Speaking to an audience as one form of communication is a valuable skill to have. Some consider that giving a speech is an art as it combines form and content. Like any type of communication, speeches are very structured and consist of various elements.
Every speech is given by a person whose goal is to create a message by using ideas and other types of information. A speaker is responsible for making choices about the content he or she will present and what type of messages will be delivered. The delivery of the message is a physical process that includes verbal structuring, such as word choice and sentence formation, and nonverbal such as gestures and movement.
Once a speech is structured, it is delivered to a receiver who plays a critical role during a speech session. Although a speaker has a certain message to convey, the receiver interprets the message based on his or her own experiences. Therefore, it is important for any speaker to consider his audience. The receiver has a personal, cultural, and social history to consider when decoding the message and will respond in different ways, such as nodding in agreement.
The message is what is being shared by the speaker and the audience. The message is a combination of thoughts, ideas, and concrete information formed into significant expressions. A speaker can express the message effectively through the use of certain words and gestures. With any delivery of a message, there can always be miscommunication because messages are open for interpretation.
Speakers have various mediums, or channels, available to send out their messages. Speeches can be given on a stage, television, computers, etc. One challenge to any speech is interference, or noise, which creates difficulty when trying to convey a message. Some examples of interference to consider are sounds and environmental matters such as weather. Audience members may have personal issues that act as interferences. For example, if an audience member is ill or hungry, the delivery of the speech is interfered. Even stress and nervousness from the speaker can challenge the speech.
Despite these obstacles in speech giving, the speech is successful when the message is interpreted in the same way for both the speaker and the audience. There is a mutual understanding of the message and one of the ways a speaker is aware of this shared meaning is through audience feedback. The basic understanding of speech giving elements has now been outlined and one of the most important aspects of speech giving is expressing a message with a specific purpose. All sides of delivering a speech should be taken into consideration in order to successfully convey the message.