Speech Class Essay, Research Paper
I am one of those who suffer from butterflies, that uncomfortable feeling in my chest and stomach, before speaking in public. This is not only a problem for myself, but it is also a common fear and a concern for many people. My purpose is to denounce a few dynamics I feel have helped me to become a more effective speaker and to manage my butterflies. I will prove to you that strong body language makes ideas and feelings more clear, vigorous and engaging. First, I will show how eye contact unconsciously engages the audience. Second, I will prove that vocal emphasis is the key to a vigorous speech. Third, I will confirm that gestures reinforce the ideas of the speech, making the speech clearer to the audience.
I am able to tell how well my audience is engaging through eye contact. Eye contact is not achieved by looking out the window, at the ceiling or floor, or at notes too often. Good eye contact does not mean looking over the heads of people or moving quickly from face to face, or even picking out and speaking mainly to one member of the audience who seems interested. Rather, eye contact means looking into the eyes of a member of the audience and holding the gaze for a moment or two and then looking at other members of the audience in the same way. Through eye contact a sense of interaction is enhanced. I have learned through presenting my speeches that eye contact allows me to get to know and appreciate my audience as individuals, as they are given an opportunity to get to know and appreciate me. By means of eye contact, I am able to make ideas and feelings more clear. I am able to determine if I am being understood. I can detect signs of interest or lack of comprehension. I feel that I must eye the audience to really engage communication.
Our voices naturally convey feeling. When we suppress our emotions or exert strong will power to control our actions, our voice reflects such activity. We may appear calm and even manage a smile, but there is edginess to our voice that shows the tenseness. An effective voice reflects the speaker’s true feelings about the idea. A voice that reflects the speaker’s personal involvement is generally vigorous. According to Wilbur E. Gilman, a graduate of Queens College of the City University of New York and author of The Fundamentals of Speaking, the speaker who develops the skills to control his voice gives his words richer and fuller meanings, makes his ideas clearer and more emphatic, brings out contrast in thought, expresses a variety of feelings, heightens his climaxes and total effect. Hypothetically speaking, a moving object always attracts attention. This principle is true in public speaking in the sense that a speaker can always count on moving his vocal emphasis by lowering or raising his voice to help him gain or hold the audience’s attention. Vocal emphasis is valuable for punctuating the speech and providing variety. I feel that the effective voice is vibrant, forceful, and varied. A voice that is alive is filled with the excitement and enthusiasm, which the speaker feels. In Franklin Roosevelt’s “fireside chats”, I can see the importance of vocal emphasis. Roosevelt’s speaking on the radio seemed spontaneous and intimate, as though he was in the living room with his listening audience. Therefore, I feel that through modulating my voice, I am able to establish the mood I want and my ideas efficiently.
Gestures reinforce the ideas of the speech and as a result add clarity to the speech. Gestures should be kept simple and natural, so that they add to the speech not detract from it. Our spontaneous gestures, which are simply a reflection of our inner feelings, stimulate others to feel as we do. There is an old saying “Tie a German’s hands and he cannot speak”. I believe this saying is filled with truth when applied not to Germans alone, but also to speakers in general. Gestures aid in adding description to ideas. For instance, when the fisherman tells us with the use of his hands that he caught one ” so long”, the accompanying gesture classifies our idea of the size of his catch. Also, gestures, such as the clenched fist and pointed finger, give emphasis to important points or to the speaker’s feelings about certain ideas. If gestures are integrated with what is being said, they add clarity to the speech.
In conclusion, I have defined good eye contact and I have discussed how this eye contact helps to engage the audience in communication. I have showed how vocal emphasis naturally conveys feeling and makes the speech more vigorous. Also, I have proven that when gestures are use efficiently, they reinforce the ideas of the speech by adding clarity to what is being said. The key to becoming an efficient speaker is body language. Eye contact, vocal emphasis, and gestures combined can help a speaker not only to clarify and emphasize points, to suggest meaning, or to create an appropriate mood, but also to release tension and make him feel more comfortable while speaking.
Eye Contact, Vocal Emphasis, And Gestures
Are Necessary For an
Engaging, Vigorous, And Clear