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# TESOL Unit 5: Presenting and Interpreting Public Messages Supporting Materials For a speech to be credible, it must contain information

n that supports the key points and topic. Four key types of supporting material assist speakers and researchers in developing credibility for their topics: 1. 2. 3. 4. statistics testimonies illustrations explanations

## Objectives se reliable information to support the content of a speech.

Vocabular conte!t clari" Statistics !tatistics are the results of collecting, organi"ing, and interpreting numerical data. #iting statistics in a speech can be an effective method of supporting opinions and making ideas or concepts more compelling. For example, if you are trying to convince your audience to take better care of their hearts, a statistic might best express the seriousness of the situation. For example, you could say, \$%he &merican 'eart &ssociation( has estimated that more people )ill die this year from cardiovascular*related diseases than from cancer, automobile accidents, and '+, combined.\$ +n order to effectively present statistics, ho)ever, speakers should abide by four guidelines: -1. limit the number of statistics used/ -2. select reliable statistics/ -3. state statistics in a meaningful, creative )ay/ and -4. round off each statistic to the nearest )hole number. 0imiting the number of statistics used in a speech is helpful to maintain an audience1s attention. 2ost people cannot ade3uately assimilate more than three or four statistics in a speech. +t is difficult to keep numbers straight )hile listening to a speech. 'o)ever, if a speaker must cite several different statistics in the course of a speech, he should space them out and provide visuals that demonstrate the statistics. %he second guideline, selecting reliable statistics, involves checking the source of a statistic. %o the best of a speaker1s ability, he or she should ensure that 3uoted source materials are not unfairly biased and that the source doesn1t have a hidden agenda for 3uoting the statistics -commercial product reports, sales publications, etc... 4esearchers can evaluate the motive by examining the use of the statistics in the information they are using. For example, dental product advertisements often include some type of statistic such as \$%hree out of four dentists agree that 5rand 6 toothpaste prevents tooth decay,\$ or \$7ine circumstances important to the situation to make clear

out of ten dentists recommend oral )ash to their patients.\$ 5efore citing such statistics or accepting them as evidence, it )ould be a good idea to examine the source of the survey, determine ho) many dentists )ere involved in the survey, and find out )hen the survey )as conducted. &lso, it is important to state statistics in a meaningful, creative )ay. !tatistics can be dry or exciting, depending upon ho) the speaker presents them. 'o) )ell the audience accepts and remembers the statistics )ill depend upon the creativity and kno)ledge of the speaker. For example, if a speaker )anted to point out the glut of )ords used in incidental government regulatory reports, he might point out a report on the sale of cabbage that has a total of 28,911 )ords. %he statistic alone, )hile interesting, does not have impact. +nstead, the speaker could say: "Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in just 286 words. Jefferson managed to ma e a certain !eclaration of "nde#endence in \$%&22 words. 'ut in a recent re#ort% government officials re(uired a who##ing 26%)\$\$ words to regulate the sale of cabbage* Finally, rounding off numbers )ill help an audience remember the statistic. For example, \$#lose to a billion people use the +nternet\$ is easier to remember than \$999,4:2,234,;8:< people use the +nternet.\$ <not actual figure Testi#onies &nother type of supporting material is testimonies. %estimonies include expert opinions and literary 3uotations. %here are four guidelines for using testimonies: -1. identify sources, -2. only cite authorities )ho are 3ualified to speak on a particular topic, -3. cite authorities )ho are significant to the audience, and -4. be accurate. =f primary importance )hen using testimonies in a speech is to identify sources. +dentifying sources credits the source and adds credibility to the information. +n addition to identifying the person1s name, a speaker should cite the person1s occupation, expertise, or experience that 3ualifies him or her as an expert on the topic. For example, \$%imothy 2ead, director of the 7ational 2ental 'ealth &ssociation(, said that schi"ophrenia is a genetic disease that often manifests in early adulthood.\$ %he greater the person1s notoriety, the less important it is to identify the person in detail. 2ost people kno) that &lbert >instein is a scientist or that ?an 4ather is a @ournalist. !econd, citing expert opinions to support a point )ill add credibility to an argument, especially if a speaker is presenting a controversial sub@ect. #onsider a student )ho is giving a speech on the \$Areenhouse >ffect.\$ %o support the speaker1s point that planting ne) trees )ill reduce air pollution, he 3uotes former Bashington state governor, scientist, and author ?r. ?ixy 0ee 4ay: +ature trees% li e all living things% metaboli,e more slowly as they grow old .A forest of young% vigorously growing trees will remove five to seven tons more -.2 #er acre than old growth. /here are #lenty of good reasons to #reserve old growth forests% but redressing the -.2 balance is not one of them. "f we are really interested in reducing atmos#heric -.2 % we should be vigorously #ursuing reforestation and the #lanting of trees and shrubs% including in urban areas% where local im#acts on the atmos#here are greatest. 1 %he testimony is effective not only because it contains relevant information, but also because it is from an individual )ho is 3ualified to speak on the issue. +f the speaker had

