Chapter 15: Speeches and Presentations

In the book, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, chapter 15 is about giving speeches and presentations. Public speaking is an important skill to utilize and should be taken seriously public relations professionals.

Before you can give a speech there is a lot of preparation to do. First it is important to research everything possible about your audience. Not only should you research your audience but you need to know things about speakers too. After you do your research you can lay groundwork for your speech.

There are three main parts of a speech; objective, key message and strategy. The objective is the framework for the speech. It should aim to determine what you want to accomplish by giving your speech. What do you want your audience to walk away thinking or believing after your presentation? The key message is important too. There can be more than one key message in a speech. The strategy is the way you approach the speech. The strategy should be appropriate for the setting and tone of the speech.

When writing the speech it is important to remember that there will be several drafts and outlines conducted. The outlines include an opening, body and closing. The opening should get the audience’s attention and establish empathy as well as point to the conclusion. The body of the outline needs to present evidence that leads to conclusion and should use examples, quotes and facts or figures. The conclusion of coarse should summarize evidence and point out what it means.

The book discusses the importance of word selection. The speaker needs to talk to the audience not at them. Some word selection suggestions given were use personal pronouns, avoid jargon, use simple words, use direct quotes, use questions and make comparisons and contrasts. I thought this part of the chapter was extremely important and useful because word choice is critical when preparing speeches. The use of personal pronouns allow the speech to seem more conversational. Avoiding jargon is important because although you know what words used in your industry means it doesn’t necessarily mean your audience does. All this is important to know when preparing speeches and I think will come in handy in the future for me.

Chapter 15 is extremely important for public relation students because knowing to write a successful speech is vital. Speeches can be tricky and will require many drafts and different approaches before succeeding. This chapter can help students to prepare better written speeches once they are professionals in the industry.

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