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Delivery of speech

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Delivery of speech


It is known that public speaking is a transaction between you and your audience. Just as the language you choose for your message should reflect the nature of your audience, so too should your delivery. Specifically, we discuss choosing an appropriate method of delivery, adapting to diverse audiences, and adapting delivery to the speech occasion.


There is more than one way to deliver a speech:


Manuscript delivery involves writing out the speech completely aand reading it to the audience. This method may be the best choice when your audience requires precise information from you. Similarly, if you expect your words to be quoted by others, having a manuscript of your speech helps ensure accuracy.

However, anytime you use a manuscript the dynamics of delivery are restricted. Eye contact, movement, and gesture are important dimensions of nonverbal behavior that may enhance (sustiprina) your delivery. Manuscript speaking also impedes spontaneity between you and your audience because tthe manuscript restricts opportunities to survey and creatively respond to audience feedback. A manuscript demands a lectern (pultas kalbetojui), which can stand as a barrier between a speaker and the audience. This method of delivery can sound artificial because the llanguage of a written message generally is more formal than spoken language.

It is advisable to mark up your manuscript with notes to yourself and underline main ideas. Be sure pages are numbered so that they will not get out of order. Use a large typeface and double or even triple spacing. The success of manuscript speaking depends on practice and skill in converting words on a page into a living speech.


A speaker using memorized delivery writes out the speech and commits it to memory before presenting it to the audience without the use of notes. In fact, an obviously memorized speech would probably strike audience as odd. Although memorization allows you to concentrate on eye contact, movement, and ggesture, it does so at a price. You may forget parts of your speech and it requires a greater investment of time than any other method.


Impromptu (improvizuotas [im’promptju:]) delivery is a spontaneous, unrehearsed method of presenting a speech. Usually, these short speeches are given in response to someone who asks you to say a few words, make a toast, or respond to an inquiry.

Impromptu speaking frees you from any impediments (kliutys)to using the full range of nonverbal behaviors aavailable to speakers, but you are most likely so busy concentrating on what you are going to say that you ignore delivery. Thus, impromptu delivery is not effective.


For most students who are still learning to give a speech, extemporaneous ( neparengtas) speaking remains their best choice of delivery method. Extemporaneous delivery combines careful preparation with spontaneous speaking. The speaker generally uses brief notes rather than a manuscript or an outline. Extemporaneous speaking enables you to maintain eye contact, move, gesture, and spontaneously adapt to audience feedback. It allows the speaker to remain in contact with the audience, so does it allow the audience to remain connected to the speaker. However, extemporaneous speaking has drawbacks. Note cards can restrict the range of gestures used when you refer to them. Finally, you can get carried away with note cards, writing down so many of your thoughts that note cards become almost a manuscript.


Both the method and style of delivery should reflect the diversity of your audience. A particular nonverbal behavior means one thing to one culture and something entirely different to another. For example, as you speak, a North American audience returns your eye ccontact and nods in agreement with you. A British audience also returns your eye contact, but heads remain motionless. And a West African audience avoids making direct eye with you altogether. Remember, when the British agree with a speaker, they sometimes blink rather than nod their head. Further, the more direct the eye contact of West Africans, the less they respect the person to whom it is directed.


Delivery involves the nonverbal behavior by which a speaker conveys his or her message to an audience. Delivery is what brings mere words to life in the public speaking transaction. Nonverbal behavior is a wordless system of communicating. Although scholars argue about the exact definition of nonverbal behavior, most agree that it is continuous; it uses multiple channels simultaneously, and is spontaneous.


Consider the expression of happiness as you speak. What the audience sees is a complex message that involves the entire face. The muscles of the face contract, affecting the eyebrows, the corners of the mouth, and the corners of the eye. Unlike verbal behavior, these involuntary movements cannot be broken down into compositional elements. There are no rules of grammar to explain tthe meaning conveyed by these facial expressions. Only the total, continuous combination of these elements can constitute the nonverbal expression of happiness.


Nonverbal behavior also involves the simultaneous use of multiple channels. For example, try conveying an emotional expression, such as happiness, anger, sorrow, through a single channel of communication, for example, your mouth or eyes or hands. You will soon see that it is difficult if not impossible. At the same time, you will recognize that we use these multiple channels simultaneously rather than sequentially. When happy, we express the emotion all over our face, not with our eyes first, mouth second, eyebrows and forehead third and fourth.


