Public Speaking

Why are some speakers more persuasive or effective than others? This question, rooted in classical rhetorical theory, serves as the central question addressed in my workshop on public speaking. The workshop focuses on the process of crafting and delivering a dynamic presentation adapted to a particular speaking situation. The outline below includes many of the topics covered in the workshop.

  •  Plan
    •  Purpose
      •  Determine the reason(s) you are speaking
      •  Determine what you want to accomplish in your presentation
    • Audience
      •  Adapt your presentation to your audience
      • Consider audience demographics (education level, age, culture, etc.)
      •  Consider audience’s beliefs, attitudes and values
  •  Prepare
    •  Invention or Content
      •  Determine what materials to include in the presentation
      •  Determine the main points for the presentation
      •  Select the evidence that supports main and sub-points
      •  Include why the topic / content is important
    •  Arrangement or Organization
      •  Structure the presentation according to the purpose and occasion
      •  Craft a compelling introduction and conclusion
      •  Craft a compelling story (narrative)
      •  Use transitions and signposts to assist the audience in following the presentation
    •  Style or Language
      •  Use language appropriate for the occasion and audience
      •  Use clear, concise and concrete language
  •  Present
    •  Delivery
      •  Maintain eye contact with the audience
      •  Use vocal variety (rate, volume, pitch) during the presentation
      •  Incorporate gestures to convey meaning during the presentation
      •  Use bodily movement to convey meaning during the presentation
      •  Avoid reading or memorizing your presentation
      •  Practice, Practice, Practice
    •  Visual Support
      •  Construct visuals for those sitting in the back of the room
      •  Use appropriate font size, color, and contrast
      •  Use appropriate charts, graphs, images, and tables
      •  Avoid too much text or information on slides
      •  Remember your audience can read
      •  If presentation includes images, audio and/or video, use high quality

The slides from the presentation are below. NOTE: Click on the first image to launch the slideshow in a “lightbox” window.

 

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