The Public Speaking Pyramid

Ancient Egyptians believed that the shape of a pyramid was very important and sacred because the triangular shape would help guide the deceased’s body toward the stars into the afterlife. While this belief has long since disappeared, the idea of a structure guiding people in a specific direction toward greatness has remained.

The bottom level of the effective public-speaking pyramid is Public Speaking Foundations, which includes speech purpose, topic selection, and audience analysis. The next level is Speech Preparation, which includes research, organize, and support. The top level is Speech Practice, which includes verbal delivery and nonverbal delivery.

Figure 1. Public Speaking Pyramid

In this brief appendix, we hope to start you on the path toward effective public speaking. To help us understand the basic process of public speaking, we have chosen to use a pyramid-based model of public speaking. The rest of this chapter is going to briefly explain the basic public speaking process. We hope that this chapter will provide a simple overview of public speaking to help you develop your first speech. Each of the concepts explored in this chapter is fully developed elsewhere in Stand Up, Speak Out, so don’t assume that this one chapter covers everything you need to know.