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In the context of public speaking, delivery refers to the presentation of the speech

you have researched, organized, outlined, and practiced. Delivery is of great

significance for the reason that it is what is most immediate to the audience. Such
careful consideration to its underlying principles will create in turn a favorable
impression to the audience. Delivery relies on both verbal communication and
nonverbal communication making it synchronous and interpretative by nature.
In the process of speech delivery, it is basic to select and research a topic,
prepare and organize your presentation and be able to improve delivery of speech.
Without careful consideration on the initial parts of the speech process, however, even
the most impressive delivery has little meaning. On the other hand, with well-prepared
and practiced presentation, delivery makes a favorable outcome.
Delivery can communicate confidence and preparedness to the audience.
Effective delivery shows the audience that the speaker have researched his or her topic
and understand what he or she is speaking about. An effective delivery allows the
speaker to pull it all togetherto showcase his or her work and to speak with
confidence during his or her delivery.
Any activity can be viewed as a thing or a process. A thing is static, time bound,
and unchanging. A process is moving, continually changing, with no beginning or end.
By definition, communication is a processsomething that is continually changing.
Individual words, sentences, and gestures have no meaning in isolation. They make
sense only when viewed as parts of an ongoing, dynamic process.
To fully understand the process of communication, it must be noticed how a
person says and do influences and affects what the other person says and does, the
changes people experience and how these changes influence and affect their
perception, interpretation, and interactions with others, from moment to moment, year to
year, and decade to decade.
Similarly, everybody needs to be sensitive to the ongoing changes in those who
communicate with because they are changing too. Communication is alive, and to fully
appreciate it requires that it is viewed as a dynamic, fluid, and continually changing

The communication process has two formsverbal and nonverbal. Both forms
usually operate together in the majority of messages any particular person send and
Verbal communication is all spoken and written communication. A mother whispering
reassuring words to a child, a speaker addressing an audience of five thousand, or a
sunbather reading a book on the beach is utilizing verbal communication.
Nonverbal communication is all communication that is not spoken or written. It is
someones body type, voice, facial expressions, gestures, movement, clothing, and
touch. It is his or her use of distance, use of time, and the environment he or she
creates. It is the laughter, tears, gentle touch, relaxed breathing, and the car he or she
drives. All these things and countless others make up nonverbal communication.
Verbal communication and nonverbal communication enable people to
communicate. They provide all that is necessary for the process of connecting, and it is
everyones privilege to use them creatively, effectively, and meaningfully.
Few areas of academic study have attracted so much attention as that of
interpersonal communication. In recent years there has been a deluge of research
studies in this field. The reasons for this were aptly summarized by Wiemann (2003, p.
ix): Our ability to create and sustain our social world depends in large measure on how
well we communicate. Peoples social skills are crucial to their well-being - individually
and collectively. The importance of understanding skilled behavior in all its complexities
cannot be overstated. Studies have shown a clear and positive relationship between
effective interpersonal skills and a range of benefits such as greater happiness in life,
resilience to stress and psychosocial problems, and enhanced academic and professional achievements (Hargie & Dickson, 2004). Indeed, to the question of why we
should study this area, Stewart, Zediker and Witteborn (2005, p. 70) answered, Theres
a direct link between the quality of your communication and the quality of your life.
In relation to the professional domain, as society developed and became more
complex, the need evolved for a greater number of what Ellis (1980) termed
interpersonal professionals who spend a large part of their working lives in face-to-face
interaction with others. Such professionals include doctors, teachers, speech therapists,
physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, psychologists, nurses, careers

