By Mustapha Obihi
By Mustapha Obihi
Rabat – Ask any student about the most challenging aspect of learning the English language and the answer will unanimously be public speaking. An inexperienced speaker may often find it enervating and awkward to address controversial issues with fluency and accuracy, so what are the underlying factors that make public speaking so hard to master? What is the best methodology to be an influential speaker? Is there any link between receptive skills and public speaking?
Proficient public speaking is a steadfast barometer for language mastery. Standing confidently in front of an audience to articulate painstaking and creative ideas is highly appreciated and considered emblematic of a strong orator. This art cannot be pulled out of thin air, but rather requires a great deal of input and practice.
As it were, public speaking is that linguistic output which weaves thoughts into words so as to persuade, to describe, to inform or simply to impress in a sophisticated manner. At times, it is a pain in the neck to communicate your ideas to a large audience without any sheet of paper. This psychological pain is common among novice speakers or even among some prominent writers who are not acquainted with oratory. This can be traced back to the linguistic nature of speaking, which entails immediate feedback and requires much fluency and accuracy without any speck of hesitation or stammering.
Oratory is an art that requires sound reasoning, smooth transition, and eloquent transmission, along with an aesthetic language. The opening and closing are paramount for an orator; therefore a good presenter manages creatively to hook the audience’s attention throughout the entire presentation by interactive and interesting questions or simply building up a conversational discourse.
Not surprisingly, body language, as a non-verbal communicator is critical in the delivery of a presentation. One’s gestures can convey psychological states be they negative, such as: stage fright, lukewarm, anxiety, hesitation, disorganization, or positive feelings namely: self-esteem, enthusiasm, serenity and good management. Body language can reinforce our delivery and interaction when we maintain eye contact and appropriately use gestures, pace, and movement along with voice projection.
Planning, good research, and practice are critical steps for an outstanding public speaking. Planning should be detail–oriented so that nothing is left for chance, while research should be extensive to manage supporting ideas and counter-arguments. Practice on the other hand polishes your performance and makes you sound like a professional orator.
Public speaking is a productive skill which correlates with many other receptive skills. That’s to say, a person with impoverished listening input and limited vocabulary repertoire is likely encounter a lot of difficulties while delivering certain message to an audience. Therefore, learners must strengthen their reading, listening along with vocabulary to pave the way for an optimal public speaking.
In a nutshell, one should bear in mind that oratory is an art which can be acquired and refurbished through practice and repetition.
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