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ORAL PRESENTATION - PUBLIC SPEAKING

Oral presentation which is also called Public Speaking is the exhibition or display of ideas, information, feelings and opinions by using the different sounds of a language. A normal speech situation is informal, impromptu and unrehearsed. So, it perfectly normal for one to experience some kind of nervousness like trembling voice, fear and heavy breathing when one is called to present a speech publicly for the very first time. This however is unacceptable if one cannot overcome such drawbacks in subsequent occasions for public or formal speech making.

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A NOTE OF LECTURE ON ORAL PRESENTATION
(PUBLIC SPEAKING)
Definition
Oral presentation which is also called Public Speaking is the
exhibition or display of ideas, information, feelings and opinions by
using the different sounds of a language. A normal speech situation
is informal, impromptu and unrehearsed. So, it perfectly normal for
one to experience some kind of nervousness like trembling voice, fear
and heavy breathing when one is called to present a speech publicly
for the very first time. This however is unacceptable if one cannot
overcome such drawbacks in subsequent occasions for public or
formal speech making.
Features of Effective Oral Presentation
There are many features and elements that make the art of public
speaking effective. These include:
1. Proper organisation of material for research.
2. Searching for relevant information about the subject matter.
3. Collation of ideas and information.
4. Proper voicing and pronunciation.
5. Effective presentation.
Elements of Public Speaking:
Every speech situation must have three compulsory elements that
clearly define the oral exchange of information.
These elements are:
1. Speaker: this is the one who prepares a talk, lecture, speech etc
which will be delivered orally to a group of gathering.
2. Subject: this it he particular information that will be delivered
by the speaker with participation of the gathering of people.
3. Audience: this is the receiver of the information delivered by
the speaker. The receiver this time is a group of people who either
know about the subject or have no knowledge of it.
Preparing for a Public Speaking:
The planning stage of an endeavour is usually a very important one.
The result of a good planning is often noticed in the final product,
which receives good commendation from people. A good oral
presentation, one that is thorough and well informed, also needs
adequate planning. Some of the steps in preparing for oral
presentation include the following:
a) Topic and purpose.
b) A good knowledge of the occasion and audience.
c) Narrowing the topic.
d) Research and selection of materials.
e) Organisation of materials.
f) Outline of the presentation.
1. Topic and Purpose: determining the topic of a speech to be
delivered is the first step in preparing for an oral presentation. The
practice is that those who invite the speaker may give him a topic or
theme. It is the duty of the speaker to take the topic or theme in this
raw stage and try to work out in his mind what kind of response he
wants from his would-be audience.
2. A good Knowledge of the Occasion and Audience: Most
speech occasions are usually formal and business like. This does not
stop the speaker from finding out more about the occasion. He must
know and analyze the audience taking into consideration their
knowledge about the topic, their interest and the language suitable
for the presentation.
3. Narrowing the Topic: the topic of the presentation may cover
all kinds of interest that may render the speech ineffective and
thereby defeating the aim of the presentation. It is the duty of the
speaker to narrow the topic to a particular area of interest of the
audience. This is why it is necessary that the speaker must be given
adequate notice so as to prepare very well before the day of delivery.
The speaker must prepare his speech to fit into the time allocated for
the purpose and make enough points in that period to sustain the
interest of his audience.
4. Research and Selection of Materials: right from the moment a
speaker is given a topic to speak on at a public or private forum, he
must begin to gather materials on the topic of the speech. Having
determined the kind of reaction he wants from his audience, he sets
out to look for materials that help to develop his topic.
5. Organisation of the Materials: in looking for materials to
develop the topic, the speaker will consult a lot of authors and
authorities depending on the seriousness of the speech. All the
pieces of information gathered from these various sources must be
carefully arranged to suit the presentation.
6. Outline the Presentation: at this stage the speaker makes a
skeletal form of the speech he is going to present. This is a sort of
‘test run’ of the materials he had collated with a view of seeing what
his speech would look like when it is finally ready. This gives him the
opportunity of rehearsing his speech before the public presentation
and being able to re-arrange his points if the need arise in their order
of importance.
