By using notes rather than a full manuscript, the extemporaneous speaker can establish and maintain eye contact with the audience and assess how well they are understanding the speech as it progresses. The opportunity to assess is also an opportunity to restate more clearly any idea or concept that the audience seems to have trouble grasping.
Then you can resume your message, having clarified an important concept. Speaking extemporaneously has some advantages. It promotes the likelihood that you, the speaker, will be perceived as knowledgeable and credible. In addition, your audience is likely to pay better attention to the message because it is engaging both verbally and nonverbally. The disadvantage of extemporaneous speaking is that it requires a great deal of preparation for both the verbal and the nonverbal components of the speech.
Because extemporaneous speaking is the style used in the great majority of public speaking situations, most of the information in this chapter is targeted to this kind of speaking.
2. Plan and rehearse.
Manuscript speaking The word-for-word iteration of a written message. In a manuscript speech, the speaker maintains his or her attention on the printed page except when using visual aids. The advantage to reading from a manuscript is the exact repetition of original words. As we mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, in some circumstances this can be extremely important. In reading one word at a time, in order, the only errors would typically be mispronunciation of a word or stumbling over complex sentence structure. However, there are costs involved in manuscript speaking.
It is worth noting that professional speakers, actors, news reporters, and politicians often read from an autocue device, such as a TelePrompTer, especially when appearing on television, where eye contact with the camera is crucial. With practice, a speaker can achieve a conversational tone and give the impression of speaking extemporaneously while using an autocue device.
However, success in this medium depends on two factors: 1 the speaker is already an accomplished public speaker who has learned to use a conversational tone while delivering a prepared script, and 2 the speech is written in a style that sounds conversational. Memorized speaking The rote recitation of a memorized written message. Actors, of course, recite from memory whenever they perform from a script in a stage play, television program, or movie scene.
How to Prepare and Deliver a Speech Effectively
The advantage to memorization is that it enables the speaker to maintain eye contact with the audience throughout the speech. Being free of notes means that you can move freely around the stage and use your hands to make gestures.
- “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”;
- Flash Bites: a few short, short stories!
- "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" - Teaching American History.
If your speech uses visual aids, this freedom is even more of an advantage. However, there are some real and potential costs. First, unless you also plan and memorize every vocal cue The subtle but meaningful variations in speech delivery, which can include the use of pitch, tone, volume, and pace. You might end up speaking in a monotone or a sing-song repetitive delivery pattern.
Appropriate for the Speaker
Second, if you lose your place and start trying to ad lib, the contrast in your style of delivery will alert your audience that something is wrong. More frighteningly, if you go completely blank during the presentation, it will be extremely difficult to find your place and keep going. Help Creative Commons. Your speech will have more impact if the message is engaging. During your speech, look at your audience while you are speaking. Put the content of your speech, either fully written out or in bullet points, so you are not staring straight down at a piece of paper while you speak.
Engaging your audience visually makes you appear secure and confident. A well-placed gesture can add humor or aid greater understanding of your speech.
For optimal effectiveness, punctuate your speech with gestures when appropriate. It will make you feel steadier. If your speech is informal, walking from one side of the stage to the other can help engage people sitting in different parts. It will draw your audience in and enhance your confidence. If appropriate, bring props to punctuate your speech for your audience. Props can personalize your speech and add interest or humor. The fate of many a slave has depended upon the turn of a single card; and many a child has been snatched from the arms of its mother by bargains arranged in a state of brutal drunkenness.
The flesh-mongers gather up their victims by dozens, and drive them, chained, to the general depot at Baltimore.
When a sufficient number have been collected here, a ship is chartered, for the purpose of conveying the forlorn crew to Mobile, or to New Orleans. From the slave prison to the ship, they are usually driven in the darkness of night; for since the antislavery agitation, a certain caution is observed. In the deep still darkness of midnight, I have been often aroused by the dead heavy footsteps, and the piteous cries of the chained gangs that passed our door. The anguish of my boyish heart was intense; and I was often consoled, when speaking to my mistress in the morning, to hear her say that the custom was very wicked; that she hated to hear the rattle of the chains, and the heart-rending cries.
