Speech Study Guide

from that of most of the audience, it is important to practice pronouncing key words so that a speaker is easily understood. Vocal expression is achieved by changing pitch, volume, and rate, stressing certain words, and using pauses strategically. Speeding up the rate and raising the pitch can reinforce emotions, such as joy and enthusiasm. Slowing down the rate and lowering the pitch can communicate resolution, peacefulness, remorse, or sadness. A total lack of vocal expressiveness produces a monotone. Monotone is a voice in which the pitch, volume, and rate remain constant, with no word, idea, or sentence differing significantly in sound from any other. Monotone speakers are extremely difficult to listen to and make it difficult for a listener to follow what they are saying. 8.5 Use of Body An audience will see a speaker, as well as hear the speaker, therefore speakers use their body can contribute to how conversational and animated the audience perceives them to be. Moods are affected by what people wear and how they look. Body language elements include appearance, posture and poise, eye contact, facial expression, and gestures. Appearance is the way people look to others. Studies have shown that neatly groomed and professional appearances send an important message about the speaker’s commitment to the topic and occasion. There are three guidelines to consider when deciding how to dress for a speech. First, consider the audience and the occasion. Speakers should plan to dress a bit more formally than they would expect members of the audience to dress. Next, consider the topic and purpose. In general, the more serious the topic, the more formally a speaker should dress. For example, if someone is speaking on AIDS and trying to convince everyone they need to be tested, the speaker would want to look like someone with authority in this area. If the topic is on yoga and the speaker wants to convince the audience they will enjoy a yoga class, the speaker might want to dress more casually or in sportswear. Posture and poise will tell an audience that the speaker is self-assured, calm, and dignified. People communicate a sense of confidence that tells the audience that they are someone to listen to. Posture is defined as how someone holds their body. Poise is a graceful and controlled use of the body. Eye contact during a speech involves looking at people in all parts of the room throughout the speech. If a speaker is looking around at the audience, they will perceive the speaker as having good eye contact with them. They will find the speaker to be sincere. Maintaining eye contact is important for the following reasons: • It helps the audience concentrate on the speech • It bolters ethos • It helps the speaker gauge audience reaction to ideas


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