Public Speaking Series by Pearson Education ? Part 1
This is a great series on public speaking by Pearson Education.
Part 1 – Considering the Occasion
Journalists commonly address the questions Who did What? When? Where? Why? and How? The same questions can be starting points for selecting and organizing a topic for an informative speech.
To whom are you speaking?As you begin your talk, it is imperative that you consider carefully your audience. What do they think about you? If you are representing a profession, agency, or organization, what does your audience think about that group?
Have you spoken to this audience in the past? If so, what did you learn about their needs and expectations? If this is a new group to you, how will you establish your rapport and your credibility?
Who: Go to Biography, an online magazine, at http://www.biography.com.
Or consult one of the biographical sources organized by Bob Drucker at http://www.refdesk.com/ by scrolling far down on the right to “Top Reference Tools,” then “Biographies,” then “Columbia Encyclopedia.” Or go directly to this page at http://www.bartleby.com/65/a0.html.
When are you speaking? Will you be the first in a long line of speakers? For symposium presentations or public speaking classes, this is common. If you are the tenth of twenty speakers, you can imagine the fatique that your audience might have.
Will you be the keynote speaker? You can expect that your host will introduce you to the audience. The emcee is expected to warm up the audience and to clarify the purpose of the occasion and to help you establish your credibility.
Another important aspect of public speaking is how long your talk lasts.
Try to end your talk before your audience has stopped listening. Few audience members will complain that a speaker talked too briefly – more will complain that the speaker talked too long.
When: Search the American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress at http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/. Browse 18 categories of diverse historical topics such as Advertising, Cities and Towns, Culture and Folklife, Literature, Sports and Recreation, War and Military. Or, TheHistory.net athttp://www.thehistorynet.com/home.htm, which claims to be the world’s largest history publisher, offers an extensive list of historical magazines and related topics to select.
Where are you speaking? The physical environment is important. Consider carefully the temperature, entrances and exits, and room configuration. What are your lighting requirements? If you plan to use a computer-generated and light projected presentation, you’ll want to ensure that you have command of the lights and the equipment. Generally this requires a special trip to the scene for a dress rehearsal.
Where: Take a virtual tour somewhere with National Geographic Online at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/. Tour by searching any country, or choose from categories such as Adventure and Exploration, Animals and Nature, History and Culture, Maps and Geography. Or, explore another culture through the Cultural Studies project at the Library of Congress at http://memory.loc.gov/frd/cs/cshome.html. Choose a “country study” to learn about its historical setting as well as its social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions.
Why are you speaking? What is the broad goal or purpose of your talk? Are you speaking to entertain, to persuade, or to inform? You’ll want to be clear about your special purpose for talking as well. At the end of your talk, what do you expect your audience to believe, value, support, or do?
Communication experts George Grice and John Skinner suggest that you serve as mentor when you speak to inform; as advocate when you speak to persuade (to convince or to actuate) and as entertainer when you speak to amuse your audience.
Why: Try the “Why Files,” a site funded by the National Science Foundation, at http://whyfiles.news.wisc.edu. Search a key word or review highlighted articles on a broad spectrum of science-related topics involving technological breakthroughs, human behavior and emotions, brain functioning, weather and climate, nuclear power, cancer research, etc. Or, explore questions through Ask Jeeves at http://ask.com where an extensive internet search engine is provided.
What are you speaking about? What is your topic for the presentation? Often, as a perceived expert on a subject, this is a part of your speaking request. Sometimes, you will be invited to talk about anything within your expertise. Click here to learn more about choosing your topic.
What: Encyberpedia is an online encyclopedia at http://www.encyberpedia.com/ency.htm. It offers an atlas, live weather around the world, maps, and search engines, though quite a few links lead to marketing or shopping sites that feature only items to purchase. Or go to Drucker’s My Virtual Encyclopedia at http://www.refdesk.com/. Scroll far down and choose “Top Reference Tools” from menu on right, then “Encyclopedias.” This comprehensive site also includes hundreds of links to newspapers, TV and radio, online publications, Census info, photos, reference and archive materials, as well as how-to, entertainment, and a “potpourri” of specialized info and trivia sites.
How Stuff Works at http://www.howstuffworks.com/ offers featured articles plus a search under categories such as Auto, Science, Entertainment, People, Computer, Electronics, Home, Money, and Travel. So Ya Wanna is available at http://www.soyouwanna.com/index.html. There search under a number of diverse categories such Apartment, Beauty, Education, Entertainment, Etiquette and Custom, Lifestyle, Money, Sports, Technology, Travel, and more.
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Theodore Henderson, DTM – Distinguished Toastmaster
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individuals who want to use biblical principles and Christian faith as a
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Theodore is a Distinguished Toastmaster who
leverages his dynamic corporate background to help clients identify and
target their niche, discover how to make bold, dramatic shifts in their
entrepreneurial life by building a bridge from where they are today to where
they want to go.
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