History of Public Speaking

About 2,500 years ago in ancient Athens, young men

were required to give effective speeches as part of their

duties as citizens. During the time that Socrates (c.469-3998

BCE), Plato (427-347 BCE), and Aristotle (384-322 BCE)

taught their pupils both philosophy and rhetoric, democracy

was on the rise in Athens and all citizens of the polis had to

be able to speak in the legislative assembly and testify in

court. Citizens met in large Assemblies in the marketplace

(agora) to debate issues of war and economics and politics.

Plus, with the institution of the People’s Court by the Sage,

Solon, in 594-593 BCE, citizens could take their grievances

before a magistrate and argue their cases. There were no

lawyers, and since people sued each other frequently, it was

important that each citizen be able to represent himself and

his family.

Rhetoric is "the art of winning

the soul by discourse.”


Aristotle identified the basic elements of good speech

and persuasion as ethos, logos, and pathos. The ethos

(credibility, believability) of the speaker was important; the

logos (logic) behind any conclusions drawn by the speaker

during the course of the speech needed to be valid and clear;

and the pathos (emotional appeals) were important in making

human connections between the speaker and the listener.

Rhetoric is "the faculty of discovering

in any particular case all of the

available means of persuasion.”


Rome succeeded Athens as the political, military, and

philosophical center of the ancient world. During the first

century BCE, Marcus Tullius Cicero (c. 106-43 BCE) rose to

power as an orator, lawyer, politician, and philosopher. He

developed what we call the five canons (canon=rule) of

rhetoric still used today: invention, arrangement, style,

memory, and delivery. He urged his students to seek all

possible means of argument (invention), put those arguments

in the order best suited for the situation (arrangement), use

the best and most expressive language (style), memorize the

presentation (memory), and present the speech with the best

gestures, expressions, and volume (delivery). Some speeches

given in ancient Greece and Rome were so famous that

speech students then – and now – read them as literature.

“Rhetoric is one great art comprised

of five lesser arts: inventio, dispositio,

elocutio, memoria, and pronunciatio."

Rhetoric is "speech designed to persuade."


In the United States, the right to our freedom of

speech is more than words on a piece of yellowed parchment

on display in Washington, D.C. Prior to the adoption of the

Bill of Rights, a citizen could be arrested, tried, and hung by

the neck until dead for speaking out against government

policies. When Patrick Henry famously declaimed, “Give

me liberty or give me death!” on March 23, 1775, he wasn’t

overstating the case. He was uttering words that were treason

in England. And the colonies were still English. Could he

have been executed for speaking his mind? Yes.

Henry Clay earned a reputation for pacifism and

oratory as the “Great Compromiser,” engineering the Great

Compromise of 1850 (which we know as the Missouri

Compromise today) through his impassioned speaking in the

U.S. Senate. Although few of you might remember hearing

him speak during the early 1960s, President John F.

Kennedy’s ringing words, “Ask not what your country can do

for you but what you can do for your country,” stirred hearts

and minds at his 1961 inaugural, ultimately leading hundreds

of young Americans to enlist in the new Peace Corps after its

establishment just a few months later.

Public speech is still the cornerstone of both our

governmental system and our judicial system. Congressmen

speak aloud on the floors of the Senate and the House – you

can tune into C-SPAN and watch them around the clock.

The Constitution, Article II, Section 3, demands that the

President share the state of the union with the Congress.

George Washington delivered the first address in January of

1790 and George W. Bush continued the tradition on

February 2, 2005. Our courts of law demand that those

accused step before the bar and explain themselves. Our

preachers stand before our congregations and speak aloud

their interpretations of scripture. So Americans have both a

national tradition and an historical culture of public speech

that cannot be ignored.

The history of public speaking dates back thousands of years when ancient civilizations used public speakers to deliver their messages. One of the earliest public speakers was the Old Testament prophet Moses, who had to regularly address multitudes of Hebrew slaves as he led them out of Egypt en route to the Promised Land. Throughout history civilizations have depended on eloquent speakers to inform and uplift audiences for various causes. In fact, some ancient Greek and Roman speeches continue to be read and studied as literature.

