No matter how good a specialist a person is, no matter how undeniable virtues he possesses, public speaking is a stone that even the most self-confident people seem to stumble over. Nervousness might take a speaker unexpectedly – behind the podium, in front of the jury, or with the employer. Therefore, I believe that thoughtful, structured organization of speech in this sense plays a key role in avoiding loss of connection with the audience and maintaining confidence during the speech. I reckon that an effective speech should be based on the traditional three-part composition: introduction, body, and conclusion (Zhang et al., 2020). People are accustomed to perceiving information according to such a structure and subconsciously process it more easily and perceive and expect it in a speech (Zhang et al., 2020). The following parts should be followed when planning your public speaking.
- Introduction establishes contact with the listeners and gets their attention. It should lead to the topic without affecting the content. The introduction may include a greeting and an appeal to the audience. Practically, at this point, it is the first chance to establish contact with the audience people and to attract their attention (Zhang et al., 2020). Thus, there should be an involving opening and logical transition to the central part.
- Main part of the speech should be structured accordingly. In this case, two approaches are possible: from the point of view of logic and the point of view of psychology. More attention is paid to the material aspects in the logical division, while the psychological division is determined more by the degree of concentration of attention (Zhang et al., 2020). However, it is worth noting that these principles are not mutually exclusive.
- Conclusion. What ends a speech stays in memory the longest. Therefore, the conclusion is usually formulated in the form of a short and easy-to-remember appeal, motivation, or call to action (Zhang et al., 2020). The most common options for the conclusion: 1) summarize, 2) briefly formulate the main provisions, 3) provide options for further development of the topic, 4) emphasize the significance of the conclusions made, 5) set new tasks, 6) express wishes or hopes, 7) formulate an appeal.
The success of a speech largely depends on the interest of the audience. The introduction emphasizes the relevance of the topic and its significance for this audience, formulates the purpose of the speech, and briefly outlines the issue’s history. Before the introduction, there is an essential psychological task a presenter has to complete, which is to prepare listeners for the perception of this topic.
Listeners are tuned differently before the start of a speech, guided by different motives. Some come because they are interested in the topic of the presentation. They want to expand and deepen their knowledge on this topic and hope to get answers to their questions. Others are present out of necessity: members of this team must be at this event. The first group of listeners is ready to listen to the speaker from the very beginning. The listeners of the second group come with a passive attitude and “not to listen” mindset, choosing to mind their own business during the speech (Zhang et al., 2020). However, a speaker’s goal is still to win the entire audience’s attention to make all listeners work. This is a responsible and challenging task that can only be achieved if a logical structure is followed. A particular emphasis definitely should be put on the introductory part, which defines the success of a speaker’s mission.
Zhang, X., Ardasheva, Y., & Austin, B. W. (2020). Self-efficacy and English public speaking performance: A mixed-method approach. English for Specific Purposes, 59, 1–16. Web.