Public speaking is the act of performing in front of a live audience in a formal way in order to inform, entertain and persuade them.
To better understand what I mean, let me give you some practical scenarios for a clear picture of what public speaking is.
- You want to inform your community about the bad effects of smoking on our health, you speak to inform.
- You are called to speak at your friend’s wedding, you want to make the crowd happy as it is a happy event, and in this case, you speak to entertain.
- In the church, you see the minister preaching at the top of his lungs as loud as he could be trying to convince the members to believe and take action of their faith, he is speaking to persuade.
Public speaking is done in different manners and it could be done in a big or small group. It could be in the classroom, gymnasium, park, church or anywhere.
Sometimes, you are not even aware that what you are doing is public speaking. When you open your mouth and speak in public; that is public speaking.
It’s as simple as that.
Not too hard right?
• For students
You always see your teacher speak in front of you; your teacher is delivering daily lessons, your teacher always speaks in public, the public is you, the students. In short, your teacher is a perfect example of public speaking.
• For the professionals who work at a company
During corporate meetings or a pep talk, the boss always gives some words or instruction; that is public speaking.
In business or product presentation, the presenter gives information about the product he is presenting. That again is public speaking.
Although it’s done in a different manner, it is called public speaking.
Five basic elements of public speaking
- The Speaker
- The Message
- The Method
- The Audience
- The Result
In other words, the speaker should consider this question,
“What result is expected from the audience upon the speaker’s delivery of his/her message in the method that he/she chose?”
Public speaking also serves the following:
- Relay of information
- Encouraging people to do something
Through public speaking, community or group discourse can also lead to accomplishing the same goal.