Moreover nonverbal behavior is spontaneous. Smiles, gestures, and body language occur at a subconscious level. This does not mean that people never plan or orchestrate gestures when they speak. Sometimes they do, and their nonverbal behavior is likely to look phony (apsimestinis). Most of us learn to distinguish between authentic and phony nonverbal behavior by the time we reach our teens.


A system is a collection of interdependent and interrelated components. A change in one component will produce

change in them all. The nonverbal system has as its components several interdependent dimensions of behavior that profoundly affect the delivery of a speech. The specific dimensions are the environment, appearance, the face and eyes, the voice, gestures and movement, posture, touch, and time. You need to approach these dimensions systematically.


Environment refers to our physical surroundings as we speak and the physical distance separating us from our audience. Both our surrounding and our physical space have an undeniable iimpact not only on our delivery but also on how the speech is perceived by our audience. The physical characteristic of the room in which you speak – for example, lighting, temperature, comfort, and aesthetics – will influence both you and your audience physically and psychologically.

Sometimes you have no alternative but to do the best you can in situations, where you cannot change the environment. At other times, however, you will have the opportunity to physically arrange the room iin which you will speak. This may include the position of a lectern, elevation (pakelimas) of a stage, and configuration of an audience. Speakers who are much less formal in their style of delivery may want the room to be aarranged so that they can move from side.

Both the traditional and informal styles of delivery can be equally effective. However, the room layout consistent with the traditional style is more restrictive than its counterpart in two ways. The first way concerns the zone of interaction, the area in which speakers can easily make eye contact with audience members. The second way concerns the amount of space physically separating speakers from their audience.

The zone of interaction is limited to the range of your peripheral vision. The immediate zone of interaction between speakers and their audience diminishes, as a room gets larger. To compensate for this fact, speakers have two choices. Either they can shift the zone of interaction by looking from sside to side or they can physically move from one point to another when they deliver their speeches. Obviously, in a very large room the traditional style of delivery limits you to looking from side to side in the attempt to shift the zone of interaction. This means that you cannot help but ignore part of your audience part of the time. The traditional style of delivery allows less flexibility in manipulating the physical distance separating speakers from their audiences. WWhereas a speaker who moves about the room can reduce or increase distance physically as well as psychologically, a relatively stationary speaker is restricted to the latter.

To summarize: the relationship of the speaking environment to delivery is a significant one. Not only does it influence your style of delivery, it also influences how you are perceived by your audience.


Appearance often has a disproportionately significant effect on audience perceptions of a speaker’s message and delivery. Speakers never get a second chance to make a first impression with an audience. First impressions largely are based on appearance, including body type and height, skin and hair color, and clothing and accessories.

Audience members use appearance to initially make judgments about a speaker’s level of attractiveness. The consequences of such judgments are far-reaching for speakers. Speakers perceived as attractive by audience members also are perceived as smart, successful, sociable, and self-confident.

Although some facets of your appearance and their impact on audience perception are outside your control – for example, body type and height – there is one facet you can easily control: your dress. Simply said, your dress should be appropriate to the situation.


What is true of immediate language iis even truer of nonverbal behavior. The face and eyes are very useful in communicating friendliness to an audience and reducing undesirable feelings of distance between the speaker and audience.

Yet making the delivery of your speech more immediate is only one of the roles the face and eyes play in enhancing your delivery. The face and eyes, for example, can communicate happiness, surprise, fear, anger, disgust, contempt, sadness, and interest.

We can use the face and eyes to intensify our delivery. In most cases, we intensify what we say in this manner with little or no conscious thought. As we grow angry, the muscles in our face tense and eyes narrow spontaneously. In a sense, what we give an audience in our face and eyes will determine what we can expect to get back from our audience.


Much of the emotional impact of your delivery is conveyed in your voice. Drama, irony, sarcasm, and urgency are a few of the emotions we can convey vocally. To gain maximal control of your voice you need to know two things: the mechanics of the voice, and the importance of finding your own voice rather than imitating the voice of someone else.

5.4.1 VOLUME

Volume iis how loudly you project your voice. It is a consequence of both the amount of air you expel when speaking and the force with which you expel it. As a public speaker, you need to have enough volume to be heard by your audience. Too soft a voice will simple not be heard. On the other hand, shouting at the top of your lungs can turn off your audience. The key is to speak loudly enough to be heard, while not speaking too loudly for the room. It is also useful to ...

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