Public speaking, also known as oratory or oratory skills, has historically been defined as the act of speaking in front of a live audience. Today, it encompasses all forms of public speaking (formal and informal), including pre-recorded speeches delivered over long distances via technology.

Confucius, one of several scholars involved in public speaking, once taught that if a speech was deemed to be good, it would have an impact on people’s lives whether they listened to it directly or not. His theory was that the actions and statements of someone in positions of power could have an impact on the rest of the world.

Public speaking is used for a variety of purposes, most notably teaching, persuasion, and entertainment. Each of these necessitates a slightly different set of approaches and techniques. Public speaking emerged as a field of study in Greece and Rome, where prominent thinkers codified it as an essential component of rhetoric. Today, technological innovation such as videoconferencing, multimedia, and other nontraditional forms have transformed the art of public speaking, but the fundamentals remain the same.

The Goal of Public Speaking

The role of public speaking is entirely dependent on the effect a speaker wishes to achieve when addressing a specific audience. A speaker with the same strategic intent may deliver a substantially different monologue to two different audiences. The goal is to influence the audience’s hearts, minds, or actions.

Despite its reputation, public speaking is commonly delivered to a small, select group of people who share a common point of view. Audiences can be ardent supporters of the speaker, hostile (attending an event against their will), or complete strangers (indifferent to a speaker on a soap box in the street). Nonetheless, effective speakers keep in mind that even a small audience is made up of a variety of individuals, not a single mass with a single point of view. [2]

As a broad generalisation, communicating strives either to convince a troubled audience or to awaken an uncaring audience to something important. After determining which of these approaches is required, a speaker will integrate information and narration in the most efficient manner. Contact us for more information.