Effective Speaking: Communicating in Speech

By Christopher Turk | Go to book overview

All the advice in this chapter about non-verbal communication may seem frighteningly complex. You may now have the impression that every twitch will tell against you, that the audience can read your inner thoughts with X-ray eyes. Not so. Indeed, it is surprising how little others realize about our true state of mind if we act in a controlled way. My intention in discussing non-verbal communication at such length is certainly not to make the speaker so self conscious and nervous that he or she becomes like a rabbit caught in headlights. It is merely to make speakers aware of the vast range of ways in which their information and feelings are communicated to the audience. There is no cause for alarm. As I said early in this book, most audiences are humane, and sympathetic to those who make a genuine effort. The risk is being unaware of the significance of what you do. Many speakers concentrate so much on the words, that they forget their bodies, and allow themselves to fall into absurdities. Knowledge, as so often, is 90% of the battle. If you know that the way you stand, move and use your hands will affect the way your message is perceived, then you will give it some thought. Thoughtful movement communicates competence and control, and the non-verbal signals you give off will be appropriate.


Notes to chapter nine
1.
Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (Penguin, 1971), p.14.
2.
M.L.J. Abercrombie, The Anatomy of Judgement (Penguin, 1979).
3.
W.P. Robinson, Language and Social Behaviour (Penguin, 1974), p. 138.
4.
John Corner and Jeremy Hawthorn, Communication Studies: An Introductory Reader (Edward Arnold, 1980), p.23.
5.
Edmund Leach in John Corner and Jeremy Hawthorn's Communication Studies; An Introductory Reader (Edward Arnold) p. 15.
6.
See Druckman, Daniel, Richard M. Rozelle, and James C. Baxter, Non-verbal Communication: Survey, Theory and Research (Serge Library of Social Research, 1982).
7.
Argyle, M., Salter, V., Nicholson, H., Williams, M., and Burgess, P., The Communication of Superior and Inferior Attitudes by Verbal and Non-verbal Signals, British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, Vol.9 (1970), pp.222-31.
8.
Argyle, et.al. (1970), op. cit.
9.
Davitz, J.L., The Communication of Emotional Meaning (Greenwood Press, 1976).

-164-

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Effective Speaking: Communicating in Speech
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • 1 - Communicating in Speech 1
  • Notes to Chapter One 11
  • 2 - The Audience 13
  • 3 - Selecting, Planning and Arranging the Material 43
  • Notes to Chapter Three 69
  • 4 - Starting, Carrying On, and Ending 72
  • 5 - Making Notes 85
  • 6 - Coping with Nerves: the Credibility Problem 100
  • 7 - Timing and Bad Timing 117
  • 8 - Intonation and Variety 129
  • Notes to Chapter Eight 143
  • 9 - Non-Verbal Communication 145
  • Notes to Chapter Nine 164
  • 10 - Arranging the Physical Environment for a Talk 167
  • Notes to Chapter Ten 179
  • 11 - Visual Aids 181
  • 12 - Persuasive Advocacy 210
  • Notes to Chapter Twelve 233
  • 13 - Question Time: Leading a Group Discussion and Answering Questions 236
  • Further Reading 252
  • 14 - Conclusion 254
  • A Specialist Bibliography 256
  • Index 271
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