Brief public speaking tutorial

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From Russia

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The information necessary for rapid independent mastering of the basics of public speaking is briefly and essentially presented. Specific advice is given: what needs to be done, and what should not be done in any case. The book is primarily necessary for those who plan to make a career in any field, for students, teachers and anyone who wants to quickly improve their rhetorical skills and learn to speak more convincingly and effectively.

Keywords: oratory, speech.

Author – Zaitsev Sergey Vladimirovich – Candidate of Physical and mathematical Sciences, has extensive experience in teaching, public speaking, author of more than 70 scientific papers, 13 inventions.


“Pleasant, well-spoken speeches

Fill the heart with joy

Only rarely-rarely does anyone know

When what to say”

Hala Sattasai

The preface

Bereadter Mund geht nicht zugrund”

With eloquent language will not be lost.

(German proverb)

What is the purpose of any speaker? – to find like-minded people among the listeners and encourage them to take some action. When used correctly, the power of the word is enormous. A well-spoken word was enough to stop a fleeing army, turn defeat into victory, create or destroy great empires. Nowadays, the ability to speak well makes any person much more in demand both in normal communication and when applying for a job, and many other situations. However, with the modern rhythm of life, people do not have time to read multi-page studies on this topic. Therefore, there is a need for this book, where only the most important thoughts on this matter are carefully selected.

The individual man is weak. And only through joint efforts with other people can he achieve significant results. To convince others that it is beneficial for them to help him, each person has to act as a speaker. If you fail to get other people interested in your idea, then your business is unlikely to budge. The Bible says, “Man is filled with the fruits of his mouth.” Napoleon believed that a person who could not speak would not make a career. If things are going badly for you, it means that you do not know how to contact and establish relationships with people around you. And contacts are primarily speech interaction. Some do it better, others do it worse. Is it possible to learn this, or is a special innate talent needed here? Try to read this book to the end, and I’m sure your answer will be positive.

Unfortunately, most educational institutions do not teach public speaking. Therefore, you often have to master it yourself. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the “ancestral experience”, which is presented in a concentrated form in this book. But no book, even the best one, will do much if you don’t constantly practice public speaking. The shortest way to the goal here is practice. To perform well, you need to perform a lot. Just like the abilities of a commander develop only on the battlefield, although they need good books on the art of war.

But there are a lot of books on public speaking written. Why another one? The fact is that there are too many of them. And life shows that 80% of anything can be reduced almost without damage, and even with benefits for the cause.


“The wise man knows what he is saying. A fool says he knows.”

A Jewish proverb

First, it is necessary to make a decision – whether it is worth speaking at all in the current situation. Very often in life it is better to be silent than to speak. (Only make a speech where it will be useful, where it will leave a lasting mark, like a colored pattern on a carpet.) After all, people regret what they said much more often than what they did not say. Try to answer the following series of questions. Is your performance really necessary? What is its purpose? Is it timely? (“Even if Brihaspati himself took the word at the wrong time – the end of his dignity, he will accept reproach.” Panchatantra). Any, even the most brilliant, but untimely speech is doomed to failure. It is necessary to clearly formulate what you want from the audience, and what they want and expect from you.

In addition, if possible, it is necessary to avoid public speaking on such slippery topics as religion, sex, national issues, politics. It is almost inevitable that there will always be those among the listeners who will not like your words, no matter what you say. In addition, let us recall Confucius: “The one who talks about other people’s shortcomings and his virtues is insignificant.”

Secondly, it is necessary to carefully study the subject of the speech itself. Some “redundancy” of the speaker’s training is necessary so that he knows well not only what he is going to say, but also has a broad erudition in related fields. Only in this case he will be able to confidently improvise, answer any unexpected, acute questions. You need to know almost everything about your subject and a little about everything. This preparatory period of collecting materials can be a lifetime long.

It is important to choose the best way to feed the material. The same question or claim, which can be expressed in various ways, as a result encourages positive actions or calls for a negative reaction. So, some monks asked the church authorities to allow them to smoke during prayer, and others to pray while smoking.

Thirdly, it is necessary to get the maximum possible information about the audience you are going to speak to. Find out her interests, level of education, average age, nationality, degree of religiosity, morals, customs, etc., etc. After all, what will be successful in one audience in another may end in failure.

