the assistant manager of the most obscure department."

Along with large corporations like IBM and General Motors, small businesses and groups around the nation also require employees who are effective public presenters. For instance, consider the high school coach. The school athletes may be forced to use the outdated gym equipment if he cannot persuade the school board that it is necessary.

Similar to this, parents who complain about a school's clothing code but lack persuasion risk having their kids continue to wear uniforms. Fewer customers would purchase products from salespeople if they were unable to describe their offerings in a persuasive sales pitch. The same is true for those who work as nurses, doctors, firefighters, police officers, and other vocations. Even General Motors staff members often get together to make decisions that they will formally present to management.

The bottom truth is that you will run into situations where you must speak in front of others, regardless of the path you choose.

Your First Speech

Consider that you are in a classroom. Who do you consider to be a great speaker? You can choose students who appear intelligent or who frequently recite in class. It's possible that you're mistaken about how confident these people really are. Or perhaps they speak naturally while you do not.

You might be shocked to learn that others probably have the same thoughts about you. They might also think you speak naturally, which makes them envious because they struggle with public speaking anxiety. Public speaking may be a specialty for some, but the majority of people have little knowledge of it.

On the other hand, you could not even be aware of your speaking abilities. It is beneficial to learn by doing and seeing oneself do something. You might be feeling similar to the student who gave his first speech in class.

He had a long speech to prepare. He had begun drafting his speech two weeks before. He struggled to fall asleep at night. In actuality, he had a very restless night before his speech. When he finally delivered his speech and saw the video of it, he discovered that it had not been as horrible as he had anticipated. He didn't exhibit the typical signs of speech anxiety, such as losing consciousness during speech or speaking quietly and hearing laughter from the crowd. He learned from the video that his public speaking had genuinely improved.

If there isn't a video of your speech yet, you can record yourself speaking in front of a mirror.

Preparing Yourself to Speak

These are the fundamental guidelines for public speaking:

- Recognize your unique qualities. Find out about your own knowledge, skills, prejudices, and potential.

- Recognize who your audience is. Think about what the audience is interested in hearing, what piques their curiosity, and what they want to know.

- Acquire knowledge of the predicament. Think about how the environment and other unforeseeable elements might affect how you deliver your speech. Be ready for the audience's reaction. To get the audience to respond the way you want them to, make sure you have a clear aim in mind. Look up additional sources of knowledge. You may have access to more resources to add color to your voice.

-Create a sound justification for your position. To create a strong argument, make sure the objective of your speech is supported by precise and trustworthy data.

-Include organization in your message. Organize your thoughts such that the audience will have no trouble understanding and assimilating them.

-Speak to your audience directly. Ensure that the terminology you use is one that your audience will understand. When giving your speech, keep the occasion in mind.

– Develop self-assurance via practice. You can only deliver your speech effectively with practice. By continuously practicing your presentation, you can master its flow. You will be able to control your words in this manner.

Becoming a Good Public Speaker

You've probably experienced lecturers' tedious lectures. Dull presentations make it abundantly evident that many people place little value on effective talks. Due to their ignorance of the fundamental components of effective communication, some presenters may even be unaware that they are dull or ineffectual. So, in order to avoid this trap, you must keep in mind several fundamental ideas.

1. Respect the variety of the audience

The audience is not to be looked down upon by good speakers. The audience is treated equally in their eyes. They are aware that the listeners come from various backgrounds, so properly interacting with each of them would need to use various techniques.

You need to think about your audience before you really plan a speech. Think about factors like age, gender, and cultural background. What do they know about the subject matter? What principles and beliefs do they hold? You can choose a topic that fits them and format your speech in a way that you believe will be most effective by taking these elements into consideration.

If you are well-prepared for the individual and cultural variations of your audience, the entire encounter will likely be more enjoyable. For instance, would your prepared content be well-received by both male and female listeners? Would the language you use be as familiar to your Hispanic audience as it is to native Americans? Would any of the remarks you make while speaking to the younger generation annoy the elderly? The greater your audience knowledge, the more you may tailor your speech to their needs and increase your chances of engaging them. They would listen to you with ease and you would interact with them better.

2. Know as much as possible about listening.

Effective listening is just as important as good speaking when it comes to communication. It involves both parties. Even if the speaker crafts a flawless speech, it would be pointless if no one in the audience paid attention. Additionally, learn how to "listen" to your audience's gestural responses. How at ease or uneasy they appear says a lot about their interest or understanding.