The Ancient Greeks

About 2,500 years ago in ancient Athens young men had to make speeches as citizens. Athens was one of history's earliest and most radical democratic governments, in which public speaking was an important part of everyday life. During this time Greek citizens met in the marketplace (agora) for debating politics and economic issues. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, noted Greek speakers living during the fourth and third centuries B.C. were known for their speeches on democracy.

The "Attic Ten"

Because the people didn't have lawyers for defending themselves, it was necessary for individual citizens to have the needed skills for presenting their cases. The "Attic Ten" were Greek speechmakers who formed schools which produced famous students such as Demosthenes, who's still regarded as the greatest ancient Greek orator. Demonsthnes had a straightforward speaking style lacking rhetorical flair. Although his speeches were popular, this manner of speaking was thought to be almost vulgar for the standards of his time period.

The Romans

Rome followed Athens as the ancient world's leader in politics, the military and philosophy. As a young man in his 20s, Marcus Tullius Cicero, pleaded cases in the public forum during the first century B.C. This leading Roman orator, politician, lawyer and philosopher developed the five canons of rhetoric, which continues to be used in modern-day law courtrooms. The five canons include invention, arrangement, style, memory and delivery. In the second century A.D., the Roman Forum was built, which was used for public speaking.

America's Early Public Speakers

Through their intense speeches, persuasive colonial speakers urged the American colonists to take action. Powerful orators addressed the Colonial congresses and Constitutional Convention. A few of the most famous speeches from America's early days include Patrick Henry's noted "Liberty of Death" speech (1775) and the Farewell Address of George Washington. President Abraham Lincoln gave his famous "Gettysburg Address" in 1863, followed by forceful debates and anti-slavery speeches which helped end slavery in the United States.

20th Century Developments

Public speaking was first taught in American by Dale Carnegie in 1908. Tufts University aired the first radio broadcast in 1916, leading the way for the first speeches given to mass radio audiences. Toastmasters, an organization formed to help train public speakers, began in 1924. The first scheduled television service began in 1928, leading the way for communication using visual technology. Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, which called for ending racism in America.

The Internet

In the 1980s the history of Internet mass communication began with pioneer services providing worldwide public speaking to the first Internet users. By the 1990s the Internet was booming as more speakers on the web carried their messages around the world. The popular YouTube service began in 2005, which allowed amateur speakers wide exposure in communicating. Since then, speakers ranging from political candidates to comedians have been spreading their messages globally through online video sharing.

History of Public Speaking

Our current knowledge and practice of public speaking draws upon the Western thought from Greece and Rome.

•The formal study of public speaking began approximately 2,500 years ago in

Greece and Rome to train citizens to participate in society.

•Aristotle (384-322 BCE), the most famous Greek Scholar, defined rhetoric as

the “faculty of discovering the possible means of persuasion in reference to any subject whatever.”  He divided the “means of persuasion” into three parts--logical reason (logos), human character (ethos), and emotional.

Cicero (106-43 BCE),  one of the most significant rhetoricians of all time,

 developed the five canons of rhetoric, a five-step process for developing a persuasive speech that we still use to teach public speaking today.

•Quintilian (c. 35-95 CE) argued that public speaking was inherently moral. He

stated that the ideal orator is “a good man speaking well”.

•American Revolution--The rhetorical studies of ancient Greece and Rome were

resurrected as speakers and teachers looked to Cicero and others to inspire defense of the new republic. John Quincy Adams of Harvard advocated for the democratic advancement of the art of rhetoric.

•Throughout the 20th century, rhetoric developed as a concentrated field of

study with the establishment of public speaking  courses in high schools and universities. The courses in speaking  apply fundamental Greek theories (such as the modes of persuasion: ethos, pathos, and logos).

orator A skilled and eloquent public speaker.

rhetoric The art of using language, especially public speaking, as a means to persuade.

sophist One of a class of teachers of rhetoric, philosophy, and politics in ancient Greece, especially one who used fallacious but plausible reasoning.

