A talk about art and science of public speaking and oratory.

Speaker in public

Speaking is an act unique to human species yet all human species do not equal in skill. Mass media has only raised the bar higher. Speaking clearly to get the message across is another thing called communication. Speaking in front of audience or public or in court is a different matter. Public speaking has to be precise, authoritative and interesting. This is what differentiate between a speaker and orator. There are too many books and articles about public speaking and I have never read any. However it appears that there are three types of speakers:

1. Natural speakers

They are the speakers with articulated tongue. The speak rapidly and too much. They are also the talkative. Often they are also compulsive speakers. They find it difficult to keep their mouth shut. They often tend to repeat the same thing over and over. Contrary to popular belief this class of speaker has most difficult time in becoming an orator.
A compulsive speaker lacks discipline, ability to think on the feet or to listen. They are impatient tape recorders eager to unwind as soon and as fast as possible.
This class of speaker has to disciple itself. Learn to watch the speed or rapidity of speech. Keep control of breath and to take proper pauses between breath. Plan the speech in short sentences. They have tendency to prolong a sentences unnecessary. Avoid repetition at all cost. Learn to think during pauses. Once the movement of mind and speech is begun to be noticed, it is not difficult to master the art.

2. Extrovert people

People popularly called extrovert have tendency to share their thoughts in speech. These people need to practice the speech in same way as young artists in theatre are taught how to deliver a dialogue. Once they master the difference and start noticing what is going on in their thoughts and how to skillfully select and articulate the thought need to be shared, they can become great orators.

3. Introvert and shy:

These are people with few words. If a question is asked they are more than likely to reply in few words and even more likely to say ‘may be’. The ‘may be’ type are extreme and are lazy bones who find it too difficult to crawl out of their mind and speak up and therefore hardly ever make it to stage except when some traumatic experience shake their apple cart ot thinking and they are forced into public speaking. stammerers belong to this household.
These people, even when acquire a skill for speaking in clear expressions and in complete sentences, need to be watchful of pauses which tend to become longer and longer. The temptation to read from written passages is dooming but often resorted to which impedes progress. Reading can never become oratory.
This class of humans do become orators but rarely. However when they do, they have tendency to keep audience spell-bound even on difficult subjects because their economy with words and precise use of vocabulary.
Presently this is all I could share about public speaking without inviting the wrath of being called esoteric and being cursed for that.

© Sandeep Bhalla

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