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Types of Public Speaking

Public speaking is when you stand before an audience and deliver a speech in a formal or an informal situation. Speaking in front of a large audience is usually a daunting task, and it is very natural for a person to become nervous. As it has become a serious career option, many people are enrolling for classes where they are taught skills and techniques to speak well before the public. However, to be a good public speaker, it is necessary that one should know the different styles and the skills required for each one of them. There are basically four styles, viz., informative, persuasive, ceremonial, and extemporaneous. Each style is different from the other and has specific characteristics.

Informative

  • When a person gives a speech before an audience to impart information on a particular topic or issue, it said to be an informative speech.
  • Business presentations, seminars in colleges, and presentations in schools are some examples of informative speeches.
  • A person preparing for an informative speech has to research well on the topic. It should be short and precise because long speeches actually bore the audience.
  • While preparing for the speech, one should have the audience in mind and aim to cater to their needs.
  • Your speech should include all the facts, but you cannot take sides on a particular issue, because you are there to inform them and not to influence.
  • The success of an informative speech will depend on how much the audience could understand from the speech.

Persuasive

  • Persuasive speeches are those where one tries to persuade or convince a group of people.
  • These speeches aim to influence and change the opinions of the audience.
  • This can be a difficult task, as you would be facing a group of people who may have totally opposite views from your own.
  • The most important point that has to be kept in mind here is that if you want to influence others’ views and ideas, you have to show your enthusiasm while speaking.
  • However, one must remember that one is not there to wage a war and should talk without hurting others feelings. Persuasive speeches are most commonly used by sales and marketing people to attract the interest of potential clients in their products. They are also used to influence political and religious views.

Ceremonial

  • Ceremonial speeches are usually given on occasions like weddings, funerals, graduation parties, retirement parties, etc.
  • The most important factor to make these speeches effective is to add a personal touch to it.
  • One gives these speeches for people one knows, and it would be great if one can bring in stories and incidents about the respective person.
  • The speech can be humorous, touching, or emotional, as per the occasion and the mood. However, one should take utmost care not to hurt feelings by making snide remarks about them.

Extemporaneous

  • Extemporaneous, also known as impromptu speeches, are those where you will be asked to talk about a particular topic without prior notice.
  • As this may come all of a sudden, it is very likely that you may become nervous and panicky.
  • This is quite normal, though you will have to carry on with the task because it may affect your career growth positively or negatively.
  • You have to quickly think about the important points regarding the topic and speak before the audience with confidence, although you may be very nervous.

This skill can be improved through continuous practice. A talkative person may not be able to give the best speech. To give a great speech, one must first understand the type of speech one is expected to give and should prepare on those lines. A good public speaker is one who understands the needs of the audience and is flexible enough to adopt changes that may arise while giving a speech.

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