Old School--Classical Studies in Greece and Rome

 Our current knowledge and practice of public speaking draws upon the Western thought from Greece and Rome.

The Classical Period (500 BCE-400 BCE)

Because the ancient Greeks highly valued public political participation, public speaking emerged as a crucial tool. We will begin our tour of Ancient Greece with the “fantastic four”—Aspasia of Miletus, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

Aspasia of Miletus (469 BCE), the “mother of rhetoric,” is believed to have taught rhetoric to Socrates. During this period Pericles, the Athenian ruler and Aspasia’s partner, treated Aspasia as an equal and allowed her every opportunity to engage in dialogue with the important and educated men of society.

Socrates (469-399 BCE) greatly influenced the direction of the Classical Period. Most of what we know about Socrates comes from the writings of his student Plato.

Plato (429-347 BCE) wrote about rhetoric in the form of dialogues with Socrates as the main character. Plato defined the scope of rhetoric according to his negative opinions of the art. He criticized the Sophists for using rhetoric as a means of deceit instead of discovering truth.

Aristotle (384-322 BCE) Figure 1 is the most famous Greek Scholar. Aristotle studied in Plato’s Academy where he later taught public speaking until Plato’s death in 347 BCE, when he opened his own school of politics, science, philosophy, and rhetoric. Aristotle defined rhetoric as the “faculty of discovering the possible means of persuasion in reference to any subject whatever.” Aristotle divided the “means of persuasion” into three parts, or three artistic proofs, necessary to persuade others: logical reason (logos), human character (ethos), and emotional appeal (pathos).

 Sophist (400s BCE): The Classical Period flourished for nearly a millennium in and around Greece as democracy gained prominence. Citizens learned public speakingfrom early teachers known as Sophists. Sophists were self-appointed professors of how to succeed in the civic life of the Greek states.

The Romans--Cicero and Quintilian

Cicero (106-43 BCE) Cicero is considered one of the most significant rhetoricians of all time. His works include the early and very influential De Inventione (On Invention), often read alongside the Ad Herennium as the two basic texts of rhetorical theory throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance), De Oratore (a fuller statement of rhetorical principles in dialogue form), Topics (a rhetorical treatment of common topics, highly influential through the Renaissance). Cicero is most famous in the field of public speaking for creating the five canons of rhetoric, a five-step process for developing a persuasive speech that we still use to teach public speaking today.Quintilian (c. 35-95 CE) extended this line of thinking and argued that public speaking was inherently moral. He stated that the ideal orator is “a good man speaking well."The Classical Period laid the foundation of our field and continues to impact our modern day practice of public speaking.

The Medieval Period (400 CE-1400 CE)

In contrast to the Classical Period, which saw tremendous growth and innovation in the study of communication, the Medieval Period might be considered the dark ages of academic study in public speaking. The church felt threatened by secular rhetorical works they considered full of pagan thought. The Church did, however, focus on persuasion and developing public presentation to improve preaching.

St. Augustine (354 CE-430 CE),  a Christian clergyman and renowned rhetorician, argued for the continued development of ideas that had originated during the Classical Period. He thought that the study of persuasion, in particular, was a worthwhile pursuit for the church.

The Renaissance (1400-1600 CE)

 Powered by a new intellectual movement during this period, secular institutions and governments started to compete with the church for personal allegiances. Ideas surrounding issues of style in speaking situations received significant attention during the Renaissance period.

Petrus Ramus (1515-1572) paid great attention to the idea of style by actually grouping style and delivery of the five canons together. Ramus also argued that invention and arrangement did not fit the canon and should be the focus of logic, not rhetoric. Ramus challenged much of what early scholars thought of truth, ethics, and morals as they applied to communication.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626), a contemporary of Shakespeare, believed that the journey to truth was paramount to the study and performance of communication. According to Bacon, reason and morality required speakers to have a high degree of accountability, making it an essential element in oration.

