Chapter 1: Mastering the ABCs of Public Speaking

Use soft words and hard arguments.
~English Proverb

The buzz words for great realtors are location, location, location! In the world of public speaking, the great orators are buzzing about preparation, preparation, preparation! If you think public speaking is mostly about your performance on stage, you're misinformed. If you don't properly prepare for your speech, you'll never effectively communicate and connect with your audience. And if you don't do that, you've just wasted precious time—theirs and yours!

Unfortunately, a lot of people take the phrase "public speaking" and think that's essentially what oral presentations are all about—speaking in a public forum. But, that explanation is much too simple to include everything you need to know before you get in front of an audience. In fact, when you actually get on stage that's just the end result of everything else you've done beforehand to prepare for that moment—it's really the climax.

So how can you prepare for your public speaking finale? Master the basics and keep building. This guide is organized in that fashion. It takes you from the planning page to the brightly-lit stage. In this chapter, we'll discuss some of the public speaking fundamentals so you'll be clear on your goals, understand the parts of your speech, organize your thoughts, familiarize yourself with the types of delivery methods, and implement some initial strategies for success.

Going for the goal!

Before you hit the stage, you need to identify your primary objective. What do you want to accomplish when you speak? What information is the audience expecting from you? What do you want to happen once your speech is over? What is the general purpose for your speech?

Your responses to these questions and others will help you determine the type of speech you plan to deliver as well as what approach will be most effective in delivering your message. For our discussion, there are four general purposes for a speech: to inform, inspire, persuade, and entertain. Your speech may be designed to accomplish one or more of these purposes or all of them. For instance, a speaker's message may be to persuade an audience to accept a certain view but to accomplish this, he might provide extensive information on a topic as a means to convince them. Similarly, you might add humor to an informative or persuasive message to make the speech equally entertaining.

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