The true test for this chapter is in the actual presentation of the speech. Like voice and diction, understanding what makes a speech effective without practice is insufficient. Merely knowing the best form for a golf swing is useless unless put into practice; and practice reinforces the knowledge. Comprehending the rules for driving on the road is moot (and/or dangerous) if the rules are not obeyed in practice. The same is true for this chapter. Practicing your speech will make you a more effective speaker!
A speech is poetry: cadence, rhythm, imagery, sweep! A speech reminds us that words, like children, have the power to make dance the dullest beanbag of a heart.
- Develop a list of ten potential speech topics. For each topic, think of a setting in which a speech on that topic might be delivered. Next, determine what type(s) of delivery (manuscript, memorized, impromptu, extemporaneous) would be most appropriate for the topic and setting.
- What three aspects of vocal delivery do you believe are most important to a speaker’s credibility? Explain.
- How might a speaker’s accent affect the audience’s perception of him or her? Illustrate your answer with an example.
- What guidelines did you find most useful in the section about what to wear for your speech?
- How do you perceive speakers who do not make eye contact with their audience? What suggestions would you give these speakers to improve their eye contact?
- What type of equipment is available in the space(s) where you plan to give your speeches? What kinds of presentations can be used with this type of equipment?
- List three methods you would personally use to reduce your anxiety before your speeches.
- What piece of advice from the chapter did you find most useful?
- The prominence of a syllable in terms of loudness, pitch, and/or length.
- The act of producing clear, precise and distinct speech.
- Body Language
- Body stance, gestures and facial expressions.
- A variety of language, cant or jargon that is set apart from other varieties of the same language by grammar, vocabulary or patterns of speech sounds.
- The accent, inflection, intonation and sound quality of a speaker’s voice. Also known as enunciation.
- The formal study and practice of oral delivery, especially as it relates to the performance of voice and gestures.
- Extemporaneous Delivery
- Learning your speech well enough so that you can deliver it from a key word outline.
- Impromptu Speeches
- A speech delivered without previous preparation.
- Variations, turns and slides in pitch to achieve meaning.
- Manuscript Delivery
- Reading the text of a speech word for word.
- Memorized Delivery
- Learning a speech by heart and then delivering it without notes.
- The execution of a speech in front of an audience.
- The highness or lowness of one’s voice or of sound.
- Saying words correctly, with the accurate articulation, stress and intonation, according to conventional or cultural standards.
- A speech form, expression or custom that is characteristic to a particular geographic area.
- The rate, pace, or rhythm of speech.
- The characteristic quality of the sound of one’s voice.
- The particular sound quality (e.g. nasal or breathy) or emotional expression of the voice.
- To say with exactly the same words.
- Vocalized Pauses
- Verbal fillers in speech such as “um,” “uh,” “like,” “and,” or “you know.”