Methods of Delivery
An otherwise good presentation can be made nonsense of, if the right
method of delivery is not adopted. The delivery, which is the actual
presentation of a speech, is a combination of many elements like the
voice quality, pronunciation of words, posture, gestures and other
facial expressions. The speaker must be able to master these
elements and other situational factors in order to make the necessary
impact on his audience. The methods of delivery that are very
common are:
1. Reading the speech
2. Speaking from memory
3. The extemporaneous method
4. Impromptu speech
5. Group debate
A. Reading the Speech: this is a method where the speech is
written down and then read word for word. This method is often used
when a speech is being delivered on behalf of another person. It is
also used when the speaker is not really familiar with the subject of
discussion and thus wants to avoid making a mess of a speech that
he had painstakingly prepared for. Speaker also used it when there is
need to stick to time. But, it restricts the speaker to the text before
him and gets the audience restless and bored.
B. Speaking from Memory: this is otherwise called memorized
speech. The speaker having carried out his investigation, has a
speech prepared, commits it to memory and delivers from memory.
But this is more of a recitation, which also leaves the audience
restless and bored. There is also the danger of forgetting parts of the
speech, since human memory can fail at any time.
C. The Extemporaneous Method: this is the most favoured
method of delivery adopted by speakers. The speech is prepared but
the speaker has an outline that helps to streamline his line of
thought. The speaker in his own outline already categorizes the
prepared speech into headings and sub-headings. This leaves room
for maneuvering or adaption to the response of the audience to the
speech. This method also has the advantage of making the delivery
conversational with the speaker directing the trend of events.
D. Impromptu Speech: this method of approach is significantly
different from the other approaches. The other methods usually
involve the speaker making some preparations for the speech
occasion having been given prior notice. But the impromptu speech
does not involve any kind of preparation. Hence, the speaker only
relies on a residual knowledge of the subject to react to the situation
and this does not allow for a good presentation.
E. Group Debate: this method is different from all other methods,
in that, there is no speaker. What we have is an inter-change of ideas
by a group of people who bring their different perspective on a topic.
The beauty of this method is that the audience is left to decide what
the merits and the demerits of the debate issue are.
F. The Combined Approach: this method is a way of tapping from
the advantages of all the different methods. As such, a speaker can
combine two or more methods in delivering his speech while aiming
at optimal impact of the message on the audience. In a single
presentation, he may speak extempore and also read parts of the
prepared text or even speak from memory.
Elements Affecting Delivery
As it is widely known and accepted, a speech is not a success until
the hearers are affected by it either positively or negatively. There are
many elements that affect effective speech delivery. The elements are:
 Visual Aids: some presentation cannot be effective without
visual aids. These aids which include: pictures, diagrams, charts,
tables, slide, projectors, videotape etc. the expert use of these aids
goes a long way in making an oral presentation successful.
 Dress: appreciate dressing is also important in a speech
situation. The dress mode for such occasions is usually formal. The
dress the speaker wears makes an impression on the audience. It
indicates confidence, appropriateness and self-respect. The audience
shows an immediate empathy to the speaker whose dressing is
unobtrusive, neat and pleasing to the eye. A speaker must find the
appropriate dress for every speech occasion.
 Eye Contact: another important element is eye contact. The
speaker should try as much as possible to scrutinize faces at random
in the audience. Maintain eye contact with a few of them. This
makes the speech environment conversational as listeners are made
to feel they are being addressed individually. This will also afford the
speaker the opportunity of knowing how effective his speech is on the
audience.
 Posture: the easiest way to alienate the audience is through the
wrong posture of the speaker. The stance a speaker takes during his
delivery can give him away as either being cocky, unsure of himself
or in tune with his audience. The hand should be by the side, or
holding the papers on the lectern provided, leaning forward a little.
 Movement: movement is also important depending on the size
of the audience. In a small manageable audience, the speaker may
not move around much as members of the audience will easily see
his facial expressions and other bodily movements. This helps the
audience to know the speaker’s own feelings on the subject of
discourse. In a large audience, the speaker may need to take a few
steps from one point to another to give different sections of the
audience a chance of seeing his body movements. The speaker
should avoid fidgeting with objects.
 Gestures: punching the air in rallies, itemizing on the fingers
and others, are gesture that help to convey the feeling or emotion of
the speaker to his audience. This is very necessary as it aids the
transfer of information from speaker to audience. It also helps to
sustain the interest of the audience as they are carried along by all
these impulsive actions that are prompted within.
