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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chapter 16: Special Occasion and Group Speeches

This chapter summary is written by the authors of the authors of the text, "Public Speaking, the Evolving Art (ISBN-13:978-0-534-636727-9). It is a summary and should not take the place of reading the textbook or using the other resources provided on Angel by the publisher, course instructor or school.
Chapter Summary

Many special occasions call for some type of speech. Speeches of introduction prepare the audience to listen to the main speaker. Speeches of nomination focus on the qualities that make the nominee the best person for the position or award. Award presentations provide background information about the award and the recipient. Speakers accepting awards should be thankful and humble in their brief comments. After-dinner speeches are meant to entertain. Tributes and eulogies typically provide inspiration. Some occasions call for speaking on camera.

Groups may give several types of presentations, including oral report, panel discussion, roundtable discussion, symposium, and forum. For an oral report, one member of the group presents the entire report. Panel discussions involve a moderator asking questions of experts on a topic in front of an audience. Round table discussions also include expert speakers, but the focus is on the exchange of ideas among participants, so an audience is not present. Symposiums are the most common form of classroom group presentations. Speakers each choose a subtopic of the group's topic and present individual speeches to an audience. Forums are question-and-answer sessions. They may stand alone, but more often they occur directly after an oral report, panel discussion, or symposium.

Groups often use videoconferencing to connect people in geographically dispersed locations. As with any public speaking situation, preparing and practice are essential to giving an effective presentation during a videoconference. During the presentation, minimize extraneous movement and speak clearly--vocal cues play a key role in audience comprehension during videoconferences.

In addition to all the qualities that go into effective public speaking, group presentations must form a unified whole. A group presentation's cohesiveness is evaluated in five areas: preparation as a group, coordination of the presentation, active listening, clear references to the group, and achievement of the group's goal. Preparation as a group should be evident in the presentation's structure and content. An effective overview, smooth transitions, and a closing summary help coordinate the group's presentation. Active listening allows speakers to comment on what others have said and avoid unnecessary repetition. Clear references to the group, such as using we and referring to other participants' points, help knit together the presentation. The degree to which the group has achieved its goal is the final area of evaluation.

Graduation Speeches
A Yahoo! directory of speeches
given at various graduations.
Presidential Nomination and Acceptance Speeches
Part of the American Presidency Project
at the University of California, Santa Barbara,
this site includes presidential nomination
and acceptance speeches, starting in 1880.
The Art of the Commencement Speech
An archive of commencement speeches
focusing on human rights issues.
Web Conferencing Tips
Suggestions for preparing for a web conference,
integrating digital slides into your presentation,
and delivering your presentation.
Wedding Speeches and Toasts
A Yahoo! directory of speeches given
at weddings and similar events.

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