3. Organize carefully to improve understanding and recall.

Presentations that have connected concepts that flow naturally are called from one concept to another. It is effective because the audience can understand your ideas and won't become lost in the process.

A speech should have the following three components:

-Introduction: Draw your audience in, pique their interest, and give them background information on your subject.

-Body: Start with your main ideas. Keep them organized and assist them as much as you can with visual and verbal aids.

-Conclusion: Provide a summary of all your points and tie them all together in a way that will make an impression on your audience and help them remember what you had to say.

4. Use Language effectively.

Keep it brief. Your speech will be more compelling and forceful if you use simpler terminology. A single idea is expressed in too many words will simply confuse the audience and weaken your case. Your audience will remember what you have to say if you keep it succinct yet correct, and they will value it.

5. Sound natural and enthusiastic.

The issue with novices is that they either memorize the speech word-for-word or rely excessively on flashcards for their notes. These might cause the speaker to sound artificial. To get people to listen to you more, just talk naturally to them.

Being genuine and enthusiastic would make it feel like talking about a topic you both enjoy with your pals. Basically, try to speak without using a "speaking disguise." Think of it as a normal talk with your typical friends.

6. Use High-Quality visual aids.

A basic text with images and important phrases serves as an illustration of visual aid. Visual aids are often anything that supports your speech. It will greatly aid in helping your audience grasp and quickly follow the flow of your ideas. Additionally, it lends your speech credibility, which makes you feel more at ease and assured throughout. However, steer clear of creating subpar images because they work more as a diversion than support. Give the visual preparations the same consideration as the spoken preparation.

7. Give only ethical speeches.

Precision is essential. If the information you provide is inaccurate or ambiguous, it will be challenging for your audience to make wise decisions. To ensure veracity and clarity, conduct research. Be careful not to exaggerate or falsify your details. Additionally, avoid manipulation, deceit, pressure, or coercion when trying to persuade someone. Create persuasive arguments using sound reasoning and verifiable data. This type of persuasion is moral. Falsified information is unethical because it discourages listeners from making wise decisions.

The main goal of effective speakers is to persuade the audience to adopt new views, values, or attitudes.

Inculcate Confidence While Speaking

No matter how engaged in or confident we are in public speaking, nervousness will always exist. Particularly as the speech day approaches, we feel it. We begin to pose uncomfortable queries that make our stomachs turn. Will the audience like me, for instance? Will I be unable to think when I speak? Is my preparation sufficient?

You are not alone if the idea of giving a speech makes you anxious! A well cited survey found that people are more terrified of public speaking than they are of passing away. Folks who are really nervous when speaking are significantly less conversant than more chatty, confident people.

People are perceived as more competent when they speak with confidence. They also do better at job interviews and are more likely to get promoted than persons who are uneasy.

Anxiety leaves a bad impression whereas confidence makes a good one. Three forms of communication—verbal, visual, and vocal—are used when we speak. Despite the fact that our speech delivery may be ordered and clear, the audience will probably notice our negative vocal and physical cues more when we are worried (for example, lack of eye contact, poor posture, hesitant delivery, and strained vocal quality). However, we appear more believable when we are self-assured and coordinate our verbal, visual, and audible cues.

We need to gain more confidence if we want others to take us seriously when we speak and if we want to make a better impression. You'll learn some strategies in this chapter for controlling speech phobia so that you can deliver your messages more assuredly and competently.

You need to comprehend it for a number of reasons, whether you call it communication apprehension, stage fright, or speech anxiety. First, speaking with anxiety might make you incapable. Second, false beliefs about it can make you feel more anxious. Finally, learning how to control speech anxiety might help you feel less nervous.

Factors Contributing to Speech Anxiety

Since individuals have been communicating with one another, speech anxiety has existed.

Most presenters who have dealt with speech anxiety understand how crucial it is to maintain composure and confidence while speaking.

While some people become anxious when speaking, others remain cool and collected.

Each person has different triggers for speech anxiety. However, universal factors apply to everyone.

The first step in effectively managing speech anxiety is understanding its causes.

Nearly all of us are impacted by a variety of anxiety-provoking factors, including:

-Inadequate planning

- Improper expectations of oneself

-Fear of assessment

-Excessive introspection

-Audience anxiety

-Not understanding the responses of our bodies

Strategies for Managing Speech Anxiety

Each speaker needs to be aware of the various anxiety management techniques accessible. As you deliver speeches, you develop techniques that are particularly effective for you. Let's examine some techniques that many speakers have found to be quite successful.