advisers, counsellors and business executives, to name but a few. Historically, the
training of many of these professionals focused almost entirely upon the acquisition of
specialized knowledge. More recently, however, the centrality of interpersonal
communication in their work has been recognized and catered for in training. In light of
the importance of communication skills, it is hardly surprising that they have been a
continuing object of study by scholars and researchers from numerous disciplines.
During a persons lifetime he or she will be called on to speak in front of others.
At school, he or she may deliver an oral report, chair a panel discussion, or speak at an
awards banquet. At work, he or she may give a sales presentation, present ideas about
a new product line, or serve as master of ceremonies for a certain occasion. In
community, he or she may address a city council meeting, speak at a public forum, or
run for public office. In personal life, he or she may share a story at a family reunion,
give a toast at a wedding reception, or talk at an anniversary party.
Public speaking is speaking before an audience for a specific purpose. Each of
the examples just mentioned involved delivering a speech, in front of an audience, with
a specific purpose in mind. The three general purposes of speaking are to inform,
persuade, or entertain. The purpose of informative speaking is to expand or broaden
your listeners knowledge and skill. A lecture, a gun safety demonstration, and a sales
report are examples of informative speaking. The purpose of persuasive speaking is to
change what your listeners think or do. A sales presentation, a campaign speech, and
closing arguments in a court trial are examples of persuasive speaking. The purpose of
speaking to entertain is to amuse, please, or charm the audience. After-dinner
speeches, the welcoming speech at a convention, and stand-up comedy are examples
of speaking to entertain.
It has been estimated that 75% of all people experience some degree of
anxiety/nervousness when public speaking. In fact, surveys have shown that most
people fear public speaking more than they fear death. If untreated, public speaking
anxiety (as other mental health problems) can cause serious detrimental effects on
people in general, and undergraduate students in particular, as it may prevent them
from accomplishing their educational goals. A recent study conducted by Garcia-Lopez,
Diez-Bedmar, and Almansa-Moreno (2013) has reported that previously trained

students could act as trainers to other students and help them to improve their public
speaking skills.
Based on studies of national and international mental health institutes and



approximate factual






glossophobia (public speaking or stage fright), making it the top global fear next to,
Necrophobia (16%, fear of death and end of life), Arachnophobia (13%, fear of spiders
and other arachnids creatures), Achluophobia/ Scotophobia/ Myctophobia (12%, fear of
darkness and twilight), Acrophobia (11%, fear of heights, altitude or elevations),
Sociophobia (10%, fear of people or social situations), Aerophobia (7%, fear of flying in
airplanes), Agoraphobia (5%, fear of open spaces and squares), Brontophobia (4%, fear
of natural thunder and lightning) and Claustrophobia (3%, fear of confined spaces or
small rooms). Compare to other phobias, notice that communication stress is correlated
with the fact that finding good speech topics is difficult. Having an aversion to this social
skill has negative effects on careers and influences success in life negatively.
In accordance to the proponents of the study, eight important aspects of delivery
are examined: overcoming anxiety, setting the tone, considering language and style,
incorporating visual aids, being aware of time, choosing a delivery method, projecting a
speaking persona, and finally, practicing and putting speech into action.


Advantage and Disadvantage

People who can speak eloquently are basically easy to understand: If the

speaker delivers his or her speech on the basis of the audience level, it becomes easy
understanding. So, the main advantages of speech are understandable. A good speech
is time saving as well as cost saving. Direct speech between the speaker and the
listener saves time to communicate information. Direct speech saves money, because it
does not require any device or writing instruments like pen, paper, computer, telephone
etc. Good speakers create good relations. Speech can help to develop the relation
between the speaker and the audiences. It is possible to establish friendly relation
among the parties concern through direct speech. People who can speak effectively
gains direct and positive feedbacks. There is a quick and direct feedback of oral
communication, because the audience can interact directly to the speaker and good
speakers help boost self-esteem and such. By delivering a good speech in public, the
speaker can communicate with many people at a time through speech and can
entertain, inform, pursue or convince people.
The main disadvantage of speech is inaccuracy and such context as proper
delivery of a speech appears to become void. If the speaker fails to understand the
need of the audiences, speech becomes worthless. Another disadvantage is complexity.
Speech increases the complexity in the communication channel. If the number of
audience is large, it is difficult to understand the meaning of the speech. There are
delays with speeches. It is a lengthy process to take decision making because it takes
more times for personal discussions to each other. If the audiences do not understand
the meaning of the speech it takes more time to take a final decision. There is also
irrelevancy in speeches. Sometimes the speaker delivers an irrelevant speech which
makes the audience displeasure or disgust. Usually there are no records kept with
speeches. So speech cannot be sued as legal document unless it is taped. There may
be a lack of secrecy with speeches. In this form of communication, the important and
secret information may be disclosed. There is also conflict with speech. Speech cannot
be kept in mind for long. So it can create many conflicts among the parties concerned. A
speech could be expensive as oppose to being cheap whenever a speaker has to pay a

large amount of money to make reservations of venues, etc. in order to be able to speak
in front of people.
There are differences between oral and written language and such contradiction
is indicative of the underlying disadvantages of delivering a speech or message
regardless how proper it was delivered. All communication includes the transfer of
information from one person to another, and while the transfer of information is only the
first step in the process of understanding a complex phenomenon, it is an important first
step. Writing is a fairly static form of transfer.

