Putting It Together: Introduction to Public Speaking

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this module! Here are some of the key concepts we discussed:

  • Practicing and improving your public speaking skills will lead to tangible benefits in your school, work, and personal life. Oral communication skill is consistently one of the top-rated competencies for the modern workplace.
  • Although it may seem pretty straightforward, communication is actually a dynamic process involving a complex, simultaneous interaction of communicators and their environment.
  • You may have more experience with academic writing than with formal speech. Don’t be fooled into thinking that writing a speech is the same as writing a paper!
  • Most public speaking scenarios will fulfill one of four goals: inform the audience; persuade the audience; entertain the audience; or commemorate a person, occasion, or event.
  • Fear of public speaking is one of the most common fears out there. Many of the effects you feel when you’re nervous about speaking are physiological effects based on the body’s fight-or-flight response.
  • Communication anxiety—and the physical effects that accompany it—can be reduced through various relaxation techniques. And, more importantly, by practice and preparation.
  • Public speaking can be an important way to practice civic agency—using one’s voice to create social change.
  • Public speaking must be understood within its social and cultural context.