Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

Chapter 10 – Using Language Well


Chapter 10: Using Language Well. For use
with the Public Speaking Project’s, Public Speaking:The Virtual Text. Please note
that not all material from the chapter will be covered in this tutoria,l and
there may be one or two pieces of information in this tutorial that might
not be found in the textbook. Language is a powerful tool. A person’s language can help shape
another person’s worldview. Language can help shape the way that we see, look at,
and understand the world around us. Language can also be very influential. In
the courtroom, attorneys choose their language carefully so they can try to
encourage the jury or the judge to see their side of the story more favorably
than the other side of the story. Let’s take a look at the distinction
between communication and language. When we’re communicating, we’re attempting to
transfer thoughts or ideas from our mind to members of the audience as we deliver
[our] speech. Language on the other hand is a system of symbols, an organized system of
symbols that we use to communicate those thoughts. So language is the tool
that we use, that allows us to communicate
information to our audience. Our understanding of the world around us
and our social reality is shaped by our community, the community that we live in,
and the language that members of that community use to interact with each
other. Careful use of language in your speech
can help to make or break a presentation. If you use it very effectively it can help
make your presentation. If used poorly it can have the opposite effect. Language has power. We already know that,
so…[the] language choices that we use can have the power to help engage our audience to
get motivated and encouraged to think or act in a certain way. As we make those
language choices it’s important to try to speak [as] simply and clearly as possible
for the audience. On the left image on the slide, you can
see Steven Tyler, that’s Steven Tyler saying “Ambulate this direction!” It’s not
very effective, so if you take a look at the image on the right, he says “Walk
this way!” [which is] the title of a very famous song that many of us have heard before. So you
can see, speaking simply and clearly can have a powerful impact on the
audience. For more on the power of simple words please feel free to visit the
web address listed above the right image on this slide. Try to use specific language to help
create a concrete image in the minds of the members of your audience. Also, try to
avoid using jargon or words or terminology that the audience may not be
familiar with. And if you need to use jargon or terms that the audience is
unfamiliar with, let the audience know the exact meaning of the jargon or of
those terms early on in your presentation so they
understand exactly what you’re talking about. You can really bring your speech to life.
Add some color and some flavor to it by incorporating some of the techniques or
some of the items listed on this slide, such as incorporating metaphors, similes,
using alliteration and antithesis in your speeches. Metaphors are
basically…[when] using a metaphor you’re using a comparison. A simile is also a
comparison, but a simile incorporates the word “like” or “as” within it. So an
example of a simile would be” It’s as cold as the Southpole outside.”
Alliteration is where you use a phrase or a sentence that repeats the same
consonental sound at the beginning of each word, or at the beginning of
multiple words within the phrase or sentence. One example is “Peter Piper
picked a peck of pickled peppers” In that example all of the words start with the same “P” sound. Although not every word necessarily has to start with the same
sound for it to be considered an example of alliteration. You can also incorporate
antithesis, this is where you take two opposing ideas or two contrasting
concepts and incorporate them into your presentation. If we want our audience to believe the
material that we incorporate into our speeches [&] into our presentations it’s
important that the audience trusts us, and in order to gain the audience[s’] trust it’s
important for us to speak ethically, to present our material ethically. One way
that we can be ethical in the presentation of our material is to avoid
using sexist, heterosexist language and other exclusionary language, and [instead] use
inclusive language that would encompass all members of the audience, and not leave
anyone out. In order for the audience to see us as
credible, believable and trustworthy presenters, it’s important to keep the
following in mind: Please avoid the use of profanity, especially in professional
presentations. Avoid poor grammar, make sure that you using proper sentence
structure. And also avoid the use of cliches, those terms or phrases or
expressions that we’ve heard over and over and over. The Public Speaking Project’s textbook, Public Speaking: The Virtual Text, can be
found at www.publicspeakingproject.org www.publicspeakingproject.org

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