cited the opinion of a friend, a favorite science teacher, or even an expert in an unrelated field, the argument )ould not be any more credible than if no one had been 3uoted. &nother important guideline for using testimonies involves 3uoting authorities the audience respects or admires. For example, if )e are trying to convince a cro)d of environmental activists to alter their protest techni3ues, it )ill not help the argument to 3uote an oil company president. !imilarly, if )e are trying to persuade a group of high school students to stay off drugs, )e1ll add credibility to the argument if )e cite a popular singer or actor )ho favors our stand. Finally, it is necessary that speakers accurately state testimonies. %aking a 3uote out of context in order to support a point is not only misleading/ it is dishonest. +f a speaker paraphrases an expert, the statement should not be altered in a )ay that changes the meaning. Illustrations +llustrations or verbal examples are used to dramati"e a point. +f used correctly, they can have great emotional value. sing examples, currently referred to as storytelling, for centuries has been one of the most effective means of strengthening a point. !tories have been used to illustrate some of the great teachings in the )orld, from Clato1s storytelling use, to children1s books, to modern*day corporate storytelling. Be )ill discuss t)o types of illustrations: factual and hypothetical. Factual illustrations. %hese are stories used to explain or clarify a point. 5rief factual illustrations that are effective underscore a point or an idea in no more than three sentences. 5rief illustrations may be used to remind listeners of something they already kno). %hey also can personali"e a point. %o briefly illustrate that theft can occur any)here at anytime, a student might say, \$& year ago last !unday, my family )ent to church, una)are of the dangers that lurked in our o)n neatly manicured neighborhood. Bhen )e returned, )e found our house in shambles. =ur television, ?,? player, silver)are, and other valuable items had been stolen.\$ 0onger factual illustrations are useful )hen details are needed that cannot be provided in a fe) sentences. %hey might consist of four or five sentences or be several paragraphs long. +f a speaker decides to use a long illustration, it should be directly related to the point and be interesting enough to capture and keep the attention of the audience. 'ypothetical illustrations. %hese are examples or stories of )hat might occur. %hey invite the listener to use his or her imagination in order to understand a situation. Bhen using a hypothetical illustration, it is important to identify it as such. 5egin by asking the audience to \$imagine\$ or to picture themselves in another place. +n presenting safety steps for undertaking a long*distance boating excursion, a speaker might say, \$+magine for a minute that you are adrift in a small raft in the +ndian =cean. +t1s night and the light of the moon is glistening off the gentle )aves that are lapping against the craft. %hough you are alone and )ithout means of long term survival, you feel at peace. Dou kno) that you )ill be found. Bhat is in the raft that enhances your survivalE\$ &s )ith other types of supporting material, it is important to use illustrations that are meaningful to the audience. %his includes using details that transport the listener or cause him to deeply identify )ith the sub@ect of the illustration. !peakers should use language that is understandable, descriptive, and memorable to help listeners see, taste, smell, touch, and hear the people, places, or things that are described. E!planations &n explanation clarifies a difficult concept and makes it more understandable to the

audience. !peakers may use many types of explanations such as definitions, comparisons, and etymology. ?efinitions. %he purpose of a definition is to explain the meaning of a term. +ts use may be as simple as 3uoting a dictionary. For example, a speaker may be talking about the 1FF* foot tall \$haboob\$ storms that flo) into the Choenix, &ri"ona, area in mid*summer. %he speaker may explain the meaning of the term: \$/he American 0eritage1 -ollege !ictionary defines 1haboob1 as 1& violent sandstorm or dust storm, occurring chiefly in &rabia, 7orth &frica, and +ndia.1\$ ?ictionary definitions have authority and are rarely 3uestioned by audiences. &nother type of definition is an o#erational definition. &n operational definition explains ho) something operates or )orks )ithin a process. For instance, the \$'eimlich maneuver(\$ process might be defined operationally as: \$%o perform the 'eimlich maneuver(, stand behind the victim and )rap your arms around the victim1s )aist. Bith one hand, make a fist and place the thumb @ust above the belly button. Brap the other hand around the fist. Cush the fist )ith 3uick up)ard thrusts into the victim1s stomach. >ach thrust should be a separate attempt to dislodge the ob@ect.\$ #omparisons. & comparison explains the meaning of a term by illustrating or describing its similarity to a familiar term. #onsider these: E!a#ples: Aoing to &ntarctica )ould be like traveling to another planet. %he exercise gained from )alking three times a )eek is e3ual to s)imming t)ice a )eek. >ating @alapeGo peppers is like che)ing on red*hot coals. >ach of these comparisons helps to illustrate a point by describing one thing in terms of another. >tymologies. >very )ord has its history. & )ord1s etymology refers to that )ord1s \$ancestry\$Hthe source language-s. and changes in meaning that have led up to the )ord1s current meaning and usage patterns. &n explanation of the etymology of a )ord can be more helpful and memorable for an audience than providing a dictionary definition. For example, the )ord haboob that )e used earlier comes from the &rabic )ord habIb, )hich means \$strong )ind.\$ %he most important thing to keep in mind )hen using explanations is to keep them as brief as possible. ?on1t let explanations distract listeners from the main point. Let\$s %evie&' Dou studied the use of statistics and testimonies and sa) ho) to most effectively use them to strengthen your speeches. %his lesson also provided instruction on ho) to use factual and hypothetical illustrations, as )ell as definitions and comparisons to highlight your points. 1?r. ?ixy 0ee 4ay, and 0ouis 4. Au""o, /rashing the 2lanet3 0ow 4cience -an 0el# 5s !eal with Acid 6ain% !e#letion of the .,one% and 7uclear 8aste 9Among .ther /hings: -7e) Dork: 'arper#ollins, 1992..