I was glad to find one who sympathized with me in my horror. How does this paragraph relate to the overall thesis of the speech? Here Douglass offers the strongest illustration of the ways in which America is false to the ideals it has set for itself. What is the thesis of this paragraph?
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The ways in which Americans practice their politics and religion are inconsistent with the values and ideals they claim to be following. You boast of your love of liberty, your superior civilization, and your pure Christianity, while the whole political power of the nation as embodied in the two great political parties , is solemnly pledged to support and perpetuate the enslavement of three millions of your countrymen. You hurl your anathemas at the crowned headed tyrants of Russia and Austria, and pride yourselves on your Democratic institutions, while you yourselves consent to be the mere tools and bodyguards of the tyrants of Virginia and Carolina.
You invite to your shores fugitives of oppression from abroad, honor them with banquets, greet them with ovations, cheer them, toast them, salute them, protect them, and pour out your money to them like water; but the fugitives from your own land you advertise, hunt, arrest, shoot and kill. You glory in your refinement and your universal education yet you maintain a system as barbarous and dreadful as ever stained the character of a nation — a system begun in avarice , supported in pride, and perpetuated in cruelty.
You are all on fire at the mention of liberty for France or for Ireland; but are as cold as an iceberg at the thought of liberty for the enslaved of America.
You discourse eloquently on the dignity of labor; yet, you sustain a system which, in its very essence, casts a stigma upon labor. You can bare your bosom to the storm of British artillery to throw off a threepenny tax on tea; and yet wring the last hard-earned farthing [a coin formerly used in Great Britain] from the grasp of the black laborers of your country. Not only does he address a powerful justification for the continuation of slavery — the belief that it is protected by the Constitution — but he also asserts a controversial theory about Constitutional interpretation.
Read its preamble, consider its purposes. Is slavery among them? Is it at the gateway [the preamble]? It is neither. While I do not intend to argue this question on the present occasion, let me ask, if it be not somewhat singular that, if the Constitution were intended to be, by its framers and adopters, a slave-holding instrument, why neither slavery, slaveholding, nor slave can anywhere be found in it. What would be thought of an instrument [legal agreement, in this case a deed] , drawn up, legally drawn up, for the purpose of entitling [giving ownership to] the city of Rochester to a tract [piece] of land, in which no mention of land was made?
Now, there are certain rules of interpretation, for the proper understanding of all legal instruments. These rules are well established. They are plain, common-sense rules, such as you and I, and all of us, can understand and apply, without having passed years in the study of law. I scout the idea that the question of the constitutionality or unconstitutionality of slavery is not a question for the people.
How to Prepare and Deliver a Speech Effectively - Blog
I hold that every American citizen has a right to form an opinion of the Constitution, and to propagate that opinion, and to use all honorable means to make his opinion the prevailing one. Without this right, the liberty of an American citizen would be as insecure as that of a Frenchman. Ex-Vice-President Dallas tells us that the Constitution is an object to which no American mind can be too attentive, and no American heart too devoted. He further says, the Constitution, in its words, is plain and intelligible, and is meant for the home-bred, unsophisticated understandings of our fellow-citizens.
Senator Berrien tells us that the Constitution is the fundamental law, that which controls all others. The charter of our liberties, which every citizen has a personal interest in understanding thoroughly. The testimony of Senator Breese, Lewis Cass, and many others that might be named, who are everywhere esteemed as sound lawyers, so regard the Constitution.
I take it, therefore, that it is not presumption in a private citizen to form an opinion of that instrument. Note: Conclusions are important. Ask your students how they function and what they should do. The final words an audience hears, they often linger and shape the impression of an entire speech. Traditionally, speakers use them to do four things: leave the audience with a favorable opinion, emphasize key points, stimulate an appropriate emotional response, or summarize the argument.
Douglass does not emphasize key points or restate his arguments. Rather, he seeks to cast his case for abolition in a favorable light and instill hope in his listeners. What are conclusions supposed to do? Traditionally, four things: leave the audience with a favorable opinion, emphasize key points, stimulate an appropriate emotional response, or summarize the argument.
Even though he has just delivered a dark and stinging denunciation of the country, he does not want his listeners to leave the hall feeling depressed and hopeless. On what does Douglass base the hope he expresses in this paragraph?