Speaking is a dynamic transfer of

information. To be an effective speaker, you must exploit the dynamism of oral

communication, but also learn to work within its limitations. While there is a higher level
of immediacy and a lower level of retention in the spoken word, a speaker has more
ability to engage the audience psychologically and to use complex forms of non-verbal
The written language can be significantly more precise. Written words can be
chosen with greater deliberation and thought, and a written argument can be
extraordinarily sophisticated, intricate, and lengthy. These attributes of writing are
possible because the pace of involvement is controlled by both the writer and the
reader. The writer can write and rewrite at great length, a span of time which in some
cases can be measured in years. Similarly, the reader can read quickly or slowly or
even stop to think about what he or she has just read.

More importantly, the reader

always has the option of re-reading; even if that option is not exercised, its mere
possibility has an effect upon a reader's understanding of a text. The written word
appeals more to a contemplative, deliberative style.


General Point of View

The proponents of the study come up with the following problems:


How to overcome anxiety. It is normal to experience some communication

apprehension, or stage fright, when you deliver a speech. Even people you
wouldnt expect to experience speech apprehension do. The well-known actor
Mel Gibson is reputed to have been so overcome with nervousness in front of
other people during his first performance that he had to sit downhis legs were
too weak to support him. Other notable celebrities who have experienced similar
stage fright include Rod Stewart, Barbra Streisand, Laurence Olivier, and Carly
Simon. Mick Book and Michael Edelstein (2009) have even interviewed 40
celebrities about stage fright and how they overcome it, as a guide to helping
others overcome their anxiety. Extreme fear of public speaking is the number-one
social phobia in the United States (Bruce & Saeed, 1999).
Speakers may express apprehension in a variety of waysas Mel Gibson
experienced when his legs felt weakbut some of the most common symptoms
include shaking hands and legs, voice fluctuations, and rapid speech. Moreover,
almost all speakers worry that their nervousness is going to be obvious to the
audience. Fortunately, many signs of anxiety are not visible. For example, if your
hands sweat or your heart pounds when you speak, your audience will probably
not notice. Read It Happened to Me: Jamie for the story of one of our students,
who realized she was the only person who knew she was nervous.
As a speaker, your goal is not to eliminate feelings of apprehension, but to use
them to invigorate your presentation. Having some apprehension can motivate
you to prepare carefully; it can give you the energy and alertness that make your
presentation lively and interesting. Public speaking instructors usually say that
they worry more about students who arent nervous, as it may reflect lack of
concern and motivation, than about those who are. Although you may feel that
your communication apprehension is too much to overcome, statistics are
encouraging. Researchers have found that only one out of 20 people suffers

such serious fear of speaking that he or she is essentially unable to get through a
public speech (Sprague & Stuart, 2000, p. 73). Your own feelings of
apprehension will likely be much less than that.

How to prepare carefully. Experts have discovered that it is not the amount of
time you spend preparing, but how you prepare. People who are extremely
anxious about giving a speech tend to spend most of their time preparing notes.
On the other hand, speakers who have less apprehension and are more effective
prepare careful notes, but they also spend considerable time analyzing their
anticipated audience (Ayres, 1996), a subject we will turn to later in this chapter.


How to practice your speech before delivery. There is no substitute for practice.
However, going over the points silently in your head does not count as practice.
Practice means giving your speech out loud (possibly in front of a mirror) while
timing it and later asking a sympathetic friend (or friends) to listen to it and give
you feedback.


How to focus and smile. Once you are in front of your real audience, find a
friendly face in the crowd and focus on that person.
The peak anxiety time for most speakers is the first moment of confronting the
audience (Behnke & Sawyer, 1999, 2004). Receiving positive reinforcement early
on is an excellent way to get over this initial anxiety. When you spot that one
person who looks friendly or nods in agreement, keep your eyes on her or him
until you feel relaxed.


How to try some relaxation techniques. While the fear may be in your head, it
manifests itself in physiological changes in your body; that is, your muscles
tense, your breathing becomes shallow, and adrenaline pumps through your
system. Effective relaxation techniques for such situations include deep
breathing and visualizing a successful speech (Behnke & Sawyer, 2004). Shallow

breathing limits your oxygen intake and adds further stress to your body, creating
a vicious cycle. Sometimes were not even aware of these stress indicators.


How to relax by performing some breathing exercises. Dr. Weil, the health guru,
recommends this simple exercise that requires no equipment and can be done
anywhere, anytime you feel stressed (like before speaking in public).
Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper
front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. Exhale completely
through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Close your mouth and inhale
quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count
of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound, to a
count of eight. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three
more times, for a total of four breaths. You'll notice that, after a few breaths, you'll
feel calm, as the exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.
Do not admit your nervousness. Do not say to yourself or to your audience, Oh,
Im so nervous up here! or I think Im going to pass out! These kinds of
statements only reinforce your own feelings of apprehension as well as
highlighting them for the audience.


