This book is intended for use in a beginners’ oral communication course to help students of economic and social sciences familiarize themselves with the basic principles of public speaking. Its primary intention is to address the public speaking needs you may have as university students and secondarily to meet the needs that will arise in your future workplace environment. It is an attempt to aid you to gain confidence and expertise in your first steps in public speaking by first presenting the fundamental principles that have guided thousands of students into becoming effective speakers and providing oral practice in the safe environment of the classroom.
The following key-note statements describe the basic approach of the book:
This textbook presents public speaking as audiencecentered communication. Communication is seen here as a two-way reciprocal exchange of information, where both the speaker and the audience are equally involved. Therefore the success of the oral presentation depends on both parties.
The book emphasizes that effective communication is ethical communication. Examining your own motives and speaking honestly with a genuine concern for your audience are essential requirements to a successful oral presentation.
This textbook provides a combination of theory and practice. The first 5 shorter units of the book present the basic theoretical principles of oral presentations. They aim at helping you understand how you can benefit from going through the process of an oral presentation and how you can manage it for the first time. The more extended Unit 6 puts the theory into practice through the analysis of model speeches and the step-by-step guidance into the preparation and delivery of your own speech.
This book provides you with practice in identifying and analyzing some of the rhetorical strategies used in speeches. For example, attention is paid to the way speakers establish common ground with their audience, build and retain their credibility, and make a sound argument through affective language, parallel structure, strong contrasts, vivid imagery, cohesive devices and intentional repetition.
In particular, the content of the book starts with the oral presentation principles of the importance of public speaking and of the ethical issues involved. The book then guides you step by step through the process of making your own speech starting from selection of topic and purpose, the preparation of a rationale and an abstract and composing the speech and moving to more practical considerations such as the delivery of the speech. Attention is paid to use of non-verbal communication and visual aids. Emphasis is given to techniques for involving the audience, overcoming your speech fear and developing self-awareness of your own potential for public speaking.
The second part of the book deals with analysis of model speeches where the theoretical principles of effective speaking are shown in practice. The speech extracts and the model speeches cover a variety of current issues that fall within the academic interests of university students in the social and economic sciences although the principles of public speaking can be applied to students of all disciplines. The appendices at the end of the book provide supplementary information on theoretical issues involved in public speaking and exercises for further practice to be used at the discretion of the instructor and as the course and time allows. It also includes three questionnaires to aid the evaluation of activities: a rubric for the debate activity, a checklist for self-evaluation of listening skills and a questionnaire on evaluation of students’ oral presentations. A short grammar review is also appended for your reference. […]
PhD in linguistics