1. Be well prepared and Practice your speech.

Knowing that you are ill-prepared can make you feel more worried than anything else. After all, isn't the main source of your fear making a fool of yourself in front of your audience? Poor planning will ensure this.

To thoroughly prepare, try to identify your audience beforehand (if at all possible), then tailor your speech and visual aids to this particular audience. Next, make notes that are simple to follow. Practice your speech with these notes three or more times, shouting out louder each time. It is not the same as actually speaking in front of an audience to mentally prepare your speech. If you plan to stand during your speech, for instance, practice standing. Practice employing visual aids if you plan to use them. Time yourself as you rehearse to see if you need to shorten or lengthen the speech.

Finally, anticipate questions that might arise and be ready with responses. Much of your anxiety will be relieved once you realize that you are properly prepared.

2. Warm up First.

Similar to how musicians warm up their fingers, singers warm up their vocals, and athletes warm up their muscles before a performance, so do speakers. You should warm up your voice and relax your muscles before giving a speech. You can achieve this using a variety of methods. Try singing up and down the scale, as vocalists do before a concert, for example. Change your volume, pitch, rate, and quality as you read aloud a note or a page from a book. Stretch your muscles by moving your head side to side and touching your toes. Practice varied hand signals, such as pointing, hammering, and shrugging. These warm-up activities can help you unwind and ensure that you are ready to perform at your very best, just like they do for musicians and sports.

3. Use Deep breathing

The practice of deep breathing is one quick technique to reduce anxiety. To do this, inhale deeply through your nose, hold it for five counts, and then gently let it out through your mouth. Imagine that as you breathe out, the tension and anxiety are slowly evaporating down your arms and out of your fingertips, down your torso and out of your legs, and out of your toes. If more than once is required, repeat the process.

4. Prepare an Introduction that will Relax you and your Audience.

Most presenters discover that they will unwind if they receive a warm response from the crowd. This is why many presenters start off with humor—it makes them and their audience more at ease. Sharing a personal experience is another option if a humorous opening is inappropriate or you don't like comedy. Make your opening moves, whichever you like, so that you can remain at ease during your speech.

5. Focus on Meaning.

Focus your emphasis on communicating your meaning to your audience rather than worrying about how you appear or sound or whether you are impressing your listeners. In other words, make sure your audience understands your concepts and follows the order of your speech. Pay close attention to any nonverbal cues they give you. Explain the idea once more or provide another example if they are perplexed. Speakers who concentrate on the audience quickly lose their nervousness.

6. Use Visual Aids.

Your audience will have an easier time listening if you use visual aids, and you'll feel more confident speaking. They essentially prohibit you from forgetting your main points. Put up your subsequent visual assistance even if you're not sure what to say next. Additionally, incorporating visual aids like flipcharts, posters, or actual items will keep you fully involved in your presentation while also adding eye-catching movements that will make you less conscious of your appearance.

7. Develop a Positive Attitude.

You can create a positive, vivid, and the in-depth mental image of yourself by using positive imagery. You become more assured when you see yourself speaking in public with assurance. Even when no actual circumstance arises, you can generate emotions in your mind—such as pride, for example. Positive images obviously won't help you achieve your goals unless you also plan and practice your speech.

Many areas of life can benefit from having a positive self-image. It can assist us in controlling our anxiety during testing situations, problem-solving sessions, job interviews, or any other situation where we could need a confidence boost.

You need to picture yourself as a successful speaker if you want to be effective at public speaking. If you think of yourself as a nervous or incompetent speaker, no amount of conversation, encouragement, or practice can help you become successful.

Overcoming Your Fear

You will gain from doing so at the start of your speech if you dispel the following two myths:

  1. Effective speakers are born, not produced; trying to become one without a God-given talent is futile.

For the majority of people, it is fruitless to even try to get over feelings of anxiety and fear.

Let's examine each of these erroneous presumptions.

Are Good Speakers Born and not Made?

