Principles of Speech Delivery

Think of a speaker that one has heard and seen. State the reasons for liking this speaker? Is it his/her confidence, appearance, mastery of the language? All these answers are correct. A good speaker has to have a clear voice and uses words that are understandable. A good Speaker also uses the right facial expressions and appropriate gestures. Moreover, speakers are liked when they talk directly to the audience, maintaining eye contact with the listeners. These speakers also move on the stage with confidence, showing mastery of public communication.

A speaker’s message has to be imparted to the listeners. This is the second half of speech communication: the delivery of the speech. How does one deliver a speech effectively? There are several principles to be followed. These are as follows:

First Principle: Articulation

When the Speaker’s words cannot be understood because of poor articulation, the Speech might as well not have been delivered at all. Word choice and grammatical correctness are necessary in writing the Speech, but it is articulateness in pronouncing the words and speaking with clear diction that effectively transmits the Message of the Speaker. It is highly important to know the correct way of saying a word, whether they are familiar or unfamiliar. Proper breathing techniques together with the correct molding of sounds that make up words contribute to efficient articulation.

(Were the Speakers in the video/film articulate in their Speech? Were they understandable?)

Second Principle: Modulation

There are pleasant-sounding voices, quite soothing to the ears, just as there are unpleasant voices that sound flat, are high pitched, or screeching. People like to listen to voices that are well-modulated, meaning the capability to adjust or manipulate the resonance and timbre of the vocal tone. A microphone requires even more modulation as the amplifiers will resonate voices further. But with or without a microphone, voices should not bombard our eardrums. If the Speaker’s voice is modulated, Listeners will pay attention. The Speaker’s words will be heard clearly and the Message of the Speech will be sent and received.

(Were the Speakers’ voices modulated? Was it easy to listen to them?)

Third Principle: Stage Presence

The ability to “own” the stage, of the Speaker being able to fill the space and project his/ her personality to the Audience—that is stage presence. The opposite of stage presence is stage fright, which is considered by many as the topmost fear in the world of public speaking! But instead of trying to get rid of stage fright (which cannot be done anyway), all that energy that is making one feel shaky and nervous should be used to make the Speaker become an interesting, enthusiastic speaker capable of being heard and able to move about on stage. No one is immune from stage fright. Other people just manage it better and create what we see as stage presence.

(Did the Speakers show stage presence? Cite what contributed to that.)

Fourth Principle: Facial Expressions, Gestures, and Movement

It is not just the choice of words and their proper pronunciation that make for an effective Speech delivery. The Message of any speech is reinforced, clarified, and complemented by Nonverbal Communication such as facial expressions, gestures, and movement. Without these nonverbal elements, the Speaker may be judged as boring, with flat delivery and an unemotional voice. Facial expressions should change with the content of the Speech. Gestures should emphasize only certain points. Movement should allow the Speaker to carry the Speech around, forward, and to the Audience, metaphorically speaking. It should also direct the Audience to follow the Speaker and keep them hanging on to his/her every word.

(Did the Speakers use Nonverbal Communication? Was it too much or too little?) 

Fifth Principle: Audience Rapport

It was pointed out previously that the most important aid in establishing a connection with the Listeners is an Audience Analysis. Using this data, one is able to write a Speech that would appeal to the Audience. Also because of the same data, one will know how to deliver the Message to the Audience and connect with them at a deeper level.

(How did the Speakers establish rapport with their Audience? Did it work?)