How to talk yourself into a strong performance. If you watch professional

athletes, such as tennis players, you may notice them talking to themselves.
Often, these are messages meant for themselves to motivate them to play a
better game, hit the ball more accurately, make better backhand returns, and so
on. The purpose of this kind of speech is positive motivation. In public speaking,
a similar kind of psychological technique can be helpful. As you prepare your
speech, practice your speech, and get ready to give your speech, tell yourself
that you are going to do very well. Be positive and take a positive and confident
approach to the speech.


How to consider the importance of your topic to others. It may be helpful to think
about the significance of your topic to others as one way to gain the confidence

to give a strong performance. For example, if you are speaking about domestic
violence, gun violence, or other important social issues, think about the people
who suffer, whose lives are ruined, or whose lives are lost, and your own
nervousness will seem insignificant in relation to the point of your speech and the
impact you want to have. You dont want your apprehension to become more
important than the difference you want to make with your speech. Thinking about
others can help you take the focus off of yourself.

How to give away speeches beforehand. It may seem simple, but this is the
strategy most public speaking instructors and students use to overcome anxiety
(Levasseur, Dean, & Pfaff, 2004). In short, it becomes easier and easier with
each speech. As one seasoned speaker said, Learning to become a confident
speaker is like learning to swim. You can watch people swim, read about it, listen
to people talk about it, but if you dont get into the water, youll never learn
(Sanow, 2005). Take opportunities to hone your public speaking skills. Volunteer
to give speeches, or become a member of Toastmasters International or a local
group of public speakers. Take every opportunity that arises to give a speech.

3.10. How to set the tone. Tone refers to the mood or feeling the speaker creates.
Sometimes the tone is set by the occasion. For example, speaking at a wedding
and speaking at a funeral require different tones, and these tones are determined
more by the situation than by the speaker. In other situationssuch as speaking
in front of a city council to praise them for making a courageous decision about
building a new library or park or criticizing them for doing so during a time of tight
budgetsthe occasion allows the speaker to determine the tone of a part of a
meeting. In these kinds of situations, the speaker has the ability to set the tone.
When a speaker rallies a crowd at a protest, the speaker has tremendous power
to set the toneas Martin Luther King Jr. often did, so that the crowd was incited
not to do violence but to protest nonviolently. In these cases, the speaker may
have an ethical obligation to consider the consequences of setting different tones
for an audience.

If you are smiling and look happy when you get up to delivery your speech, you
will set a tone of warmth and friendliness. If you look serious and tense, you will
set a different sort of toneone of anxiety and discomfort. Remember: You set
the tone for your speech long before you begin speakingin fact, the tone can
be set as soon as the audience sees you.
Your tone should be related to the topic of your speech. If you are giving a
speech intended to inspire people to take actionsuch as recycling, participating
in a beach clean up, or walking in a fundraiseran uplifting and positive tone can
motivate your audience. For example, when Barack Obama spoke about race in
A More Perfect Union (see Chapter 16, pages 373-374), he used an uplifting
tone: This time, we want to talk about the men and women of every color and
creed who serve together and fight together and bleed together under the same
proud flag. If you are telling a tragic personal story, your tone would probably be
quite serious. If you are campaigning for one candidate over another, you may
want to set a more serious tone for your candidate and a more ridiculing one for
the opponent. In Chapter 16, Rudy Giulianis Speech to the Republican National
Convention, (pages 374-375) set a more aggressive tone as he argued for John
McCain and against Barack Obama. For example, when he notes, This is not a
personal attack . . . its a statement of factBarack Obama has never led
anything. Nothing. Nada, his use of repetition emphasizes the tone of his
criticism of Obama.
Although your tone will run throughout your speech, it can vary as you proceed.
For example, you might start out with a serious tone as you point out a problem
of some kind, such as cruelty to animals, but you might end with a much more
positive tone in moving your audience to address the problem. You may end with
a very uplifting tone that invites your audience to envision a future without cruelty
to animals and to help make that vision become a reality.

