Aristotle once said ” success in delivery is of utmost importance to the effect of speech.” While it is emphasized that good delivery is natural and has conversational quality; there are some primary elements underlying good delivery. They are the following.
1. Direct eye contact
This simply means that the speaker looks at the audience squarely in the eyes. This may prove difficult in the case of the speaker reading the manuscript. Nonetheless, it is important that the speaker look up from the manuscript now and then and look directly at the audience. This must be done properly so that the quality of delivery will not suffer.
For small groups, eye contact is made with everyone but for only a few seconds at a time. Any longer than that may make some people feel self-conscious.
For larger groups, eye contact is made with one section of the audience at a time. Doing it in a mechanical left-to-right pattern should be avoided. it will appear more natural if it is done randomly.
2. Effective use of voice
In oral interaction, the tool used to transmit the verbal message from the source to the receiver is the human voice. For the effective use of one’s voice in oral communication, the following elements should be considered:
The voice should be loud enough to be heard by the audience. The speaker should adjust his/her voice to the acoustics of the room, the size of the audience, and the level of background noise.
b. Rate of Speaking
This refers to the speed at which the person speaks. To achieve the correct rate of speaking the speaker should consider the following:
- the mood to be created
- the composition of the audience
- the nature of the occasion
An effective speaker should also use pitch to clarify and emphasize the ideas in his/her message. Varying the pitch of voice in speaking makes the difference between a good and bad delivery of speech.
To produce sounds distinctly, the speaker should learn to manipulate his vocal apparatus: lips, tongue, jaw and soft palate properly. Good articulation considers all the sounds in a given word without overemphasizing any of them.
Pauses are usually made at the end, and not in middle of thought units except in the case of emphatic stress. It is very important for the speaker to make brief, momentary pauses in his/her speech to enable the audience to fully understand the meaning of the message and to follow the speaker’s trend of thought.
A speech must flow smoothly. Repetitions or expressions like “uh” or “er” tend to interrupt the flow of the message and distract the attention of the audience.