Create Messages Appropriate to the Audience, Purpose, and Context
Every spring semester, Bryant’s Department of Communication holds the Annual Public Speaking Colloquium – a yearly competition designed to determine Bryant’s best public speaker. During my junior year, I was fortunate enough to win the contest after competing against more than 50 other students. One way I was able to do this was through creating a speech with a message that appealed to the audience.
My speech, entitled “Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation,” argued for the positive outlook of the millennial generation. My approach to this speech was very deliberate – I wanted to write about a topic that appealed to the audience of my peers but was also appropriate for the the judges. It was designed to make everyone – those inside the millennial generation and out – to reconsider what we might be able to accomplish.
When I went about writing and planning my delivery, I was sure to choose verbal content and a nonverbal style that would grasp both the audiences and the judges and adapt my thoughts to the audience at hand. During practice sessions, I often adjusted my content and delivery to make a stronger overall presentation because I critically reflected on what I had said and how I said it.
Not only was I judged on the content of what I wrote, but also on the delivery. Thus, my message was analyzed on both verbal communication and nonverbals, including my tone, use of pausing, and hand and body gestures. These all were utilized to help convey the message I wanted to leave with everyone in the auditorium. Thankfully, my efforts paid off!
Attached is a link to the 2015 Public Speaking Colloquium. My presentation begins at 58:40.