What Makes An Effective Speaker Essay, Research Paper
Day in and day out we are exposed to different types of speakers. On television we see reporters, announcers, and talk show hosts. At school we encounter guest speakers and professors. We may not be asking ourselves if he or she is an effective speaker but unintentionally we are. We need to have effective speakers in order for us to understand what is happening now and what has happened in the past. And also to learn about the old and the new. There are several things to look for in an effective speaker. Some characteristics are personal presentation, knowledge of material, use of language, clarity and projection, and the ability to connect with the audience. Consequently, all those characteristics have an association with one another.
In almost every situation when you are presenting yourself, the first thing that an audience looks at is your appearance. The way you present yourself and the body language you use accounts for how the audience perceives you. For example, in the videotaped motivational speech viewed in class, the speaker was dressed in formal attire. If the speaker were wearing torn up denim jeans and a stained T-shirt, the audience would not have perceived him to be informative because of the unprofessional garments. Why would someone want to listen to a person who does not appear to know what he or she is speaking about? Being knowledgeable of the material is also essential to being an effective speaker. As mentioned before, no one wants to listen to a person who is not well informed. Giving speeches should add credentials to your character. One of the main objectives I learned in freshman composition was to identify whether or not the author was credible. The same procedure goes forth in defining an effective speaker. It is basically common sense, you cannot inform others if you do not fully understand what you are informing about.
Language has a prominent role in deciphering what makes an effective speaker. Using various sentence structures, figures of speech, and vocabulary, are a few of the features speakers use to hook the audience into his or her speech. Using simple, compound, and complex sentences adds texture to a speech. Using repetition, similes, metaphors, anecdotes, and other figures of speech gives detail to ideas that are hard to explain by comparing it to every day ideas. Using a broad spectrum of vocabulary which has a sense of visual and acoustic involvement can aid the audience to better process your speech. The use of proper vocabulary helps your audience to clearly understand your thoughts. In high school, I was a cheerleader and understood the importance of clarity and projection. Cheering is not like giving a speech, but from a different perspective, a cheerleader and speaker are both trying get a message across to their audience. A speaker must also be clear and loud. When you give a speech and emphasize the words, the audience will understand that the information you are giving out is important. We enunciate and project our voices in a manner to specify what needs to be heard.
The last and most important characteristic is having the ability to connect with the audience. When giving a speech, we are trying to communicate with a large amount of people with different backgrounds and beliefs. A previous professor my freshman spring semester did not seem to connect with our class. The language he used was complex and his tone of voice was dull. At times we thought he was teaching to himself aloud. On the other hand, from the videotaped presentation seen in class, the speaker used comedy, personal experiences and crowd involvement in order to attract the crowd and keep them attentive. These traits act as a common ground for the audience and the speaker. Every speaker needs to be able to identify a common ground and use that to capture the audience’s attention.
There are probably several more characteristics that make-up an effective speaker. We can identify that the audience connects all of the characteristics listed. Without having an audience that can understand, there is no reason to speak at all. If I were able to have one characteristic out of the five listed; it would be the ability to connect with my audience. As I come to this class as an inexperienced speaker, I hope to be able to find a common ground with my class in order to speak efficiently.