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Public Speaking: A Vital Skill For Teachers

1260 words - 6 pages

Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream speech” which inspired a nation and broke down racial barriers. Without his leadership and his inspirational speech it may have taken an extra 10 years to bring equality to all races. Hilter’s many speeches were delivered with extreme passion and caused arguably one of the most horrific genocides of all time. Throughout history it has been public speaking that has united people and caused great change, both positive and negative. Public speaking is important, both in history and in life. It is a vital skill in many disciplines. However nowhere more prominent than education. Public speaking in education is how educators inspire, teach and engage students. Good public speaking skills can enhance confidence, communication skills, help demonstrate knowledge and improve public image.

Public speaking usually consists of three main components including preparation, visual aids and non- verbal communication. How well these three main components are demonstrated or used can be the difference between a great influential educator who can inspire and teach students. To a class that will not pay attention and teacher who cannot engage.

Preparation is key in presenting a well thought out, impressive presentation. To an educator preparation is vital. Preparation usually consists of the following elements audience, research, rhetorical mix and rehearsal. Elisabeth Gareis in Guidelines for Public Speaking expresses the importance of tailoring to the audience. Gareis (2006) states that “at all times during the process of preparing and delivering a speech, we need to keep in mind that we are speaking to an audience and not just to ourselves” (pp.3). For an educator it is crucial to know the students and the curriculum so that the information and how the information is delivered is tailored to the specific class. The audience is key and public speaking is all about engaging the audience whether it be a class of grade ones, students in high school or even work colleagues. Regardless if the purpose is to persuade, argue or entertain without the audience’s attention the message is lost. To avoid the loss of the message and to keep the audience engaged it is vital to know the target audience. Know the students or colleagues ideals, the classes’ diversity, the beliefs and expectations (Nash, 2013). Knowing the audience can help incorporate what the audience expects and the purpose of the presentation or lesson to coincide together effectively. However knowing the audience or class is only half the battle as public speaking or teaching is pointless without something to say.

Educators rely on credible sources to teach students about specific subjects. Research is the tool teachers most commonly use to find relevant, reliable, academic sources that support and explain the specific disciplines taught to the class. Research is important in creating a well thought out, well developed lesson in which can be tested by an academic...

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