Public Speaking Is Not Only An Art

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“God, that all-powerful Creator of nature and Architect of the world, has impressed man with no character so proper to distinguish him from other animals, as by the faculty of speech.” –Quintilian (DeCaro) Public speaking is not only an art, but it’s an art that has been learned with the help of practice and philosophy throughout history. Greek philosopher Aristotle discovered that in order to assemble the citizens into conformity, one must persuade the people, which is what he called rhetoric.( DeCaro) Public speaking is described as a sustained formal presentation by a speaker to an audience (Verderber, Sellnow. pg.3). Although the fear of speaking in public can be very powerful, the ability to speak in public is very important to success. The fear of speaking is a common entity many people go through, because speaking in front of a large audience is still practiced for the reasons of informing, persuading and entertaining the people. Throughout history public speaking has integrated people and caused great change, in both a positive and undesirable way. There are three elements in every great speech which is content, structure, and delivery. Speakers such as Martin Luther King and his “I have a dream speech” and President Nixon have been stated to have mastered the art of public speaking which involves these key points. I had the opportunity to critique two speakers on their ability to speak in public as well as on the basis of content, structure, and delivery.
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