The age of technological development today is characterized by the use of digital applications and social media in various aspects of life. For instance, start-up businesses could promote their products and services through mobile applications downloaded by customers. On the other hand, teachers and researchers could record or stream their presentations online to reach wider audiences. Whether we pursue a professional career or becoming a popular influencer, the use of digital applications is not complete without being able to implement public speaking skills online.
Public speaking skills require speakers to be able to convey a well-structured set of ideas to the audience. A public speaker is expected to inform, persuade, or congratulate the audience in a manner suitable to the particular occasion being held. By mastering the skills of public speaking, professional and popular speakers could create digital contents which bring benefit to the viewers, with efficient time management in discussing important issues on each content.
There are several kinds of public speaking. Firstly, Informative Speech intends to deliver information and sometimes complex ideas to be understood by the listeners easily. Secondly, Persuasive Speech aims at motivating the audience to agree or act upon the set of arguments elaborated by the speaker. Thirdly, Ceremonial Speech congratulate or share advice to distinguished individuals in special occasions. Next, Business Presentation prepares us for job interviews, office meetings, and business collaboration deals. Whereas, Communicating in Groups practice our skills in focus group discussions or speaking on behalf of identity groups. Finally, Online Presentations encourage us to be able to utilize social media for delivering our speeches.
In the academic field, students need to practice public speaking regularly to improve their performance during class presentations. Pay attention to the 3 ‘M’s while delivering a speech: Matter – selecting an interesting topic to stimulate discussion; Manner – mind your eye contact and gestures while speaking; and Method – concise, structured and easy to understand speech. Try delivering a speech in public areas such as parks or school yard to remove mental blocks. Ask some friends to listen to your speech and be excited to share fresh ideas with the audience. Before delivering an academic speech, a speaker needs to behave in an excellent manner, understand the audience’s background and prepare a script written based on credible academic resources.
For beginners, public speaking practice could be held through fun activities such as: Ice breaking games to get to know peers; Reading out a paragraph from an article to practice correct pronunciation; Picking random words and talk about them to make a story; and performing role plays to practice dialogues of the characters. Besides that, participating in public speaking competitions such as debate, speech, and news reading would also be a great experience. Whereas for more experienced speakers, public speaking requires advanced practices for instance: Building an Argument – supporting a cause with reasonable evidence to support our argument; and Proposing a Policy – contributing to a certain cause by proposing a program which will solve a problem currently faced by the institution. In Conclusion, public speaking through online platform requires intensive practice and hopefully we will become better overtime. (Nur Luthfi Hidayatullah)