The Enlightenment (1600-1800 CE)

Neoclassicism revived the classical approach to rhetoric by adapting and applying it to contemporary situations.

George Campbell (1719-1796),he Scottish minister and educator, tried to create convincing arguments using scientific and moral reasoning by seeking to understand how people used speech to persuade others.

Finally, the elocutionary approach (mid 1700's to mid-1800's) concentrated on delivery and style by providing strict rules for a speaker’s bodily actions such as gestures, facial expressions, tone, and pronunciation.

Overall, the Enlightenment Period served as a bridge between the past and the present. Political rhetoric also underwent renewal in the wake of the US and French revolutions. The rhetorical studies of ancient Greece and Rome were resurrected in the studies of the era as speakers and teachers looked to Cicero and others to inspire defense of the new republic. Leading rhetorical theorists included John Quincy Adams of Harvard advocated for the democratic advancement of the art of rhetoric.

New School--1900s and 2000s Through Today

Throughout the 20th century, rhetoric developed as a concentrated field of study with the establishment of rhetorical courses in high schools and universities. Courses such as public speaking and speech analysis apply fundamental Greek theories (such as the modes of persuasion: ethos, pathos, and logos as well as trace rhetorical development throughout the course of history.

 1960’s and 70’s saw renewed emphasis and focus on the works of those from the Classical Period. Thus, the 60’s and 70’s worked to bridge together the old and new school of Communication study for the first time. Communication departments had professors who studied and taught classical rhetoric, contemporary rhetoric, along with empirical and qualitative social science.

History and importance of public communication

Public communication or most likely speaking exists since the beginning of time. Literally spoken, the man has the desire to communicate political and social issues and that's a component of our interaction between different type of people since the ancient civilizations, being one of the oldest forms of communication, as well as the first known mass communication process brought to existence. Later on, when a number of individuals from different families formed a complete unit in a composition, a clan or a tribe, still recognized the status and command of their leader. Drama is one of the aspects which influenced most of the primitive communities, as well as entertainment and religion through oral way. During this time, extremely well-organized associations and different type of parties discuss all the matters together for a particular purpose.

All the important epochs of the world's progress express the importance of speech upon the action of a particular or multiple groups of individuals. Beyond the rectangular public space known as Roman Forum, which represents a great social significance , speeches were made public and were affecting the entire ancient world. Taking a look back at Renaissance Italy, imperial Spain, unwieldy Russia, freedom loving England, revolutionary France, we can notice that all experienced periods when the power of certain men to communicate stirred other men into tempestuous action.

The uninterrupted influence of exceptional speakers upon others can be also found in the history of United States. Most of the colonists were led to actions accomplished together by the power of persuasive speeches. The Colonial Congresses and Constitutional Convention were also ruled by capable and skilled individuals in public speech. The well-known speeches and debates seem to be the main issue of slavery. Almost all the representative Americans such as presidents had the function of a leader most likely because their impressive and outstanding qualifications when it comes up to expressing feelings which everyone would like to hear about.

Throughout the Great War, millions of the world were not worried just about the fact what their leaders were saying, but what actions their other leaders were taking into consideration.

There is no particular looks of modern life in which the spoken work is not given a great significant importance. Leaders and affiliates of the world nations decided upon a peace treaty and deliberating upon a League of Nations sway and are swayed by speech. National meetings named new ones of early nations to the century old organizations speak, and listen to speeches. In state legislatures, municipal councils, law courts, religious organizations, theaters, lodges, societies, boards of directors, stockholders' meetings, business discussions, classrooms, dinner parties, social functions, friendly calls in every human relationship where two individuals meet there is communication by means of speech.

