Public speaking and presenting are closely intertwined activities that share many similarities. They both require a speaker to carefully craft their words, visuals, vocalics, and body language in order to effectively communicate their ideas and connect with their audience. However, the key distinction lies in how these skills are used to achieve the speaker’s desired outcome.
When it comes to public speaking, the audience may be large and unknown to the speaker. To engage successfully, it is essential for the speaker to use their voice and body language dynamically, varying their tone, volume, and pace, and emphasising their words with appropriate gestures and movements. To ensure the audience can relate to the message, the speaker should craft their words carefully and carefully choose their visual aids.
On the other hand, presenting is more focused on a smaller and more familiar audience. Voice and body language are still important, but they must be adapted to suit the audience. The words used may be more technical, as the audience is more knowledgeable about the topic. Visuals are key to making the presentation engaging and helping the presenter explain their topic effectively.
Ultimately, understanding the relationship between public speaking and presenting involves examining the necessary skills and the delivery of these skills. While there are similarities, the execution of these skills must be tailored to the event, audience, and objectives for a successful outcome. By recognizing the nuances of this relationship, speakers can craft dynamic presentations that are tailored to their audience and effectively communicate their message in a way that resonates.
In future posts, we will interchange the terms public speaking and presentation skills to refer to the same abilities.
These four areas – words, visuals, vocalics, and body language – are part of the work of Hargie and Owen and are represented in the above diagram. This is the framework we will be using in future posts to better understand how we can improve our presentation skills.
Q1. Vocal/Verbal is the use of words to convey a message. This includes making the words we use either informative, persuasive, or entertaining and how they are ordered or structured.
Q2. Vocal/Nonverbal communication is the way we use our tone, volume, and inflection when speaking. This form of communication is often used to emphasize words and convey meaning.
Q3. Non-vocal/Verbal is the way we use visuals to help us communicate. This involves the use of slides, handouts and demonstrations.
Q4. Non-vocal/Nonverbal communication is the way we communicate with our body language. This can include gestures, movement, posture, facial expressions, and dress.
It’s important to be mindful that this framework divides verbal and nonverbal communication (NVC) into distinct categories. However, in reality, these skills are highly intertwined and often interdependent.
In our next post, we will discuss Q1. the vocal/verbal or the use of words to convey a message.
Ref: Hargie, O. (2016). Communicating without words: skilled nonverbal behaviour. In Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. Taylor & Francis Group.