Chapter 18: Preparing and Delivering a Speech

Chapter Learning Outcomes

In this chapter you will:

  1. Explore audience analysis and the components of the speech-design process.
  2. Explore college-level research and finding supporting resources to aid in speech creation.
  3. Explore organizational patterns for speech delivery.
  4. Explore the principles of outlining.
  5. Explore common sources of public speaking anxiety and strategies for addressing anxiety.
  6. Explore methods of speech delivery.
  7. Explore elements of vocal delivery.
  8. Explore the role of physical presence in speech delivery.

Preparing for a Speech or Presentation 

Ancient Greek educators and philosophers wrote the first public speaking texts about 2,400 years ago. Aristotle’s On Rhetoric covers many of the same topics addressed in this unit of the book, including speech organization, audience analysis, and persuasive appeals. Even though these principles have been known for thousands of years and have been taught to millions of students, it’s still a challenge for many people to become skilled public speakers. Oral communication and presentation skills are integral to professional and personal success, yet many students are anxious at the thought of speaking in front of an audience. Speaking anxiety is common and can be addressed. Learning about and practicing public speaking fosters transferable skills that will help you organize your thoughts, outline information, do research, adapt to various audiences, and utilize and understand persuasive techniques. These skills will be useful in other college classes, your career, your personal relationships, and your civic life.

Delivering a Speech

Think of a speech or presentation you have seen that was poorly delivered. How did that affect your view of the speaker and his/her topic? Is a poorly delivered speech more bearable if the information is solid and organized? In most cases, bad delivery distracts us so much from a message that we don’t even evaluate or absorb the information being presented. In short, a well-researched and well-prepared speech is not much without effective delivery. This chapter covers important information about managing public speaking anxiety, choosing the appropriate delivery method, practicing your speech, and employing effective vocal and physical delivery to enhance speaker credibility.

Chapter Acknowledgements

This chapter has been adapted from the following text:

Communication in the Real World by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


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Advanced Professional Communication Copyright © 2021 by Melissa Ashman; Arley Cruthers; eCampusOntario; Ontario Business Faculty; and University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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