Many technical details are important: the number of listeners, the size of the audience, the presence of extraneous noise and other distractions, illumination, drafts, temperature, the presence of sound amplifying devices, the presence and type of slide projector, blackboard and chalk, who has the keys to the audience, etc. It is necessary to visit the venue before the performance and personally check the performance of the microphone, projector, computer, your “flash drive”, whether chalk writes well, whether the rag is wet, whether there is a carafe of water for the speaker (preferably a few small bottles of water), whether listeners are notified about the time of the performance, the presence of other attributes. It’s good if you can duplicate some elements. At the same time, you must decide whether to use sound-amplifying equipment. If self-arousal occurs, it is often better to abandon it and just speak louder. In any case, it is better never to take the microphone in your hands, as extraneous noises arise.

Pay attention to how the chairs are arranged in the hall. Try to make sure that the chairs for the latecomers are next to the front door, and they don’t run across the hall. Try to come 15 minutes before the performance, ventilate the hall and eliminate the occurrence of drafts.

Fourth, take care of the structure of your speech. Think about the name of the speech, which should be unusual, entertaining, intriguing, and at the same time, directly related to the needs of listeners and accurately reflect its content. The name should consist of no more than ten words. Remember that no one reads long jokes. There is such a controversial idea that for the name to be attractive, it should contain a hint of one of the seven deadly sins. In addition, it shoul

We should not forget that you will say a good speech only if you yourself “burn” with this topic. As they say, if a horse had something to say, it would say. Churchill believed that the best speaker is the one who, before getting up, does not yet know what and how he will speak.

It is important to find out what time is allotted for you to speak, and to organize your speech so that you do not exceed it in any case. To do this, it is desirable to have a watch in front of your eyes. Usually, no more than 20 minutes are allotted for a speech. But it is better to shorten your speech even more in order to have time to answer questions.

All speakers are nervous before speaking, although to varying degrees. The degree of this excitement is approximately inversely proportional to the labor spent on preparing the speech. The better you know the subject, the less you worry. Before the performance, you should mentally run through his plan, put in order the available visual material. When the speaker realizes that he remembers well all that he will talk about, it will give him cheerfulness. His confidence will immediately increase at the beginning of the lecture, as soon as he feels that he speaks freely, makes an impression and remembers everything that has to be said.

The speaker’s performance in front of the audience is associated with tremendous moral and physical stress. Speakers often lose two or three kilograms during a speech. Therefore, it is very important to prepare well and rest before the performance. It is undesirable to take any sedatives or alcohol before the performance.

THE Beginning of the speech

“The one in whose possession there is reason, honor and knowledge only speaks when there is silence around.”

“The beginning is the half of everything”

Before starting a speech, you need silence in the audience. This can be achieved either by simply waiting for her, or by starting to speak in a low voice. Then, as a rule, listeners fall silent, trying to understand what is happening. Then you start talking at full volume. Before starting a speech, you s

At the beginning of the speech, it is necessary to attract the attention of the audience. Usually, some of the listeners are busy with something else, and have not tuned in to “collective thinking”. Psychologists have found that a person really gets involved in listening to a lecture 7–8 minutes after it starts. Therefore, this time should be devoted to material that does not require increased mental activity. It is necessary to start by no means stencil-like, but with some interesting question, case, situation, naturally related to the topic of the speech. Experienced speakers never express important ideas at the beginning of a speech, because they know that at this stage the audience is still getting used to the speaker.

In the following phrases of the speech, its purpose should be clearly and concisely formulated. Your primary task is to prove the importance of the proposed topic of the speech. If it succeeded, you can already consider the performance a success. Thus, M.V. Lomonosov considered it permissible to spend up to 75% of the speech time on proving its importance. Prove to students the importance of this subject for them, and they will get textbooks themselves and memorize them by heart. Why do many schoolchildren and students study poorly? It is not because they are unable to assimilate the material. The main reason is always that they do not see a specific, immediate benefit from the subject being studied. During the lecture, they get tired not at all from mental work on its material, but from their own efforts to focus their attention, which, with the slightest external influence, spreads in all directions. In the same case, if a person realizes that he receives vital information, he does not get tired for hours and processes it productively.

After you have proved the importance of the topic of the speech, it is necessary to familiarize the audience with its plan. Otherwise, it will give the impression of some chaotic wandering instead of orderly activity.

Then it is reasonable to “probe” the audience. But “you should not check the depth with both feet.” You can, for example, ask a question like “How do you feel about the statement of so-and-so?”. Such “trial arrows” will allow you to make the necessary adjustments to the plan of further performance.

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