Public Speaking Techniques

 Public speaking is the art of speaking to a group of people in a structured manner intended to inform, influence or entertain the audience. Most careers will require that you give presentations or deliver speeches. But for many people, public speaking is at best a chore marked by great anxiety and at worst a potential career stopper. Speaking in public is one of the most feared activities. Public speaking can be a downright terrifying experience, and few have the training and confidence required to overcome the fear of public speaking and connect with an audience. The reluctance to get up in front of an audience is often a major impediment to career advancement. Mastering the art of public speaking will boost your confidence and give you a competitive edge.  The following public speaking tips will help you learn about the common causes of speaking anxiety and overcome stage fright. The articles herein provide information on public speaking techniques to help in overcoming fear of public speaking, acquiring confident speaking skills and improving your presentation skills. Readers will learn techniques to develop confidence, express ideas with authority, and communicate with charisma to influence and win over an audience.

Knowledge is Power   Scientology is the Study of Knowledge. Know Yourself.

The importance of mastering public speaking techniques to address audiences effectively and powerfully has been an issue since the beginnings of recorded history. The Bible's Old Testament makes no bones about the fact that the most influential prophets and leaders were those who could sway their audiences verbally. Throughout history, oratory skills have repeatedly proved to the decisive factor that turns the tide of public opinion. The Powerful oratory skills of many leaders have won wars, averted mass panic and saved companies from financial disaster.

Successful public speaking involves more than just choosing the right words (though this is certainly an important factor). Effective public speaking techniques include establishing a rapport and relationship with the audience in many different ways.

Most of us have to overcome an initial fear of speaking in public (technically known as 'glossophobia' or 'stage fright). When an audience senses this fear in a speaker, it tends to shut him or her out for that reason alone. Fear of public speaking has visible manifestations that any audience can pick up immediately. These include:

Shuffling from foot to foot · Not knowing what to do with one's hands · Stuttering and stumbling over words · Speaking too fast · Not looking at the audience while speaking · Referring to written notes too many times · Clearing one's throat repeatedly

These are reactions to public speaking that each of us experiences to begin with. Overcoming them is a matter of practice and rising confidence levels. There is no shortcut or easier, softer option. In mastering public speaking techniques, we must stand a trial by fire. It is very similar to learning to ride a horse or bicycle. If we fall off, we must immediately get on again. Failing to face one's fears in the public speaking arena will reinforce the fear. The result could be a permanent aversion to public speaking.

The most effective public speakers make their audience comfortable in subtle, calculated ways. These ways soon become second nature as the public speaker's confidence levels rise. Among the most useful techniques is the use of humor. Cracking a joke - preferably at one's own expense - is a sure-fire means of warming up an audience. This is why orators who use humor are more effective than the serious, lecturing types.

Controlling one's voice is equally important. A public speaker must pitch his or her voice high enough to be clearly audible to everyone in the audience. At the same time, it should not be so high-pitched to irritate or aggravate the audience. Thanks to modern amplification technology, it is possible for us to address an audience in a conversational pitch of voice and still be audible. Using this technology effectively is, once again, a matter of experience.

Building a relationship with one's audience is very important. A lecturing style of public speaking does not include the audience as a participant. While lecturing is useful if the speaker must convey a lot of information in a limited period, it can also be incredibly boring to an audience. Involving one's audience by asking it questions, making it laugh and inviting any other kind of feedback numbers among the most effective public speaking techniques.

Some successful orators advocate unorthodox methods, such as speaking on a relatively empty stomach. Others even advise speakers not to empty their bladder before a speech, claiming that this maintains the necessary edge in the situation. Finally, we must all discover our own most suitable public speaking techniques. However, nothing beats practice and proper preparation before the event.

Why Is Public Speaking Important?

Don't ever make the mistake of thinking that public speaking isn't important. It would be as silly as saying that you'll never need algebra or geometry in your life. Of course these things are important! And if you think public speaking is important only in obscure or abstract ways, it's time to think again. Indeed, learning how to become an effective public speaker can be the key difference between success and failure in your life at home, at work and in your own community!

But, despite this fact, people are always asking themselves and others, "Why is public speaking important? Why do I need it? What's the use? What's the purpose?"

