Thursday, January 19, 2012

What makes a public speaker effective?

Rhetoric is used all around us on a daily basis. It can be used by politicians or just friends talking over an event. Speeches given to the public are an important vehicle used in delivering rhetoric to a large audience of voters, concerned citizens, or even college students.  In chapters two and three of Rhetoric and Civic Life, many aspects of effectively communicating through public speech are explained. Public speakers need to be prepared, engaging, and confident when delivering a speech to a crowd whether it be a classroom of college students or thousands of political supporters.  Public speaking is essential in guaranteeing a democratic country because allows anybody to voice their opinion.
                Good public speaking skills are required to effectively deliver a message to a large audience. For example the past few days, I have been watching the various Republican presidential candidates deliver speeches.  Like many others, I quickly lose interest in what the candidates are talking about if they are presenting the material (no matter how interesting to me) in a monotone and simplistic manner.
              A good public speaker needs to be able to grab the listeners attention immediately because today our society focuses on sound bytes and quick news clips to get our information on a political figure head.  A speaker needs to capture a listener’s attention and hold  for the duration of his or her speech and focus on the audience.
                I find myself sitting down and tuning into a speech on the television or computer, when I hear a person deliver a speech with rhetorical questions that make me think more in depth than I normally would about the topic of the speech. A confident speaker who uses emotion in his or her speeches also draws me in to listen to their message. I have tried to understand what makes a good public speaker effective at what he or she does.  Like most LA 101H students, I want to know how to prepare a good speech and then carry it out without being nervous or underprepared.


  1. I agree with your points made about being a good public speaker. Most times, I do find myself losing attentiveness when an individual, especially a political figure, makes a speech. I feel that most time these political figures do not understand what it takes to keep an audience engaged. The question is though; Who do you think is a very effective public speaker with regards to political figures?

  2. You are definitely right about losing interest during the recent debates. Some of the answers can become long-winded rather than providing a succinct and relevant answer to questions they are given. At the same time though,the rhetoricians of today must strike a balance between well-constructed language and substantial information. And I know that as a student of this class, we will all face that issue when it comes time for us to put together our papers and speeches.

  3. I agree with you- a monotone speaker quickly loses my interest. Actually, they dont lose my interest, but my focus becomes their tone instead of the content of their speech, it just bugs me. Even thought this is a huge distraction for me, I need to remind myself when I'm speaking to do so with confidence, because it's all too easy to just recite a speech without engaging with the audience.