Lesson 4º








Style of speech

When you speak in public, the style of speech is going to depend on different factors, amongst them what I pointed out in the previous lesson.

That is to say that the style of the speech will depend on the reason for the speech, the objective that you are trying to achieve, the type of audience, etc.

One topic can be presented in different ways (for example, the presentation of a company's results will vary according to whether you are talking about accountancy infront of shareholders or congratulating the employees for reaching their objectives).

You can not always try and speak in public the same way: you have to adjust the style of the speech to the charcteristics of every occasion, because if you don't do this then the speech could turn out to be a complete failure (except if someone is an expert on the material).

The characteristics that define the style of the speech are numberous:

Formal or informal

Serious or casual

Plain or enthusiastic

Close to the audience or distant

Rigorous or general

Monologue or participating audience

With visual aids (projector) or not



Speech in an offical event: this will be a formal, plain and rigorous speech.

Presentation of a technical project: this will be a technical and precise speech, the style will be more informal and close, you will use visual support, possibility to ask questions, etc.

Speech to open the local "fiestas": informal (although informal still needs to be well prepared) enthusiastic, fun (with anecdotes, jokes, irony, etc) close, etc.

Improvised words at a wedding: informal, familiar, deep, brief, etc.

The speaker will look into giving the best approach in order to achieve the greatest impact with the public.

If it is not clear which is the appropriate approach, you will need to speak to the event organizers or with an expert so that you can get their opinion.

If you are in doubt then adopt the most conservative option: it will be less noticeable if you speak in a formal manner in an informal event, than speaking in an informal manner at a formal event.

The way you dress also depends on the type of event (it is not the same speaking in Parliament as in a political meeting).

If you don't pay attention to all of these details, then perhaps the speaker will not manage to capture the public's attention, and they will go away with the impression that the speech has been a waste of time.

One last observation:

A little humour, carefully administered, is not looked at in a bad light (besides, it helps you to get closer to the audience).