My Public Speaking Experience

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“All the great speakers were bad speakers at first” -Ralph Waldo Emerson. Throughout my first semester of college, I recognize the importance of a liberal arts education and how public speaking is a huge contributor to being successful. I developed skills in speaking, visual aids, audience analysis & speaking ethically and responsibly, effective listening, being a respectful group member, and developing ideas with credible forms of support.
Speaking Skills Previous to taking Communications, I had a small amount of public speaking experience. I had given lengthy class presentations but I was never taught proper techniques to enhance or clarify my ideas. My concerns as the class drew nearer was my horrible habit of using “filler words” (like
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I never realized just how important they can be to enhance or harm a speech previous to this course. From the textbook Public Speaking Handbook (2016), “A speech should be more than just what a speaker says with a few PowerPoint slides or other visual aids added as an afterthought” (Beebe 305). I believe it is important to picture the aids as a part of the speech rather than a separate entity. It is irritating when the presenter separates visuals with words and their visuals do not contribute to the idea being conveyed. Visuals can engage the audience and help solidify knowledge to the audience. A great presentation consists of “easy to see, simple, use the right presentation aid, and make sure not to use dangerous or illegal aids” (Beebe 307). In this course, I was taught when it was appropriate to use aids, how to utilize visual aids as a tool, how to analyze the audience, the speaking room and how it contributes to the aid, and deciding the most beneficial approach to choosing the final aid. In my persuasive speech I decided to add a video to contribute to credibility. I was sure to not talk during the video because it would be distracting to the audience. Watching a video of the president of the United States appealing a law added to the credibility and the video proof was a contributing factor to the success of the speech. Visuals are not always appropriate. In my toast, …show more content…
It is crucial to, “try to find out as much possible about your audience before planning your speech” (Beebe 98). Factors that can determine appropriation is the audiences gender, race, age, ethnicity, religion, or values. It is also beneficial in a persuasive speech to know where the audience initially stands in terms of the speaker’s topic. Prior to the class I never considered my audiences’ background and what relationship it might have to my speech. I think it is challenging to discuss “touchy” subjects even if the speaker is passionate about it. Speeches about LGBT rights, abortion, war, etc., can offend the audience depending on their background and how the speaker presents the information. What I can take from this lesson can be applied in life. As a teacher I will encounter students of diverse backgrounds and it is my responsibility to filter what I say to respect them and how they see me. Evidence of my efforts to speak ethically and responsibility can be found in my first speech, the Me Bag Speech. I avoided controversial items that would make my audience uncomfortable because I did not know my peers well

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