This article is designed to answer those questions and help you to put the importance of public speaking in the right perspective!

There are a multitude of reasons that public speaking is important. Take a good look at the handful of them we've collected for you and then ask yourself why you think public speaking is so vital to society.

By learning how to effectively speak in public, you'll be able to increase your own self-confidence. Since public speaking is one of the most prevalent fears in the western world, by enabling yourself to master this difficult skill you'll have the confidence that you need to meet and greet future challenges.

Public speaking regularly (and well) helps to make you more comfortable around other people, including strangers. Once you're capable of greeting and instructing an entire room full of strangers (or at least most of them strangers), it'll be nothing to smile and shake hands and meet new individuals in more personal and less threatening circumstances.

Public speaking will help fine-tine your everyday verbal and non-verbal communication skills. This is especially true for people who spend a great deal of time working with the written word, and have forgotten how to properly vocalize their messages to get their points across best.

It's important because at some point in life, just about everyone will be required to involve themselves in one type of public speaking or another. Accepting this fact quickly and preparing for it accordingly will help you wind up a step ahead of your competition at work, home and around town!

For obvious reasons, the ability to dive into public speaking and related communication skills are a big winner among prospective employers, and are also a great way to snag that promotion you've been awaiting for such a long time. Public speaking ability is a true career booster. In fact, both undergraduate and graduate Business school alumni who attended the University of Minnesota placed oral communication at the top of a list of skills that were relevant to overall job success.

Using public speaking effectively will allow you to make a difference in your business, community and perhaps even the world. By sharing your information with others, you're better able to increase the impact of your hopes, dreams, desires and goals for your life and the world around you.

Because by the time you've learned to embody the importance of public speaking, you'll have learned another key principle. We can better persuade people when we are able to appeal to them as human beings that have emotions, desires and thoughts just like we do. This is the difference between distinguishing between simple an audience of bosses, employees or clients and transforming them in your mind into people with real problems, hopes, fears, dreams and desires.

Using public speaking to get your message across is a great way to humanize it, regardless of what that message may be!

Public speaking is often a powerful way to make a good impression on others and to help bridge gaps in understanding, cooperation and set goals and objectives.

The skills you'll glean by learning the art of public speaking can boost your performance and value in just about any arena - home, office or life at large.

Learning to master public speaking early is a great way for students to perform better in college, as well as offer them greater opportunities to be accepted into their top choice schools.

Public speaking is by nature important because it's a primary and powerful avenue to give of your self and to share with others in a profitable way. Whether you're truly offering free advice, or trying to convince your audience that you do really know what they're talking about, public speaking is a perfect avenue for compelling give and take that is hard to match any other way.

Public speaking can be a nerve-wracking, complex process. However, one important aspect should never be forgotten: good speakers are made, not born. Even the most polished public speakers today, whether politicians, motivational speakers, spokespersons, etc., had to learn and apply the basics of public speaking.

Mastering public speaking builds confidence and creates a sense of satisfaction. In a way, the ability to be a good speaker allows you a greater sense of personal control. Participation in public speaking gives you the ability to influence events around you. For example, participation in public affairs requires the ability to speak well. to be successful in PTA meetings, organizational or committee meetings at work, organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, and other public forums requires a speaker who can effectively express himself/herself with direct, organized ideas.

Public speaking can help advance your career. According to a study by AT&T and Stanford University, people who enjoy giving speeches earn more than those who don't. As you advance in your chosen career, the opportunities for public speaking only increase.

There are three basic types of speeches given. The first is the informative speech. Its purpose is to promote understanding of ideas, facts, or other information. This is a very common type of speech and is considered by many to be the most important because of its very frequency. Another type is the persuasive speech. The persuasive speakers attempt to influence attitudes and behaviors of others. A salesperson is a common example of this type of speaking. The final type is called the special occasion speech. Its purose is usually, but not always, to entertain. this type of speech is used to lend distinction to important events (such as an after dinner speech, awards banquet, etc.)

