What is Public Speaking?

Public speaking can be defined as the act of giving a speech (oral communication) in public or in front of an audience. Often, visuals like a presentation slideshow are used to supplement the speech. Modern-day technologies allow people to give a live speech to an audience online without being physically present. The speech can be professional such as for work or for a school project, or it may be unprofessional and delivered to family and friends. Thus, public speaking has many different purposes such as to educate, entertain, inform, or influence the listeners.

Unfortunately, many people are afraid of giving a public speech. However, it is an essential part of communication, and it is a very important aspect of education, and many careers like business, sales, government, and law. A speech is a powerful tool of communication because it not only provides the words like in writing, but it also provides tone and gestures (body language) that allow the speaker to deliver a more powerful message.

Being a good public speaker is an essential skill for everyone. Having public speaking skills can improve one's self-confidence, help people advance more quickly down their career path, improve research skills, improve people skills such as the ability to read and understand others, improve communication skills in other aspects of life like relationships, and better leadership skills. Also, one of the most important things that public speaking provides is the ability to share knowledge with others in the community. Many people do not speak in public because they are afraid and thus, their knowledge and ideas are silenced. Public speaking will also set that person apart from the rest of the crowd.

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Public Speaking Topics

Public Speaking Resources

Study.com provides useful public speaking courses for various grade levels and learning goals. Access our lessons, videos, activities, quizzes, and other resources to learn about language and public speaking skills. The introduction to public speaking courses allows educators and students to access lessons at any time!

Public Speaking Test Prep for Teachers and Students

Test Prep

Communicating well and developing public speaking skills are key components to success in many careers, especially teaching. Whether individuals wish to enhance their oratory skills or are preparing to take a state education licensure exam, Study.com's study guides and test preparation materials offer a solid overview of key topics in communication and the fundamentals of public speaking. After reviewing these materials, prospective teachers and test-takers will be better prepared to present ideas in front of a classroom and succeed in taking state licensure exams.

For Teachers

Public Speaking Skills and Practice

Public speaking skills are necessary not only for formal situations like a speech that is related to a job, but it also includes speaking to family and friends, or even strangers on a daily basis. Thus, public speaking and communication skills are necessary all the time.

Public speaking skills require oratory skills and language skills such as listening, reading, and writing skills. A proper understanding of English grammar, vocabulary, reading, and writing will allow learners to enhance their public speaking techniques. Proficient grammar, vocabulary, reading, and writing skills will help learners succinctly present their ideas, and generate interest and understanding.

Our library includes thousands of English Language Arts courses for high-school level grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 that include practice problems, step-by-step explanations, and video walkthroughs. Grammar skills and topics such as phrases and clauses, sentence structure, capitalization & spelling, punctuation, nouns, pronouns, verbs and verbals, grammar conventions, adjectives, and adverbs are covered. The vocabulary skills and practice courses cover dictionaries & thesauruses, word choice, determining word meaning, prefixes & suffixes, Greek, and Latin and Anglo-Saxon roots. The reading resources include analyzing informational texts, literary devices, analyzing literature, and analyzing poetry while the writing course includes editing and revising skills.

Without these basic skills, communication becomes difficult, nervousness and fear may increase when public speaking and the delivery will not be as efficient and flawless. Language skills enhance the clarity, organization, and precision of ideas being communicated. Whether doing a presentation at school or work, or simply speaking to friends, being able to do so by being clear and articulate, confident, and without fear is essential to draw the audience's attention.

This collection of resources on the fundamentals of public speaking skills and practice is designed to help students learn and master the basic techniques that are required to become proficient at public speaking.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is meant by public speaking?

    Public speaking is the act of orally communicating with others in public or in front of an audience. This is an essential skill to have for education, work, and life in general.

  • What is public speaking and its importance?

    Public speaking is talking to others (oral communication), it also includes gestures, voice tone, and voice volume to deliver a complete message. It is important because it gives the speaker the ability to progress in the working world, the education world, and in life in general.