Confident Public Speaking Unlocked
The Purpose of Speaking
Public speeches are delivered on many different occasions, but no matter what the
occasion, the speaker hopes to get the audience to accept his point of view.
Therefore, in a certain sense, all speeches are persuasive speeches:
Persuading the audience to believe your information persuading the audience to
change its beliefs persuading the audience not only to change its beliefs, but also to
act on the changes
Perhaps you wish to inform the audience about capital punishment. Or, you may
wish to get them to change their beliefs about capital punishment. Or, you may not
only wish them to change their beliefs about capital punishment, but to write letters
to the governor telling him what action to take.
The purpose is determined by the type of audience you are speaking to; by the
circumstances of the speech; and sometimes by the course of action that you
But, whether the purpose of a particular speech is determined by the audience, by
the circumstances, or by the speaker himself, preparation of the public speech must
begin with the establishment of the purpose of the speech.
This purpose should be put into a sentence which is specific and concrete. A clear
knowledge of the purpose in speaking is as helpful to the speaker as a road map is to
the driver. The purpose gives direction to the speech and, to a degree, governs all
subsequent efforts the speaker makes.
The speaker should therefore begin preparing his speech by asking himself just what
action he wishes his audience to take.
We call this desired action the intended audience response (IAR).
The intended audience response should aid the audience, not just the speaker. We
expect each speaker to be responsible for the welfare of the audience.
When Hitler spoke to the German people prior to and during World War II, he sought
and received support for a military machine that ultimately brought death and
destruction to Germany.