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Basic Principles for Effective Speakers

I was reminded recently of the Basic Principles for Effective Speakers, as written by Anna Lloyd Neal. I had to memorize these principles for my freshman speech class when I was in college. I’ve since forgotten them…

  1. The Effective Speaker is a person whose character, knowledge, and judgment command respect.
  2. The Effective Speaker has a message to deliver, has a definite purpose in giving that message, and is consumed with the necessity of getting that message across and accomplishing that purpose.
  3. The Effective Speaker realizes that the primary purpose of speech is the communication of ideas and feelings in order to get a desired response.
  4. The Effective Speaker analyzes and adjusts to every speaking situation.
  5. The Effective Speaker chooses topics which are significant and appropriate.
  6. The Effective Speaker reads and listens with discrimination. (Neither blindly accepting the ideas of others, nor stubbornly refusing to consider opinions opposed to his own.)
  7. The Effective Speaker secures facts and opinions through sound research and careful thought so that his speech, both on and off the platform, may be worthy of the listener’s time.
  8. The Effective Speaker selects and organizes materials so that they form a unified and coherent whole.
  9. The Effective Speaker uses language that is clear, direct, appropriate, and vivid.
  10. The Effective Speaker makes his delivery vital and keeps it free from distracting elements.
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