You wouldn't be reading this book if you didn't genuinely think this. Everyone is born a child, and children are unable to speak. The "born speaker" used this as an excuse for not trying. People who hold this belief merely want to avoid the embarrassment that making a speech error could cause. The adage "practice makes perfect" is true. A speaker is someone who addresses others with a purpose. You were speaking when you first said to your mother, "Mommy, I need a glass of water," when you were two or three years old. Actually, you've been giving presentations since you first learned to speak; the difference is that you didn't treat them then as the awful thing you now label "speech." If you have the following resources, you can improve your speaking abilities:

  1. A voice.

  2. Basic linguistic skills include a functional vocabulary and grammar.

  3. A statement to make.

  4. A desire to communicate your views to others.

These tools have been in use by you for a long time. You've been expressing conversation by chatting to a few people, several times a day, and under these circumstances, you call it "conversation". Speaking in front of a crowd is just communicating to a wider audience.

Just a collection of people make up your audience. Talking to one or two people is simple. Simply imagine public speaking as speaking to a group of people or to a large number of people at once.

Can You Conquer Fear?

There are three ways to overcome fear and make it work in your favor instead of against you:

1. Accept it as nature's way of helping you.

When you recognize that fear is nature's way of keeping you safe and assisting you, you won't need to be scared of it. Acknowledge it. Don't berate yourself for possessing it. We're all afraid. Remember that you are reacting normally whether your nervousness is related to the idea of standing by yourself on stage in front of a large audience or even to walking up on stage to talk.

Before a big match, athletes get anxious, musicians shake before a concert, and actors get stage fright. Experienced presenters can never, and don't want to, completely rid of their anxiety before speaking. An accomplished performer reportedly remarked: "I used to get nervous every time I stood in front of an audience. They fly information now that I know how to make them work for me.

The strongest element of your dread can be eliminated by realizing that it is a typical and normal human reaction; you can stop berating yourself for being out of the ordinary.

According to psychologists, the true barrier is not fear. We feel uncomfortable or useless because we believe fear is inappropriate. What disappoints you is not fear itself, but how you feel about it. We have nothing to fear but fear itself, as Franklin Roosevelt noted in his note on Henry Thoreau's speech. As soon as you grasp this and recognize it, you are on your road to self-mastery.

The natural response to danger, whether real or imagined, is fear. If you appreciate nature's assistance rather than being disappointed by it, it can be a big benefit to you when you are faced with a new or different situation, or when many people are watching you and you don't want to mess up. Adrenaline is added by nature to your bloodstream. Your heart rate and your reflexes quicken. In order to make you more attentive, it raises your blood pressure. It gives you the extra energy you require to perform at your peak. There wouldn't be any more effort absent the anxiousness. Consider fear to be a friend. Know it, and use it effectively.

2. Analyze your Fear.

Your next step toward conquering fear is simple and uncomplicated. Analyze the fear you have. Fear is a defense mechanism. From what are you defending? Your self-esteem is something that worries you. There are just three risks to one's self-esteem in public speaking:

  1. Fear of yourself - Fear of performing poorly or not upholding your sense of self-worth.

  2. Fear of your audience - Concern that you'll be teased or made fun of by the audience.

  3. Fear of your material - fear that you are ill-prepared or lack something intelligent to offer.

Fear of yourself (a) and fear of your audience (b) are very much connected. While trying to please your audience, it's possible to disappoint yourself.

In many cases, aiming for audience acceptance is preferable since, if you accomplish, you will also be appeasing yourself.

However, you must never compromise your message in an effort to appease your audience. People you know to be very opposed to something may need to hear a message from you from time to time. It takes guts to do this. Be free to disagree. Good Speakers have effectively accomplished this and have done so with pride. Sincere convictions empower a speaker and give a discourse power.

3. Make use of what you have learned.

You now understand that fear—undiscovered nature's weapon—can really aid in your success. You discovered that you were more terrified of yourself, your audience, and your subject matter than of actual fear. Use your expertise right now. Here's how to do it:

a. Hide your negative feelings from others. Hide it if you lack confidence. letting the audience know that it won't be of any assistance to you. Never bring it up. You'll just feel worse as a result of this. Act with assurance. You will pick it up. You'll appear as you feel. Have you heard the story of the fearful boy who once strolled through the cemetery at night? He was OK as long as he strolled leisurely and whistled happily. However, as he moved more quickly, he was tempted to run, and when he did, fear overcame him. Don't yield. Keep your cool and untense. Enjoy your audience as much as your talk.

b. Assess your condition reasonably. Consider the causes of your decision to speak. You were selected as the speaker among other candidates. You were picked because whoever asked you trusted you, otherwise they would not have asked.

