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Paul Sparks, Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Nanning.
Plans for "Watch, Listen & Speak", Semester 2
Listening & Speaking, Persuasive Speaking
Lesson Objectives: Students will be able to:
Demonstrate the appropriate classroom public speaking and listening skills
(e.g., body language, articulation etc.) that would be necessary to
influence or change someone's mind or way of thinking about a topic.
Students will learn to define the elements of persuasion, recognize the
elements of personal credibility and develop methods to analyze other
Delivering a Persuasive Speech
Sometimes we have to
use skills to convince others about our positions, this is called
Can you recall any
experiences when you tried to convince friends or family about something?
appropriate public speaking techniques, students will learn how to prepare
and deliver a persuasive speech.
Students need to
understand that how they say something and how they physically present
themselves are just as important as what they say.
When we are trying to
convince someone of something, we must first establish our credibility, or
in other words, we must sell ourselves before we sell the message.
We should not use
words such as "maybe" or "might"- we should use
positive words such as "will" and "must."
We must supply enough
information to prove our points so that they we can seem knowledgeable.
People can usually
spot someone who is trying to "wing" a speech.
We should also appear
to be truthful - even when we are really stretching a point.
Do not be afraid to
show a little emotion. You and your voice must match the tone of the
There are several
important aspects of presentation to keep in mind; the academic elements of
Make sure that you have a proper posture. If your shoulders are sagging and
legs are crossed, you will not appear as being sincere and people just will
not accept your message.
Articulation means how the total vocal process works. There are several
steps to this entire process. First, you need air from the lungs, your vocal
cords must be working, your mouth and tongue must be in sync, and you have
to make sure that they have got some saliva in their mouth, so drink
something before giving a talk.
Students need to pronounce each word. They must avoid slang, except to make
a point, and not slur the words. They must avoid saying, "you
Pitch refers to the highs and lows of the voice. Whatever you do, you must
avoid a monotone!
The speed, or pace, is an important variable to control. Between 140-160
words per minute is the normal pace for a persuasive speech. Any faster and
they may appear to be glib; any slower and they sound like they are
lecturing. If you are not sure about your speed, tape yourself for one
minute and then replay it and count the number of words they used in the
The pause is a critical persuasive tool. When you want to emphasize a
certain word, pause for one second before; this highlights the word. If you
really want to punch it, pause before and after the word!
Volume is another good tool for a persuasive speech, but use it with
caution. If you scream all the way through the speech, people will become
accustomed to it and it will lose its effectiveness. On the other hand, a
few well-timed shouts can liven up the speech!
The quality of voice is gauged by the overall impact that your voice has on
the listeners. Quality of voice is about its character and attributes. You
must try to keep the vocal quality high; it is what separates their voices
from everyone else's.
Variance of vocal elements is the most important consideration of all! One
of the most persuasive speakers in modern history was Winston Churchill. One
of his most remarkable qualities was his ability to vary the elements of his
voice. He would start with a slow voice and then switch gears to a more
rapid pace. Try to change your pitch, volume, and speed at least once every
30 seconds, if only for just one word. This keeps the class locked into the
speech, if for no other reason than it sounds interesting!
TASK: With a partner or in a small group:
Try to persuade your
partner to go to a party with you, which is hosted by someone that they