Public speaking is the process of communicating information to an audience. It is usually done before a large audience, like in school, the workplace and even in our personal lives. Public speaking is also known as oratory or oration and it is the act of speaking face to face to a live audience. It is one of the most important and at the same time one of the most dreaded forms of communication. However, due to so much advancement of technology, the notions of public speaking has also undergone an evolution and modernly it is viewed as any formal or informal speaking, between an audience and the speaker. Traditionally, public speaking was considered to be a part of the art of persuasion, but in current context, it can accomplish particular purposes including to inform, to persuade and to entertain. Additionally, differing methods, structures and rules can be utilised according to the speaking situation. Currently, technology continues to transform the art of public speaking through newly available technology such as video conferencing, multimedia presentations and other non-traditional forms.
HISTORY OF PUBLIC SPEAKING :
Public speaking was developed in Rome and Greece. The first ever known piece on oratory, written over 2000 years ago, came from ancient Greece. Aristotle was the one who first recorded the teachers of oratory to use definite rules and models. It was his emphasis on oratory that led to oration becoming an essential part of liberal arts education, during the middle ages and Renaissance. In classical Greece and Rome, any citizen who wished to succeed in court, in politics or in social life, had to learn techniques of public speaking. Rhetorical tools were first taught by a group of rhetoric teachers called Sophists, who were notable for teaching students ( who paid remuneration ), how to speak effectively using the methods they developed. Separately from the Sophists, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle developed their own theories of public speaking and taught these principles to students who wanted to learn skills in rhetoric. Demosthenes, who was a well-known orator from Athens, is regarded as the first orator.
BENEFITS OF PUBLIC SPEAKING :
Public speaking is a great way of building personal developments in many levels because enhancement of communication skills is helpful in every area of life.
• Boost confidence – Public speakings can significantly boost your confidence. Overcoming the fears and insecurities that accompany public speaking is empowering. This will benefit you not only on stage but in several aspects of your everyday life.
• Career advancement – Effective public speakings skills can help with career advancement. This is because a good orator possesses qualities like creativity, critical thinking skills, leadership abilities, poise and professionalism – traits which are very valuable for the job market. Thus speaking at events and conferences helps one to build credibility.
• Improve communication skills – Personal relationships, social interactions and professional requirements need you to communicate ideas to other people. Public speakings focuses on communicating ideas. You can learn to calmly handle challenging situations and opposing views and yet present your ideas in an organised manner and defend your own views.
• Learning to persuade – Public speakings is a powerful way to unite people under a common cause and motivate them to take action in a non-violent way. It is no secret that people throughout history have used the power of public speakings to make a difference.
• Make new social connections – Public speakings engagements are good places to meet other people who share your interests. There are lots of opportunities for networking in the realm of public speakings as it makes it much easier to make new social connections.