Personal Progression Of Public Speaking Essay

1420 words - 6 pages

In life, we rarely have the chance for a do-over, but I feel like returning to college is mine. Throughout high school, my grades were never above average and until about a couple of years ago I considered myself to be unintelligent. What I failed to see was my level of commitment. Once I began applying myself, the grades earned reflected that. This concept coincides to my public speaking ability. Many students, including myself, walk into a speech class thinking that it will be the Easy A of the semester and quite frankly I devoted a good amount of time and hard work to earn my A’s and B’s for this course. Overall, my public speaking growth in terms of listenability were influenced by the following: the strategy keys in correctly engaging the audience; the structure keys appropriate for a speech versus a paper; the support keys by continually engaging the audience; and finally the style keys by practicing the use of body language and reducing the verbal junk.
At the beginning of the semester our class was introduced to a new term, listenability. The level of listenability is at the mercy of the speaker, not of the audience. During our semester, we were taught to harness the listenability keys of strategy, structure, support, and style in order to achieve a high level of listenability. Examples of listenability include when a speaker engages the audience by asking questions, using narratives or stories that people can relate to, and has stimulating visual support and content. These are only a couple of keys used to create a listener centered speech.
The word strategy reminds me of war and a way you can conquer your enemy, but in public speaking it means much more. These keys are informally taught as the brains of the speech and refer to analyzing the purpose, audience, and narrowed topic. The toughest part for me was probably choosing the topic and managing my energy to provide that confident presentation. The art speech was not necessarily my best moment when it came to audience analysis. I should have followed through with making the speech less about the assignment and more about who I was presenting it to. The dragon and persuasive speech probably would have been better had I not had so much information, I really saw how it affected the way I looked as far as confidence was concerned. Looking at my personal anecdote speech I think that was my shining moment. I am not only saying that because of the grade I received, but because I owned the material and it showed. As far as maintaining ethos, I would have to say that was during my informative speech. I felt like I knew what I was talking about in the dragon speech more at the Q & A than during the speech, but during my energy drink presentation I really had the material down. During the self-evaluations I know that I properly analyze what I did wrong, though I am not sure I was able to fix everything I set out to. Strategically speaking, I have a ways to go with choosing a topic, learning...

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