3.11. Considering language and style. As a speaker, the language you use to give your
speech will shape the style of your speech. Style refers to the type of language

and phrasing a speaker uses, and the effect it creates. Your style can be ornate
and indirect; such a style was common in the nineteenth century but is less so
today. For example, consider the ornate style used in this selection from Daniel
Websters 1825 Bunker Hill Monument Oration:
The great event in the history of the continent, which we are now met here to
commemorate, that prodigy of modern times, at once the wonder and the
blessing of the world, is the American Revolution. In a day of extraordinary
prosperity and happiness, of high national honor, distinction, and power, we are
brought together, in this place, by our love of country, by our admiration of
exalted character, by our gratitude for signal services and patriotic devotion
(Webster, 1989, p. 127).
Alternately, your style can be plain and direct. For example, if Daniel Webster
had chosen a plainer style to commemorate the Bunker Hill Monument, he might
have said something like this:
The American Revolution was a great event in our history, and we are here to
commemorate its importance by erecting this monument.
These two examples (the first one real, the second one hypothetical) show that
an ornate style can stimulate a more emotional response and, in this case, create
great pride in the establishment of the United States. The plainer style, on the
other hand, gets right to the point and values economy in wording. In his Last
Lecture, Randy Pausch (see Chapter 15, pages 359-360) speaks in a plainer
style so that he can communicate clearly and easily with his audience. He uses a
plain style with less-wordy language to create a more informal relationship with
the audience.


Personal Point of View

Once you have decided on your general speaking purpose, you can proceed to
the specific purpose for the speech. The specific purpose statement is the goal you
hope to achieve for your speech. Your specific purpose statement includes your general
purpose, the intended audience, and the desired result or goal of the speech. Here are
some examples of specific purpose statements:
To inform the audience about making a coffee table. To persuade the audience to
buy mutual funds. To entertain the audience with a poem.
A specific purpose statement should clearly state your intended purpose of
informing, persuading, or entertaining. It should have only one goal, such as making a
coffee table or buying mutual funds. Having more than one goal divides your efforts
and focus as well as your audiences attention. Keep your purpose as specific as
possible. Have only one goal in mind for every speech.
Once you have decided on the specific purpose for the speech, you are ready to
analyze the speaking situation, which includes the speaking occasion and the audience.
This information will help you focus your speech research and preparation.
The following questions will help you analyze the speaking occasion. What is the
nature and intent of the occasion? Will it be a formal occasion or a backyard gathering?
Is your speech expected to be informative, persuasive, or entertaining? What are the
time limits? Will there be a question-and-answer period following your speech? How
many speakers will there be? What type of dress or attire would be appropriate? What
is the size of the audience? Where will the speaking event be held? Your inquiries
regarding the speaking occasion will help focus and shape the speech you are about to
Once you understand the speaking occasion, consider your audience. There are
four areas of audience analysis to explore before you research and prepare your talk
the audiences interest, attitude, knowledge, and demographics.
The first area of analysis is the audiences interest in your topic. Will they be
interested in the topic you have chosen? Or will they be bored? The answers to these
questions will often determine the topic of your speech. Most of the time, however, you
will be asked to speak on a topic that is of interest to the audience.

The audience may be interested in your topic, but what is their attitude toward it?
Are they in favor of it? Are they against it? Or do they hold a neutral attitude? The
answer to these questions will determine how you approach the audience with your
topic. If they are in favor of your topic, consider presenting new or creative information
about the subject. If they hold a neutral attitude, consider raising their curiosity or
stimulating their interest. If they hold a negative attitude, consider trying to neutralize or
minimize their opposition to your topic. You may even consider changing the topic if
their opposition is too great.
How much does your audience know about your topic? Speak at an appropriate
level so your audience will understand. Dont talk about material they already know and
avoid introducing information they are unable to understand. By considering their
knowledge of the topic, you can avoid boring or confusing your audience.
Determine the demographics of the audience members. What is the gender of
the audience? Are they male, female, or both genders? What is average age of the
group? Are they children, young parents, or retired folks? What is the economic status
of the audience? What is the cultural background of the audience? Is it a homogeneous
group of people from the same ethnic or racial background or will there be individuals
from a variety of cultures?
The information you gather about your audience will help you research and
shape a speech that will interest your audience. But in the end, your enthusiasm and
interest in your topic will ultimately determine its success. You must be interested in
your topic to deliver a speech that will interest your audience, no matter how they may
feel about it beforehand.
After you have determined your specific purpose and analyzed the speaking
occasion and audience, you are ready to begin gathering information to include in your
There are four sources of information from which you will collect the material for your
speechyour personal knowledge and experience, library resources, the Internet, and




To improve your professional and personal reputation.


To Increase your influence in decision making processes.


To be concise and on target at all time.


