Posted by: George E Burney | June 14, 2012

Public Speaking – Speaking Is Also Teaching!

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A good public speaker is also a teacher. Teaching involves first acquiring information, then organizing it, and finally presenting it clearly and convincingly to others. That is what a good speaker does, too.

Build on Prior Learning

Effective teaching builds on prior learning, using it as a foundation. Likewise, a good speaker endeavors to ascertain what his audience already knows, and uses that as his starting point. He then adds information which enlarges on and adds to what the audience knows and accepts already.

Comparison of Ideas

Effective speaking, like teaching, involves associating one idea with other, showing the relationship between them. Known concepts are used to introduce the unknown. If the ideas are similar, comparisons are used. Since no two ideas are exactly alike, the ways in which they parallel each other are highlighted, and if there is a significant difference between these two similar ideas, this distinction is made for the sake of clarity.

If the ideas are primarily dissimilar, contrasts are made. Stress is laid on the ways in which the new idea is markedly different from the old, familiar idea.

By these means, ideas which are already familiar to the audience are employed to define new ideas. The new idea is easily understood when familiar ideas are used for comparison or contrast.

Use Word Pictures

Word pictures, such as illustrations, are usually used to make comparisons vivid and colorful. While a verbal comparison calls for using words which fill the bill precisely, a good, appropriate illustration cuts to the chase and makes the connection crystal clear.

A good illustration can also stir emotions at the same time, which makes the illustration and the point it illustrates easy to remember, and hard to forget. After all, the best teaching is worthless if no one remembers it afterwards! The same is true of a good speech.

Copyright © 2012 by George Burney and betterpublicspeaking


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