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What is public speaking?

In any form of communication, there are five basic elements that are generally expressed as:

Who is saying what, to whom, utilising what medium, with what effects.

Whenever you talk to your friends, parents, children, teachers, in front of the class, or going for a job interview, you are performing the act of public speaking – acts that most people would not consider public speaking! Public speaking is speaking to a group of people in an organised, thoughtful way that is meant to inform, influence, or entertain listeners.

What is the purpose of public speaking?

The purpose of public speaking can vary, whether it’s to inform, persuade, entertain, or inspire. If the goal or purpose is to motivate an audience to take action then telling a story is a great way to enforce the goal of motivating them. For example, you can tell a story about how you took action against a certain issue which ended up with a successful outcome.

Telling stories gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience and show them how you can relate to them and their situation. Skilful speakers should be able to leave the listener in a different emotional state from when they started, as well as inform them. Why public speaking is good for our health and self-esteem.

At some point during the course of our lives, many of us find ourselves in the position where we will need to speak in front of a group of people. Often, people get incredibly nervous the first time they give a speech in front of their peer group, however, teaching you the essential skills for doing this will help you confidently communicate when giving your speech.

Health-wise, individuals often report a lessening of anxiety when they regularly practice presenting to audiences. They report an increase in general confidence as well as a marked sense of achievement. This is particularly highlighted when hearing a person answer a direct question in front of others without panicking.
Through public speaking training you will learn:

Breathing techniques

This helps overcome any anxiety you may have about public speaking. As you progress throughout the course your confidence will build as you learn this skill, which you implement throughout the course of your school life, and will benefit you when you reach adulthood.

To think on your feet

By understanding how to organise your thoughts, express those thoughts into words in a clear and concise way.

Development of your overall fluency

This is achieved during the speaking process as it requires you to consider how you speak, as well as what you say. This is an important tool for speaking in any situation, whether public or otherwise.

Overcome the fear of public speaking

An additional benefit of participating in public speaking programs is that it will help reduce the fear of public speaking. Most people experience some anxiety when engaging in public speaking. One explanation is that people often have little or no exposure to public speaking. By participating in a public speaking program you will become better acquainted with the public speaking process, making you more confident and less hesitant. In addition, you will learn specific strategies for conquering the challenges of speech anxiety.

Developing leadership skills

When speaking in a manner that’s commands the audience’s attention – drawing them in – you’re emotionally connecting with the listener. You’re effectively communicating in a way that can, and does have an enormous effect on people’s lives. One of the best ways to get society to make changes is having the ability to move others to action. If you’re able to master that skill – even when interacting one-on-one – you will be already enhancing one of the main qualities of leadership. Public speaking is leadership and organisations promote people with leadership qualities.

Fine-tuning verbal and non-verbal skills

Fine-tuning an individuals’ verbal and non-verbal communication skills is an additional benefit of learning public speaking skills. By having the opportunity to actively practise communication skills and receive feedback you will become a better overall communicator.