To gain the trust and respect of others very quickly.


To deal with difficult people.


To come across as sincere, authentic and reliable.


To increase your success business.


To be seen as an expert.


To make strong first impressions.


To conduct effective business meetings.


You attract people people want to be with dynamic people


Enjoy the rush of public speaking (even if you fear it)


To become lively.


To become interesting.


To become earnest.


To have a sense of leadership.


To have a sense of honor.


Control stress with a mind walk and confocal contemplation. Today, stress is
associated with a variety of chronic illnesses. In addition to regular exercise and
sleep nourishment, consider a mind walk, or a pleasant thought that stops the
stress and replaces it with something positive. In the same vein, practice confocal
contemplation by allowing your mind to wander into a cloudlet of peace and
relaxing your body. Then, while thoughts are peacefully drifting, flex your feet,
ankles, calves, shins, knees, buttocks and hips and release. Feel the weight of
your entire body while your mind remains free, and repeat the exercise.


Practice projecting your emotions. How many times have you daydreamed about
how you will express yourself when a particular situation arises? In the same way,
we need to rehearse how we project our emotions in social situations. Try
practicing emotional expression in front of a trusted friend or loved one. If someone
has made you happy and joyous, rehearse how to show them in the moment.

Showing love and laughter can strengthen bonds, and learning how to express
anger, sorrow and fear in appropriate ways will improve your ability to communicate
and foster understanding.

Winning your audience by emphasizing character strengths. No one is good at

everything, but everyone is good at something. In order to get what you want in life,
you simply need to do what youre good at. Your audience may be an employer,
coworkers, family or a potential date. Can you make them laugh, understand or
otherwise feel deeply what youre expressing? Appealing to their emotional
responses can go far. Keep in mind the hearts and minds of your audience,
including the setting and what they must be experiencing during the performance.
Be aware of your vocal projection and body language. You will be remembered for
your performance, which will lead you to better roles and, in the case of daily living,
better relationships.

21. You may have felt fear when facing an audience in the past. Chances are that it
was your beliefs, and not the audience itself, that tied your stomach in knots.
Your beliefs about yourself as a speaker will determine how you show up. Human
beings don't just assemble facts. We constantly interpret the facts to tell a story
and make sense of what's happening around us. That's how we learn. Beliefs
create the meaning you bring to the things that happen. You wear your beliefs
like glasses; you view everything through them. And here's the thing about
beliefs: They are always true for you. Whether or not anyone else would agree is
irrelevant. For example, if you believe that you couldn't hold an audience's
attention because you are too new, too old, too young, a woman, a man, an
introvert, etc., then that will be true for you. If you perceive that you are in danger
of being judged, attacked, or ridiculed, that perception is all that counts. The
receptors in your brain respond the same way, whether or not the attack is real. If
you're walking into a room full of Ph.D.s and your fundamental belief is that
you're not really smart enough to speak on this subject, then you will
unconsciously look for all the ways to confirm that belief.

Delivery is often viewed as synonymous with public speaking itself. Although
delivery is only one part of the speech-making process, it is a very important part. As
you saw from Mias personal experience at the beginning of this chapter, delivery can
make a big impact on an audience in ways that you may not intend. Also important to
delivery are overcoming anxiety and setting the tone of the presentation, which includes
thinking carefully about your language use and the style of your presentation. If you use
visual aids in your presentation, incorporate them in a way that does not distract from
you or from your topic. You will also need to choose a delivery method, determining
whether the presentation calls for impromptu, extemporaneous, or manuscript delivery.
Also, consider the persona that you want to project by paying attention to your public
image, and be aware of the time limits set for the presentation. In order to perform at
your best, you must practice, paying attention to your signposting, your delivery, and
your overall style. Finally, speakers must uphold a level of ethics in their delivery by not
using language that denigrates others, choosing visual aids with care, and respecting
time limits.
In achievement in sports, or success in some other sphere. At a higher level is
the need for self-actualisation, by fulfilling ones true potential. People seek new
challenges, feeling the need to be stretched and to develop themselves fully. Thus,
someone may give up secure salaried employment in order to study at college or set up
in business.
Maslow argued that only when basic needs have been achieved does the individual
seek higher needs. The person who is suffering from hunger will usually seek food at all
costs, even risking personal safety, and is unlikely to worry about being held in high
esteem. At a higher level, someone deeply in love may publicly beg a partner not to
leave, thereby foregoing self-esteem. However, it should be recognised that this
hierarchy does not hold in all cases. Needs can also be influenced directly by individual
goals. One example of this is political prisoners starving themselves to death in an
attempt to achieve particular political objectives. But for the most part this hierarchy of
needs holds true, and the behaviour of an individual can be related to existing level of
need. Similarly, people can be manipulated either by promises that their needs will be

