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Public Speaking: Concepts and Skills for a Diverse Society

Summary of Chapter 1

Public speaking is a major issue of analyzed three chapters form the book “Public Speaking: Concepts and Skills for a Diverse Society” by Clella Iles Jaffe. Public speaking is important for anyone, because it helps to share the information with audience, express a certain opinion, gives an opportunity to persuade masses of people to do something or no to do, and in case of successful performance, can be helpful for boosting self-esteem and self-reliance.

The first chapter begins with the introduction of the overall theme and message of the book. The goals of the introductory chapter are variable: the reader will gain the understanding of importance of taking public speaking courses as well as consider the process of public speaking in the integrity with culture, investigating the multi-faceted influences either of culture in the context of public speaking, and on the contrary. Thus, public speaking is investigated here in the inseparable unity with cultural aspect.

From this chapter I have learnt the definition of public speaking and its interconnection with the cultural aspects, I found out the reasons why it is important to speak skillfully, and considered main theories of communication such as dialogical and transactional one. Moreover, the chapter indicates that the book inserts guidelines how people can improve their skills speaking publicly, participating in a variety of social issues or civic engagement. It also teaches how to create speeches and overcome the dread of public performances, and the reasons to mind the cultural perspective. I use the idea in this chapter by writing out the significant ones from each section, and finding the evidence for each of them e.g. from Majora Carter’s life experiences. I also chose the most appropriate type of culture we use in everyday speaking along with the suitable communication style.

Summary of Chapter 2

Chapter 2 gives an account of methods aimed at overcoming fears of public performances. It investigates deep into the matter of communication anxiety, and/or psychological anxiety, and fishes out the causes for the arousing of anxiety along with its characteristic features. It also projects strategies to cope with the speaking anxieties. The chapter begins with mentioning different public persons, such as kings or politic leaders that also had problems with public speaking, however, they managed to overcome their fears, and step-by-step have taught to give speeches successfully. The reader can also pay attention that not all of the world successful speechmakers manipulated their speeches for good e.g. Hitler is supposed one of the best orators worldwide; however, he is known to be evil person.

Among the best strategies to deal with anxiety, it is important remember five oratorical canons: canon of invention, canon of arrangement, canon of style, canons of memory and delivery. I used this chapter in order to form the best strategies for becoming more confident while giving public speeches. Thus, I referred to these five canons of oratory initially invented by Romans. I understood that public speaking demands psychological readiness. I also found out that in order to perform successfully you should take under control your inner monologue, and visualize your whole speech to details. I learnt many important things from the chapter e.g. how to structure and visualize your speech. Moreover, I found it instructive to read about Rainer Martin’s guidelines to relieve stress of public speeches used by Manfred Tschan, professor of health and soccer trainer. This Martin’s step-by-step instruction can be very useful while planning to cope with your own nerves, and replace the negative images and emotions by positive ones. “Good speaking requires thought and preparation” (Jaffe, 2012).

Summary of Chapter 3

Chapter 3 regards the ethical matters of communication. It considers the phenomena of diversity, resistance and accommodations as well as explains the term “multivocal society”: “society that actively seeks expression of a variety of voices or viewpoints” (Jaffe, 2012). The readers will also meet democratic principles, credos that will help to respond to the ethical norms at the different types of societies. I understood for myself that ethical communication assumes tolerance, and mutual understanding as a distinctive trait of civility, a society where people rather give a piece of advice than humiliate or manipulate others. Ethical issues are very important in every society dealing with different sorts of people. There is also an article about Facebook encouraging civility in this chapter. I have learnt that difference between people can be significant. These differences vary from culture to culture, religion, political and other matters. That is why it is important to respond to such a vivid divisibility and take a position of no harm to people. I made some notes form the third chapter of a brand new for me terms, and found the evidence for each one e.g. a strive for democracy in Egypt in 2011. One more thing I like the most in this chapter is that it emphasizes a prevailing role of honesty in ethical communication. It states out, “Strive for fairness, balance, and evenhandedness rather that presenting one side – the one that favors your position” (Jaffe, 2012). One-faceted approach to any issue narrows your liberality, and thus can be wrongful for participating in ethical conversations. The diversity of resources that can oppose opinions over different situations is the best friend of any speaker. Thus, you can make experiments, comparing and contrasting different opinions, arguing your point of view citing the credible sources.

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