Orators of all times: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Adolf Hitler, John F Kennedy , Gandhi, Bill Clinton and many more, who are and were supposedly the best orators ,specify many different qualities an orator should have, may it be articulate, nimble and steadfast or it be bold and declarative; different audiences have different expectations of the a good orator who has the capability to hold their interests for long .Great orators are the ones who stir up revolutions, stir up emotions and spur people to action as we know the power of spoken words is undeniable. The word “oration” comes from the Latin word “oratio” for “speech” and “orare” for “to plead, speak, or pray.” It is a speech that is usually elaborate and dignified. The word “oratory” refers to the art of public speaking. An “orator” is a public speaker. Oratory, the rationale and practice of persuasive public speaking. It is immediate in its audience relationships and reactions, but it may also have broad historical repercussions. As per by Britannica enclyopedia an oration involves a speaker; an audience; a background of time, place, and other conditions; a message; transmission by voice, articulation, and bodily accompaniments; and may, or may not, have an immediate outcome. Vittorio Emanuele Orlando quotes “Oratory is just like prostitution: you must have little tricks”.
A good oratory or in turn speaking up infront of masses is not just due to genes. It’s actually a skill comprised of physical behavior and can be learned by anyone who cares to succeed. A good oratory is needed for the emancipation of the individual be it be in relationships, forums, education and work. The following are some ways by which an individual can work upon to improve his/her oratory skills.
1. In depth knowledge
Have an in depth knowledge of the topic which needs both research and focus. Research the topic deeply and know its pros and cons from every hook and corner because a good orator should know the topic very well and sticks to what he/she knows .Most importantly he/she needs to convey their message effectively and efficiently. Focus on the topic so that the audience can connect to the core idea and they easily grasp the message to be conveyed. Oratory seeks to convince the listener of something, whether that is to accept a certain definition of freedom or simply of the fact that the recently deceased was a person worthy to be mourned.
2. Body appearances
Every body part of the human plays an important role for a good oratory skill be it hands, legs, body posture etc. Making an eye contact with the audience is very important as it makes the interaction more successful. Every eye contact conveys interest and encourages the audiences to be interested in the orator as return. It’s not a good gesture to continuously make an eye contact with one particular person in turn move the eye , going back and forth between two which makes eyes to appear to sparkle. Secondly use gestures that include hand and face movements. The gestures should get larger as the group being addressed gets larger. In turn make the whole body talk.
3. Up’s and down’s
It’s usually seen that many orators deliver their speech in one single tone. A monotone voice is like fingernails on the chalkboard. And it makes the surrounding very dry and dull and the speaker to be boring personality wise. Human ears prefer a tone that varies in pitch which goes up and down.
4. Believe and speak off; Organize, employ and master
A well-organized presentation can be absorbed with minimal mental strain. Bridging is key. Employ quotations, facts, and statistics – Don’t include these for the sake of including them, but do use them appropriately to complement ideas. Master metaphors – Metaphors enhance the understandability of the message in a way that direct language often cannot.Believing on what to be conveyed and have confidence. No audience likes to listen to the individual who is nervous or doesn’t believe in what he/she is saying. It may be tempting to say, “El whooziwhatsit fonctionne bien in thinger teh other day.” It may also not be worth the listener’s time to try to figure out what you mean. So it is important to speak clearly; open the mouth; don’t mumble. Speak off of a deep breath, take in a deep breath, and then use it to begin speaking, project, don’t shout, don’t fire your words like a cannon, rather lob them like a catapult.
5. Create a virtual persona
Creating a stage persona, not to go crazy or dress weird, but it’s best to act much differently on stage than what the individual does in private company; on stage the one who rules, everyone must and wants to listen to him/her and the individual can be the one who rules their mind.
6. First impression is that last impression
When the orator first enters the stage, the first impression is his/her style statement and remains to be the last impression because human beings have a habit of judging people by their physical appearance. For a good orator creating a good appearance, dressing nicely and keeping clean and avoiding outrageous hairstyles, makeup or facial hair is needed.
7. Early bird
Preparing speech ahead of time makes it easier for the speaker what to include and what not. The speech may not be the lengthy one but in turn short points which while delivering the speech can be glanced by the speaker whether he/she has included that in the speech or not. Read the points or speech thoroughly so that it can be memorised.
It’s not important to only have knowledge about the topic but in turn the orator should connect himself/herself to it. He should feel for the message to be delivered because what he feels he conveys to the audience same and the audience in return believes and feels the same if they connect to the message.
9. Indulge in different activities for practice to muster skills
Join a group that gives opportunities to practice oratory skills. Pick one of the many groups that help members develop their skills, such as debate clubs, public speaking teams and Toastmasters groups. Develop a regular practice schedule. Watch other people practice their oratory skills.
10. Practice, practice and practice
“Being a great orator takes work but to do the following thing if want to master the craft: practice, practice and practice because practice makes a man perfect.” The great myth perpetuated about oratory is that talent in this area is inherent and inborn and cannot be learned. But our manly forbearers knew better. The great orators of the world from Cicero to Rockne practiced the art of oratory with resolute single-mindedness. Demosthenes exemplified this drive particularly well. As he was a child he was weak and awkward in both body and speech. But he determined that he would become a great oratory and finally he achieved what he wanted.
At last while summing up all ”Oratory has been called the highest art for it encompasses all other disciplines and Oratory is not mere speaking, but speech that appeals to our noblest sentiments, animates our souls, stirs passions and emotions, and inspires virtuous action.”Always keep in mind every oratory is public speaking but every public speaking is not oratory.