Types and Styles

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I. FOUR TYPES OF SPEECHES

Extemporaneous

Given from an outline, but with flexibility to change words, style Allows tailoring message to audience
Allows for strong eye contact
Allows immediate revision based on audience nonverbal feedback

Manuscript

Given verbatim from printed text
Use when stating position, providing evidence, political statements
Limits speaker’s ability to revamp based on audience feedback
Often interferes with other modes of communication (e.g. eye contact, nonverbal com)

Impromptu

Unprepared and unrehearsed
Is informal and less threatening to audience May be unorganized, less clear
Reflects personal ability to think “on your feet”

Memorized

Given without manuscript or outline Relies on memory
Typically for short speeches Facilitates eye contact

Prone to robotic delivery

II. THREE STYLES OF PUBLIC SPEAKING

  1. PLAIN STYLE:
    Short, simple sentences Familiar words, metaphors

Used: To inform about basic facts To make simple arguments

To summarize familiar information

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2. MIDDLE STYLE:
Multiple sentence structures Rich, descriptive narrative

Used: For more sophisticated analogies
For highly developed arguments
To reinforce common beliefs, pathetic appeals

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3. GRAND STYLE:
Colorful, rigorous language Eloquent figures of speech Complex sentences
Elaborate arguments Empathic, empathetic delivery

Used: To prompt action
For strong ethical & emotional appeals

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A LITTLE ADVICE…GUIDE FOR PUBLIC SPEAKING

Be Clear

  1. Language audience understands
  2. Avoid ambiguous terms
  3. Make each point obvious

Be Appropriate

  1. For situation
  2. For audience
  3. For topic
  4. For speaker skills

Be Consistent

  1. Consistent style throughout the speech
  2. Style consistent with type of speech
    1. informative speech—use descriptive & explanatory words
    2. persuasive speech—use words that both articulate the abstract principle and can beapplied to the issue
    3. ceremonial speech—use descriptive narrative, heartfelt appeals, eloquent phrases thatrecall experiences, emotions
  3. Style consistent with speech topic (e.g. be wary of humor in speech on AIDS)

Be Coherent

  1. Use transitions to reinforce thesis, main points, evidence
  2. Aim for symmetry with main points, evidence, arguments
  3. Vary type, length, style of words, sentences, ideas, figures of speech(e.g. some exceptions ok…e.g. MLK “I have a dream…”

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