Speech Analysis for Public Speakers

Thinking, Theory and Practice of Speech Analysis

This is an analysis of the subject of speaking skills. (It is a bit technical. It is OK to skip this section.)

Speaking Skills gets right into the subject if you would like to skip this section. Learn the speech qualities and speech delivery exercises needed to attain speech mastery.

The Speaking Skills is a list of skills you can assess your abilities against. It is an exhaustive list of the skills in an outline.

The term speech analysis can take on many different forms in academia.

According to Wikipedia it could be broken into three classes of study known as semantics, pragmatics, linguistics.

These classes can be further broken down. Theoretical linguistics is divided into 7 divisions. These divisions study things like sounds, patterns, word structures, how words combine, meanings of words in sentences, grammatical features, and sentence structures.

To attain Speechmastery, your concern should relate to contextual linguistics. Not limiting to any particular area of study, the Speechmastery speech analysis covers three areas of contextual linguistics of US English language use.

From the sociolinguistics and anthropological discipline, we look at the interactions between linguistics and the culture and society we live in. Region by region the native speaker has unique varieties so it is best to avoid making hard and fast rules.

Indeed, slang words have entered popular and acceptable use, even in polite society. (An example, lame duck president where the slang word ‘duck’ means person easily imposed upon. The slang word Duck is not a word otherwise commonly used in society today.

I have to admit, one of my class mates tried to re-institute it in the early 70’s but even that effort did not last beyond the school year.)

Psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics are scientific disciplines that have branched into a form of medical science concerned with language. The power words have when used to potentate healing is rather remarkable.

Both medically and psychologically a percentage of patients are healed by the placebo effect, whether from placebo medicine or self healing, the power of word usage is evident.

Critical discourse analysis is concerned with applying a study of rhetoric and philosophy, using things like truth tests, is also an important aspect of analyzing speech. Speechmastery is not concerned with this aspect of looking at speech beyond the ethical use of words.

It is hoped that this discipline would be one of the measures of the quality of speaking of those who master their speech abilities.

Speech or Discourse analysis in general is a term for the analysis of the method and manner of speech delivery. Speechmastery speech analysis attempts to look at the various speaker skills and put them into a form where they can be measured in their use. This will enable the speaker to mature from good to great.

Speechmastery’s Three Pillars

First Pillar...What You Say.

    A speech can be analyzed by grammatical standards, what you say or the words you choose to use. In the speech qualities this is covered by pronunciation, and effective word use.

Second Pillar...How You Use The Words.

    Analysis can can look at how the words are used, the meanings intended and the ones received by the audience.

    This would fall under the discipline of pragmatics. Intonations can change the meaning of words to an audience. Learning the ability to control the way words are spoken is prerequisite to becoming a masterful speaker.

    Here we cover voice qualities in a conversation. We will be providing speech delivery exercises to help visitors improve these skills.

The Third Pillar... How You Present Yourself

The third pillar deals with dress and grooming, health issues and posture. On it’s own, it would not be considered a part of linguistics. Because non-verbal communication plays an important part of how we impact our ability to reach and move an audience, it is an important aspect of Speechmastery.

This discussion would not be complete without a discussion of prescription and description.

Descriptive linguists are concerned with the life force language possesses. They will not pass judgment as to whether it is good or bad.

Prescriptivists want rule of usage and will be first to point out correct and incorrect usage. They are the journalist and educators who teach by word or example what is right or wrong. They are the “they say” of our society.

Included among them are the authors who say to me as a nurse, it is improper to call a patient ‘honey’ or ‘dear.’ Interesting opinions that have become rules we are forced to conform to. These rules are imposed upon us in a world that is unaware of those rules.

Most are not aware that publishers are allowed to in some cases, write or create their own rules as to what is right or wrong. As an example, consider the serial comma and it’s different acceptable uses.

As to prescription and description used on Speechmastery, we chose to take a balanced approach. There are certain rules that are important to follow. The question in regard to proper or improper use is this: do we want to be known as the Speech Nazi. Life is to short to spend it correcting language idiosyncrasies.

Inability to be flexible to the cultural differences could be life threatening. It is our feeling it is better to find enjoyment in the rich diversity of languages within reason than to find fault.

Speechmastery.com: The Public Speaking Speech Analysis Website

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Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
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