You are regarded as a capable, effective speaker. And you are knowledgeable about the subject. Your audience doesn't know as much about it as you do. Your evaluation shows that you are ready to perform well and that you have an advantage over your listeners. Your audience will be able to see your confidence once you accept this.They will start to

trust you and your communication as a result.

c. Assess your audience reasonably. They desire for you to succeed. Listeners do not love suffering, and they suffer together with a speaker who is having problems delivering. They would much prefer to respond and make criticisms because it would provide a pleasant time. Therefore, put your audience before yourself. Gain their attention, and you'll feel more certain, which will make everyone happy. Another way to say this is to concentrate on delivering your speech with clarity. With this, you will satisfy the audience and accomplish your goal. If you succeed at the first, the second will follow.

d. Assess your material reasonably. The fear of speaking is the easiest to overcome because the answer is straightforward: information and preparation. While preparation and knowledge help to banish fear, they do not in and of themselves guarantee the delivery of an effective speech.

Realizing you don't need to be afraid of yourself, your audience, or your topic is a fantastic place to start. You will quickly claim, "I can do it because I have done it often," as you become more successful at giving speeches.

Preparing Your Speech

Nine Basic Steps in Preparing Your Speech

1. Select your topic.

2. Determine your exact purpose.

3. Identify your speech objective/s.

4. Analyze your audience.

5. Plan and organize your main ideas.

6. Organize your introduction and conclusion.

7. Prepare an outline.

8. Prepare your visual aids effectively.

9. Practice your speech.

Picking a Topic

In some cases, presenters are given a predetermined subject. However, most of the time, you'll be given a general sort of speech and free reign to choose the precise subject. Once you've decided on the style of speech you'll be giving, use these guidelines to help you narrow down your options:

  • Choose a topic you already know a lot about. You will feel much more relaxed and confident talking about something you know about instead of browsing Reader’s Digest and selecting a topic that you know nothing about.

  • Choose a topic you are interested in discussing. You may be well-versed in a variety of subjects, but you might not be very passionate about them. Avert these subjects. A topic that doesn't interest you is difficult to make the audience interested in.

  • Choose a topic that you can make interesting and/or beneficial to your listeners. Before you talk, your audience need not be interested in your subject; nevertheless, after you have finished, they must be. You need to have some idea of your target listeners' interests in order to assess them.

  • Choose a topic that suits the requirements of the assignment. Make sure you are aware of the type of speech, the time restrictions, and any other requirements before selecting your topic. To assist you in coming up with potential themes, you might also want to conduct a self-inventory. What are my intellectual and educational interests? is a question to ask oneself.

  • What do I like to read?

  • What interesting things have I learned from television?

  • What particular courses, or topics covered in courses, have specifically interested me?

  • What are my career goals? What do I hope to do in my life?

  • What are my favorite leisure activities and interests? What things do I do for fun that others might like to learn more about or take part in? What are my career goals? What do I hope to do in my life?

  • What personal and social concerns are significant to me?

  • What is going on in my life that bothers or affects me?

  • What is happening outside my immediate world that is unfair, unjust, or in need of improvement?

Narrowing Down the Topic

After deciding on your broad subject, you can now focus on it more specifically by taking into account the wants and desires of your listeners. The stages to take when narrowing a topic are as follows:

  1. Choose potential speech topics (from self-inventory).

  2. Consider situational factors.

· Familiarity: Will my listeners be familiar with any information Does that help me select a topic?

· Current events: Can I select a topic to emphasize current events that may be of significant interest to my audience?

· Audience apathy: Can I encourage my audience to be less apathetic toward vents that are totally relevant to me?

· Time limits: Do I have enough time to discuss the topic sufficiently?

1. Consider audience factors.

· Previous knowledge: What do my listeners already know?

· Common experiences: What common experiences have my listeners encountered?

· Common interests: Where do my interests and my listeners’ meet?

· Relevant diverse factors: How diverse are my listeners?

2. Choose a rudimentary topic.

You may see some examples of narrowing down below.





Career choices

careers of alumni from prestigious American universities

in the previous five years, the careers of graduates of the best American universities

elements influencing Wharton School of Business MBA graduates' career decisions during the past five years

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asian security issues

terrorism's Southeast Asian antecedents

cooperation amongst Southeast Asian states in combating the issues of terrorism that stem from Southeast Asia


housing developments throughout the past ten years