met, or threats that they will not be met. Politicians promise to meet safety needs by
reducing the crime rate and improving law and order, computerdating firms offer to meet
love needs by providing a partner, while company management may threaten various
needs by warning workers that if they go on strike the company could close and they
would lose their jobs.
Skilled performers take account of the needs of those with whom they interact. For
example, effective salespeople have been shown to ascertain client needs early in the
sales encounter and then tailor their responses to address these needs (Hargie,
Dickson & Tourish, 2004). One of the generic needs during social encounters is the
quest for uncertainty reduction. We want to know what is expected of us, what the rules
of the interaction are, what others think of us, what relationship we will have with them,
and so on. In other words, we have a need for high predictability and are happier in
familiar situations with low levels of uncertainty about what to expect and how to behave
(Clampitt & Williams, 2004). In interpersonal encounters, skilled individuals take
cognisance of the desire for others to have uncertainty reduced. For this reason, skilled
professionals take time at the outset of consultations with clients to clarify goals and
agree objectives (Hargie & Dickson, 2004).
Motivation is therefore important in determining the goals that we seek in social
interaction. Indeed, traditionally, motivation has been defined as the process by which
behavior is activated and directed toward some definable goal (Buck, 1988, p. 5). Our
behaviour, in turn, is judged on the basis of the goals that are being pursued. As the
model outlined in Figure 2.3 illustrates, both parties to an interaction have goals. This is
important, since those who can accurately interpret the behaviour of other people in
terms of goals tend to be more successful in achieving their own goals (Berger, 2000).
Our goals are determined in three main ways (Oettingen & Gollwitzer, 2004), in that
they can be:
1. Assigned. Goals may be decided for us by others (e.g. parents, teachers,
managers), who tell us what goals we should (and should not) pursue.
2. Self-set. Here, goals are freely chosen by the individual.
3. Participative. In this case, goals are openly agreed in interaction with others.
Goal conflict may occur where goals being pursued by both sides do not concur, or

where there is internal inconsistency in goals. Informing a good friend of an annoying

habit, while maintaining the same level of friendship, would be one example of the latter.
Encounters such as this obviously require skill and tact. Yet we know little about how to
ensure success in such situations. We have goals and those with whom we interact also
have goals, and these may not concur. However, for relationships to develop, ways
must be found of successfully negotiating mutual goal achievement. Despite a great
deal of interest in the subject of goal-directed action, relatively little work has been
carried out to investigate the process whereby communicators negotiate intentions.
What is clear is that goals, needs, and our motivation to satisfy these, all play a vital role
in skilled performance. Once appropriate goals have been decided upon, they have an
important bearing on our perceptions, behaviour, and the intervening mediating factors.
The term mediating factors refers to those internal states, activities, or processes within
the individual that mediate between the feedback perceived, the goal being pursued,
and the responses that are made. What has been termed the mediated mind
(Lucariello, Hudson, Fivush & Bauer, 2004) is therefore an important feature of interpersonal communication. Mediating factors influence the way in which people and
events are perceived, and determine the capacity of the individual to assimilate,
process, and respond to the social information received during interpersonal encounters. It is at this stage that the person makes decisions about appropriate courses of
action for goal achievement. This is part of the process of feedforward, whereby the
individual estimates the likely outcome of particular responses in any given context.
There are two core mediating factors, cognition and emotion.
As discussed in Chapter 1, cognition plays a very important role in skilled communication, in terms of control of responses. This is because it is in the mind that intentions
are formulated, potential courses of action considered, and efferent commands
generated (Greene, 1988, p. 37). Cognition has been defined as all the processes by
which the sensory input is transformed, reduced, elaborated, stored, recovered and
used (Neisser, 1967, p. 4). This definition emphasises the following aspects:
4. Cognition involves transforming, or decoding and making use of the sensory
information received.

