What’s in a name?

I prefer to use the phrase ‘giving a talk’ because ‘Public Speaking’ sounds much too grand for what I do, even though it is, in reality, just as accurate. Even if you speak to three people, they count as ‘the public.’ However, when a complete novice is presented with the unaccustomed task, ‘giving a talk’ sounds less frightening. 

It is the same when speaking about any subject to an audience that has not encountered it before. Unless you are imparting detailed knowledge at a college lecture or training session, use simple explanations and everyday language where possible. At a talk given by a local amateur astronomer, we had the concept of a Light-year explained in terms of scaled down distances on the earth. Distances we can understand could give us some idea of the enormous scale involved in the universe. 

Do not treat your audiences like children (unless they are,  but even they should not be treated like idiots) but understand that they are not familiar with jargon, concepts, abbreviations etc. It is infuriating when a speaker talks in jargon and abbreviations that sound like a foreign language, which they are!  Always explain any  specific language that you might need to use. Make sure your audience knows what you mean. 


About Rosemary the Chickerell Chirper

I'm a private teacher of piano, guitar and music theory. I am married with two grown sons who now have families of their own. I have five granddaughters, two in NZ and three in England, including one set of twins. Ever since I was very young I have wanted to write and have had some poems and articles published but would love to complete a novel. I give talks about various things to local groups and play organ and piano at our local Methodist Chapel where I also lead the choir.
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