Speaking in front of a crowd can be scary. In fact, research has found that glossophobia - the fear of public speaking - is the most common phobia among Americans, ahead of thanatophobia - the fear of death.
As Jerry Seinfeld points out in his stand-up routine, this means the average person going to a funeral "would rather be in the casket than give the eulogy." Many people are scared of public speaking.
Others would rather climb a tall building and raise a flag on top than speaking in public.
But public speaking doesn't have to be so scary. My friend, It’s not that scary as you think! Don’t worry, I’m here to help you!
When we talk about public speaking it involves a single speaker and an audience. The speaker is tasked to deliver a message or a speech of general interest to the audience. Speeches can be classified according to purpose and delivery. According to purpose, speeches can be informative, persuasive, or entertaining.
THE PURPOSE OF PUBLIC SPEAKING
1. To INFORM
is to give new ideas for others to learn or to expand their knowledge about a topic which they are already familiar. It is also called expository speech.
Types of Informative Speeches
a. Description speech – This provides a vivid picture of a person, a place, an object, or an event. It creates a clear picture of a subject in the minds of the audience using sensory details (i.e., sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste).
Examples of speech topics for a descriptive speech are describing the person who influenced you the most, the symptoms of a rare genetic disorder like progeria, and the magnificence of the Northern Lights.
b. Definition speech – This explains a concept, term, or an abstract topic (e.g., idea, principle, philosophy). It tells the audience what something is using facts, the etymology of the concept or word, classification, examples, or other details.
Examples of speech topics for a definition speech are explaining the effects of global warming, the concept of realism, and the term net cash flow in the business.
c. Demonstration speech – This presents information about how to do something or how something is done. It gives the audience detailed information of a certain process in order to achieve a particular task or information about how something happens.
Examples of speech topics for a demonstration speech are explaining how to operate a vote-counting machine, how toothpaste is made, and how to apply for a student loan.
2. To ENTERTAIN
An entertainment speech aims to amuse audience members and put them in a jovial mood. Although it can also inform or persuade, its primary focus is to entertain an audience or create a pleasant or interesting diversion.
It is important to note, however, that an entertainment speech does not need to be funny all the time and all throughout. It should be interesting enough to hold the attention of the audience members, and it should create an enjoyable experience for them.
3. To PERSUADE
A persuasive speech aims to influence the audience to accept the speaker’s position or stand on an issue. The speaker attempts to convince the audience members to adopt his or her way of thinking or change the way they think about things. Also, a persuasive speech is designed to urge the audience to take a particular action.
A speaker seeks to persuade the audience to start doing the action now. Sales pitches, political campaign talks, business presentations, and debates are forms of persuasive speech.