At the end of this chapter, learners will be able to:
- Identify the different methods of speech delivery.
- Identify key elements in preparing to deliver a speech.
- Explain the benefits of delivery-related behaviours.
- Utilize specific techniques to enhance speech delivery.
Abe has spent weeks doing research and crafting a strong, well-prepared, researched presentation. On the day she gets in front of the finance team, she makes a few mistakes because of nerves. While she may view it as a complete failure, her audience will have gotten a lot of good information, and most likely written off her mistakes due to nerves (surely they would be nervous in the same situation!).
Abe’s colleague, Chris, on the other hand, does almost no preparation for his presentation, but, being charming and comfortable in front of a crowd, smiles a lot while providing virtually nothing of substance. The audience takeaway from Chris’s speech is, “I have no idea what he was talking about” and other feelings ranging from “He’s good in front of an audience” to “I don’t trust him.”
As you read this chapter, consider strategies that Abe might use to reduce her nervousness, and ways that Chris might be better prepared for his presentations.
Many surveys have shown that public speaking is at the top of the list of fears for most people, sometimes higher on the list than death. Rarely is one afraid of writing a speech or conducting the research – but it’s a completely different story when it comes to delivering it. The irony is that the few minutes spent on delivery is the thing people fear the most despite it being the aspect of public speaking requiring the least amount of time.
Watch this 15 minute TEDtalks video: Why People Fear Public Speaking with Dave Guin
“38. Introduction” from Communication for Business Professionals by eCampusOntario is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.