There never has been in the history of the world a time when the spoken word has been equaled in value and importance by any other means of communication. If one traces the development of mankind from what he considers its earliest stage he will find that the wandering family of savages depended entirely upon what its members said to one another. A little later when a group of families made a clan or tribe the individuals still heard the commands of the leader, or in tribal council voiced their own opinions. The beginnings of poetry show us the bard who recited to his audiences. Drama, in all primitive societies a valuable spreader of knowledge, entertainment, and religion, is entirely oral. In so late and well organized communities as the city republics of Greece all matters were discussed in open assemblies of the rather small populations. Every great epoch of the world's progress shows the supreme importance of speech upon human action individual and collective. In the Roman Forum were made speeches that affected the entire ancient world. Renaissance Italy, imperial Spain, unwieldy Russia, freedom loving England, revolutionary France, all experienced periods when the power of certain men to speak stirred other men into tempestuous action. The history of the United States might almost be written as the continuous record of the influence of great speakers upon others. The colonists were led to concerted action by persuasive speeches. The Colonial Congresses and Constitutional Convention were dominated by powerful orators. The history of the slavery problem is mainly the story of famous speeches and debates. Most of the active representative Americans have been leaders because of their ability to impress their fellows by their power of expressing sentiments and enthusiasms which all would voice if they could. Presidents have been nominated and candidates elected because of this equipment. During the Great War the millions of the world were as much concerned with what some of their leaders were saying as with what their other leaders were doing.There is no aspect of modern life in which the spoken work is not supreme in importance. Representatives of the nations of the world deciding upon a peace treaty and deliberating upon a League of Nations sway and are swayed by speech. National assemblies from the strangely named new ones of infant nations to the century old organizations speak, and listen to speeches. In state legislatures, municipal councils, law courts, religious organizations, theaters, lodges, societies, boards of directors, stockholders' meetings, business discussions, classrooms, dinner parties, social functions, friendly calls in every human relationship where two people meet there is communication by means of speech.

History Of Public Speaking

 As in day to day conversation, being funny in public speaking is a great skill to possess. It has a number of benefits for the speaker in helping to win over your audience. And in certain circumstances it is expected, e.g. after dinner speeches the audience wants light relief rather than a deep discussion.However, if you are not comfortable in using humor in your speech, it can still be an interesting and informative for your listeners. It is important to note the reason you were invited to speak - your expertise and to deliver a speech on a subject that will be of interest to the audience. If they had wanted to be entertained they would have invited an entertainer.For a speech to be successful the following ingredients are required:-- Know you subject in depth. Become an expert in your subject by drawing on your own experience and researching other sources. Your audience can tell when you have a shallow understanding of your subject. A deep understanding of your subject builds confidence.- Know your listener's wants, expectations and their background. This knowledge is vital when preparing your speech - different audiences will require different approaches to the delivery of your speech e.g. a professional organisation will probably require a different presentation to one given to a sales convention- Be thoroughly prepared. Prepare a detailed outline of your speech. Then practice until you are confident about delivering your speech. If possible practice your delivery in front of your family and friends. Ask for feedback and incorporate any improvements into your speech. Thorough preparation is key to the confident and successful delivery of your speech.- Your language and delivery should be conversational in style. This is more likely to happen when you talk from an outline rather than reading your speech, or where you have memorized the speech. A memorized speech or one read maybe stilted and be in the language of print rather than that used in everyday conversation. Your audience will relate more to day to day language than fancy language. It is the language they use every day. But in your first appearances it can be easier to read or memorize your speech and alter the language to that of spoken rather than written language.- Be interested and enthusiastic about the topic you are speaking about. The interest and enthusiasm you demonstrate will win your audience over.In conclusion you do not have to be funny to be successful in public speaking. Public speaking is about the effective communication of ideas to your listener. Humor can make that easier but it is not essential. A well delivered speech that is interesting and informative can be as effective as one delivered with humor.