 Voice: the quality of the voice also enhances or hinders effective
public speaking. A speaker should pitch his voice high enough so
that everyone in the venue can hear him clearly, especially where
there is no provision for a Public Address System (PAS). He must also
able pronounce words very well; it will be useful if the speaker can
practice those sounds where his pronunciation is defective. The
speaker must also control the pitch of his voice to avoid fluctuations,
which may also turn off the audience.
Conclusively, the effective speaker must have a varied number of
qualities like fluency in language, emotional control, and ability
to listen, observe and understand his audience. These will help in
no small measure to make the speech occasion successful.

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ORAL PRESENTATION - PUBLIC SPEAKING

  • 1. A NOTE OF LECTURE ON ORAL PRESENTATION (PUBLIC SPEAKING) Definition Oral presentation which is also called Public Speaking is the exhibition or display of ideas, information, feelings and opinions by using the different sounds of a language. A normal speech situation is informal, impromptu and unrehearsed. So, it perfectly normal for one to experience some kind of nervousness like trembling voice, fear and heavy breathing when one is called to present a speech publicly for the very first time. This however is unacceptable if one cannot overcome such drawbacks in subsequent occasions for public or formal speech making. Features of Effective Oral Presentation There are many features and elements that make the art of public speaking effective. These include: 1. Proper organisation of material for research. 2. Searching for relevant information about the subject matter. 3. Collation of ideas and information. 4. Proper voicing and pronunciation. 5. Effective presentation. Elements of Public Speaking: Every speech situation must have three compulsory elements that clearly define the oral exchange of information. These elements are: 1. Speaker: this is the one who prepares a talk, lecture, speech etc which will be delivered orally to a group of gathering. 2. Subject: this it he particular information that will be delivered by the speaker with participation of the gathering of people. 3. Audience: this is the receiver of the information delivered by the speaker. The receiver this time is a group of people who either know about the subject or have no knowledge of it. Preparing for a Public Speaking: The planning stage of an endeavour is usually a very important one. The result of a good planning is often noticed in the final product, which receives good commendation from people. A good oral presentation, one that is thorough and well informed, also needs
  • 2. adequate planning. Some of the steps in preparing for oral presentation include the following: a) Topic and purpose. b) A good knowledge of the occasion and audience. c) Narrowing the topic. d) Research and selection of materials. e) Organisation of materials. f) Outline of the presentation. 1. Topic and Purpose: determining the topic of a speech to be delivered is the first step in preparing for an oral presentation. The practice is that those who invite the speaker may give him a topic or theme. It is the duty of the speaker to take the topic or theme in this raw stage and try to work out in his mind what kind of response he wants from his would-be audience. 2. A good Knowledge of the Occasion and Audience: Most speech occasions are usually formal and business like. This does not stop the speaker from finding out more about the occasion. He must know and analyze the audience taking into consideration their knowledge about the topic, their interest and the language suitable for the presentation. 3. Narrowing the Topic: the topic of the presentation may cover all kinds of interest that may render the speech ineffective and thereby defeating the aim of the presentation. It is the duty of the speaker to narrow the topic to a particular area of interest of the audience. This is why it is necessary that the speaker must be given adequate notice so as to prepare very well before the day of delivery. The speaker must prepare his speech to fit into the time allocated for the purpose and make enough points in that period to sustain the interest of his audience. 4. Research and Selection of Materials: right from the moment a speaker is given a topic to speak on at a public or private forum, he must begin to gather materials on the topic of the speech. Having determined the kind of reaction he wants from his audience, he sets out to look for materials that help to develop his topic. 5. Organisation of the Materials: in looking for materials to develop the topic, the speaker will consult a lot of authors and authorities depending on the seriousness of the speech. All the pieces of information gathered from these various sources must be carefully arranged to suit the presentation.