5. To do so, it is often necessary to reduce the amount of information attended to, in

order to avoid overloading the system.
6. Conversely, at times, we have to elaborate upon minimal information by making
interpretations, judgements, or evaluations (e.g. He is not speaking to me
because I have upset him).
Information is stored either in short-term or long-term memory. While there is debate
about the exact nature and operation of memory, there is considerable
Evidence to support the existence of these two systems (Bentley, 1993). Shortterm
memory has a limited capacity for storage, allowing for the retention of information over
a brief interval of time (no more than a few minutes), while long-term memory has an
enormous capacity for storage of data that can be retained over many years. Thus,
information stored in short-term memory is quickly lost unless it is transferred to the
long-term memory store. For instance, we can usually still remember the name of our
first teacher at primary school, yet a few minutes after being introduced to someone for
the first time we may have forgotten the name. The process of context-dependent
coding is important. Remembering occurs by recalling the context of the original event.
When we meet someone we recognise but cannot place, we try to think where or when
we met that person before - in other words, we try to put the individual in a particular
context. A similar process occurs in social situations, whereby we evaluate people and
situations in terms of our experience of previous similar encounters. Short-term memory
is important in skilled performance in terms of listening and retaining information about
the responses of others so as to respond appropriately (see Chapter 9).
Information that is stored is recovered or retrieved to facilitate the process of decision
making and problem solving. As expressed by Meyer (2000, p. 183), Prior to
addressing a communication goal, speakers retrieve from long-term memory knowledge
about how that goal has been addressed in the past.

An increased knowledge of the nature of communication should be followed by
an increase in social competence. This competence encompasses both an ability to
perceive and interpret accurately the cues being emitted by others, and a capacity to
behave skilfully in response to others. Therefore, it is vital that the information contained
in this book be used by the reader, who should be prepared to experiment with various
social techniques until the most effective response repertoire is developed in any
particular situation. It is anticipated that such experimentation will, for many
professionals, occur in the context of a skills-training programme. For this reason, it is
useful to examine the rationale for the skills approach to training, and some of the
criticisms which have been levelled at this approach.
In his overview of the skills approach, Argyle (1999, p. 142) noted: One of the
implications of looking at social behaviour as a social skill was the likelihood that it could
be trained in the way that manual skills are trained. This in fact proved to be the case.
As discussed in the Introduction to this book, many professionals now undergo some
form of specialised training in interpersonal communication as a preparation for practical
experience. The most widely utilised method of training for professionals is the
microtraining approach, which can be traced back to the development of microteaching
in teacher education. Microteaching was first introduced at Stanford University,
California, in 1963, when a number of educationists there decided that existing
techniques for training teachers how to teach needed to be revised. In recognising the
many and manifold nuances involved in classroom teaching, the Stanford team felt that
any attempt to train teachers should take place in a simplified situation (Allen & Ryan,
1969). Attention was turned to the methods of training used in other fields, where
complicated skills were taught by being broken down into simpler skill areas, and
training often occurred in a simulated situation, rather than in the real environment.
Thus, prior to the presentation of a play, actors engage in rehearsals when
various scenes are practised in isolation until judged to be satisfactory. Tennis players in
training concentrate on specific aspects, such as the serve, smash, lob, volley, and
backhand, in order to improve their overall game. Similarly, the learner driver learns to

use various controls separately before taking the car on the road. The rationale in all of
these instances is to analyse the overall complex act in terms of simpler component
parts, train the individual to identify and utilise the parts separately, and then combine
the parts until the complete act is assimilated.
At Stanford, this approach was applied to the training of teachers in a programme
which comprised learning a number of teaching skills in a scaled-down teaching
encounter termed microteaching. In microteaching, the trainee taught a small group of
pupils (5-10) for a short period of time (5-10 minutes), during which time the focus was
on one particular skill of teaching, such as using questions. This microlesson, which
took place in college with actual pupils being bussed in, was video-recorded, and the
trainee then received feedback on the skill under review (e.g. effectiveness of the
questioning techniques used), in the form of a video replay coupled with tutorial
guidance. This procedure was repeated for a number of teaching skills, and was
designed to prepare students more systematically for actual classroom teaching
Research in microteaching found this to be an effective method for training teachers
(Hargie & Maidment, 1979; McGarvey & Swallow, 1986). As a result, this training
method was adapted by trainers in other fields to meet their own particular training
requirements (Hayes, 2002). This eventually resulted in the introduction of the term
microtraining, to describe the approach wherein the core skills involved in professional
interaction are identified separately, and trainees are provided with the opportunity to
acquire these in a safe training environment. More recently, the term communication
skills training (CST) has been employed to describe this microtraining method.
Hargie and Saunders (1983) identified three distinct phases in this form of CST,
namely, preparation, training, and evaluation. At the preparation stage, the skills
necessary for effective professional communication are identified (for a review of skill
identification methods, see Caves, 1988). Although most of the skills presented in this
book are relevant to all professions, there are important differences in focus and

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