Some of the Greatest Public Speakers in History

 Oratory was always viewed as the natural skill of a leader as it connects a true leader with the greater masses and thus we find in the history of mankind a number of great leaders who had a natural ability to sway the public with their glaring rhetoric and mobilized the whole nation in the path of greater and nobler goals. Speech was their mouthpiece to reach out to the people and unite them for the causes of society and the nation. The politicians like Abraham Lincoln, Hitler or Charles De Gaulle used their fine oratory skills to redefine the fate of their nations. History is full of evidences where public speaking was used as a weapon to ignite group consciousness and waging battles to win the human rights. Martin Luther King, Jrs inspirational speeches created the same impact for the emancipation of African Americans in the USA as the non-violence preaching of Gandhi did for the winning of independence by the Indian people from British Government. Thus rhetoric has always been regarded as the deciding factor of history and the individuals who used this tool to spread their views among general masses always occupied a special place not only in the pages of historical chronicles, also in the hearts of the people for many generations.

If we trace the etymological origin, we can see that the word, orator was a derivative of the Latin word for speaker oro, meaning "I speak" or "I pray". While in modern sense of the term the word orator simply means the art of public speaking, in more refined sense it refers to a skill that is exercised on special occasions and delivered in a rather elaborate and ostentatious manner. Then rhetoric is another word that closely relates to public speaking which derives its origin from a Greek word, Rhetor that is used to refer to a wonderful speech.

Oratory or rhetoric, any way you choose to describe this astounding art of public speaking was believed to originate in ancient Rome where Ars Oratoria or the art of speaking in public was regarded as an essential professional qualification of politicians and lawyers. It was taught by the Sophists. But it was the Greek who were believed to truly master the art of public speaking and as a result the children from the aristocratic Roman families were packed off to Rome to train themselves in this art. The ancient and Medieval Greece and Rome thus became the breeding ground of the orators, whose speeches are still consulted by the modern aspiring public speakers to learn the nuances of public speaking. Demosthenes, Cicero, Marcus Porcius Cato, Marcus Licinius Crassus, Paul of Tarsos, Peter the Hermitall belonged to this genre of early public speakers.

In latter course of history, Aristotle and Quintilian developed a theory of rhetoric that divided this art into three major categories: 1. Deliberativeto convince the audience on certain matters; (b) forensicto make the audience agree or disagree on certain matters; (c) epideicticdisplay rhetoric to deliver for ceremonial purposes.

In the middle ages, Rhetoric was an important branch of liberal arts curriculum. The following centuries saw their practical and more significant application in three major areas of public lifepolitics, religion, and law. However till Renaissance, oratory was not independent of the institution of Church and thus it used to be an useful instrument in the hands of those holding high offices of Church to preach the common people about the supremacy of Church over the King. And thus the age produced some of the greatest orators of all time like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox.

The 18th century Europe witnessed the rise of a new generation of orators like Danton and Mirabeau, or Edmund Burke, Henry Gratten, and Daniel O'Connell who with their erudite rhetoric succeeded in contributing important chapters in the theory of politics and other aspects of public life. The same was contributed by Patrick Henry and James Otis in the United States during this time. However, they were too erudite to connect to the common masses and it was with the emergence of the methodical and evangelical school of orators like John Wesley, George Whitefield, Disraeli, John Bright, Mazzini who with their emotional tones were able to cut a wider mass appeal. Some of the greatest American orators like Abraham Lincoln, Henry Clay, Calhoun, Daniel Webster or Stephen Douglas were believed to be influenced by this school of oratory.

The rhetoric of the twentieth century speakers were famously replete with catch phrases and some of the famous speeches of William Jennings Bryan, Eugene Debs, Susan B. Anthony, Woodrow Wilson, Lenin and Trotsky and David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill reflected this style. During Second World War the burning speeches of Hitler or Mussolini introduced a propagandist style in the art of speech writing.

The world leaders and successful men and women in their respective fields in latter course of history, who were respected for their oratory skills are believed to borrow heavily from the style and tradition of the these historical speakers who with mere word power were able to set the course of human history.