  • 3. 6. Outline the Presentation: at this stage the speaker makes a skeletal form of the speech he is going to present. This is a sort of ‘test run’ of the materials he had collated with a view of seeing what his speech would look like when it is finally ready. This gives him the opportunity of rehearsing his speech before the public presentation and being able to re-arrange his points if the need arise in their order of importance. Methods of Delivery An otherwise good presentation can be made nonsense of, if the right method of delivery is not adopted. The delivery, which is the actual presentation of a speech, is a combination of many elements like the voice quality, pronunciation of words, posture, gestures and other facial expressions. The speaker must be able to master these elements and other situational factors in order to make the necessary impact on his audience. The methods of delivery that are very common are: 1. Reading the speech 2. Speaking from memory 3. The extemporaneous method 4. Impromptu speech 5. Group debate A. Reading the Speech: this is a method where the speech is written down and then read word for word. This method is often used when a speech is being delivered on behalf of another person. It is also used when the speaker is not really familiar with the subject of discussion and thus wants to avoid making a mess of a speech that he had painstakingly prepared for. Speaker also used it when there is need to stick to time. But, it restricts the speaker to the text before him and gets the audience restless and bored. B. Speaking from Memory: this is otherwise called memorized speech. The speaker having carried out his investigation, has a speech prepared, commits it to memory and delivers from memory. But this is more of a recitation, which also leaves the audience restless and bored. There is also the danger of forgetting parts of the speech, since human memory can fail at any time. C. The Extemporaneous Method: this is the most favoured method of delivery adopted by speakers. The speech is prepared but the speaker has an outline that helps to streamline his line of
  • 4. thought. The speaker in his own outline already categorizes the prepared speech into headings and sub-headings. This leaves room for maneuvering or adaption to the response of the audience to the speech. This method also has the advantage of making the delivery conversational with the speaker directing the trend of events. D. Impromptu Speech: this method of approach is significantly different from the other approaches. The other methods usually involve the speaker making some preparations for the speech occasion having been given prior notice. But the impromptu speech does not involve any kind of preparation. Hence, the speaker only relies on a residual knowledge of the subject to react to the situation and this does not allow for a good presentation. E. Group Debate: this method is different from all other methods, in that, there is no speaker. What we have is an inter-change of ideas by a group of people who bring their different perspective on a topic. The beauty of this method is that the audience is left to decide what the merits and the demerits of the debate issue are. F. The Combined Approach: this method is a way of tapping from the advantages of all the different methods. As such, a speaker can combine two or more methods in delivering his speech while aiming at optimal impact of the message on the audience. In a single presentation, he may speak extempore and also read parts of the prepared text or even speak from memory. Elements Affecting Delivery As it is widely known and accepted, a speech is not a success until the hearers are affected by it either positively or negatively. There are many elements that affect effective speech delivery. The elements are:  Visual Aids: some presentation cannot be effective without visual aids. These aids which include: pictures, diagrams, charts, tables, slide, projectors, videotape etc. the expert use of these aids goes a long way in making an oral presentation successful.  Dress: appreciate dressing is also important in a speech situation. The dress mode for such occasions is usually formal. The dress the speaker wears makes an impression on the audience. It indicates confidence, appropriateness and self-respect. The audience shows an immediate empathy to the speaker whose dressing is unobtrusive, neat and pleasing to the eye. A speaker must find the appropriate dress for every speech occasion.
  • 5.  Eye Contact: another important element is eye contact. The speaker should try as much as possible to scrutinize faces at random in the audience. Maintain eye contact with a few of them. This makes the speech environment conversational as listeners are made to feel they are being addressed individually. This will also afford the speaker the opportunity of knowing how effective his speech is on the audience.  Posture: the easiest way to alienate the audience is through the wrong posture of the speaker. The stance a speaker takes during his delivery can give him away as either being cocky, unsure of himself or in tune with his audience. The hand should be by the side, or holding the papers on the lectern provided, leaning forward a little.  Movement: movement is also important depending on the size of the audience. In a small manageable audience, the speaker may not move around much as members of the audience will easily see his facial expressions and other bodily movements. This helps the audience to know the speaker’s own feelings on the subject of discourse. In a large audience, the speaker may need to take a few steps from one point to another to give different sections of the audience a chance of seeing his body movements. The speaker should avoid fidgeting with objects.  Gestures: punching the air in rallies, itemizing on the fingers and others, are gesture that help to convey the feeling or emotion of the speaker to his audience. This is very necessary as it aids the transfer of information from speaker to audience. It also helps to sustain the interest of the audience as they are carried along by all these impulsive actions that are prompted within.  Voice: the quality of the voice also enhances or hinders effective public speaking. A speaker should pitch his voice high enough so that everyone in the venue can hear him clearly, especially where there is no provision for a Public Address System (PAS). He must also able pronounce words very well; it will be useful if the speaker can practice those sounds where his pronunciation is defective. The speaker must also control the pitch of his voice to avoid fluctuations, which may also turn off the audience. Conclusively, the effective speaker must have a varied number of qualities like fluency in language, emotional control, and ability to listen, observe and understand his audience. These will help in no small measure to make the speech occasion successful.