TESOL Unit 5: Presenting and Interpreting Public Messages Presenting t(e Topic Visuall

Bhen you1re struggling to understand ideas, does \$seeing\$ them help youE +f so, you1re one of many )ho find visual aids helpful. & visual aid is )hat it sounds likeHan aid to visuali"ing or \$seeing\$ )hat )ould other)ise be abstract or vague. %his lesson explores types and uses of visual aids you can use to help your audience get the most out of your speech. Objectives se visual andJor auditory aids to support and present a speech.

Use o" Visual )ids %here are several advantages to using visual aids in a speech. First, visual aids can increase listener comprehension. !econd, visual aids help people retain information. Cresenting information visually as )ell as orally reinforces a message. 4epeated exposure to information increases the possibility that it )ill be retained. %hird, visual aids help sustain audience attention. =ral presentations that are punctuated by visual stimuli add variety and interest. T pes o" Visual )ids =nce a speaker has decided to use visual aids to support a message, he or she must then decide )hat type )ould be most effective. %he follo)ing are some of the more commonly used visual aids: ob@ects, models, photographs, graphs, charts, and audioJvideo media. =b@ects. =ne of the best )ays to underscore a point or explain a complex process is to use a physical ob@ect. =b@ects give a speaker something tangible to sho) the audience/ and they appeal to the tactile learners, giving the audience something they can touch or immediately see. Bhen presenting evidence in court, attorneys hold up ob@ects to a @uryHa )eapon, a piece of clothingHin order to make their arguments more plausible, more real. sing an ob@ect can be @ust as effective for a speaker. For example, if you are giving an informative speech on painting china, you could bring in some samples of your )ork for the audience to examine. 2odels. +f an ob@ect cannot be used as a visual aid, a speaker might )ant to use a model. & model is a replica of an ob@ect, but smaller andJor more manageable. For example, a model )ould be useful if you )ere giving a speech on Borld Bar ++ tanks. +t )ould be impossible to bring a full*si"e tank into a classroom, and a dra)ing or a photograph )ouldn1t allo) you to demonstrate the various functions of a tankHthe turning of the turret, the rolling of the tread, and the positioning of the gun. Bith a )orking model, ho)ever, you could demonstrate the tank1s operations. Chotographs. =ne of the simplest and most )idely used )ays to add interest to a presentation is to use photographs. For photographs to be effective, they must be enlarged to a si"e that can be seen by everyone in the audience. +t is best to display photographs on an easel or on a chalkboard to the side of the speaker rather than pass around an individual photograph. %he best means of presenting a photograph is through the use of a slide pro@ector or 0#? pro@ector that presents computer files enlarged on a screen. Araphs. %hese visual aids are an effective means to illustrate statistical information. %hey translate numerical data into pictorial symbols that can be more easily understood or processed. Araphs come in several forms including pie graphs, bar graphs, picture graphs, and line graphs.

2ie gra#hs are used to sho) the percentile division of data. 'ar gra#hs use bars or columns to compare related sources of information )ith. 2icture gra#hs are pictorial representations of numerical data. Line gra#hs are used to demonstrate the relationship bet)een t)o factors.

#harts. 0ike graphs, charts handle statistical information. #harts serve to summari"e facts or statistics into a visually pleasing presentation. %hey are most effective )hen information is kept to a minimum and letters and numbers are clearly printed. %o ensure that everyone in the audience can see the chart, use a large, dark font against a light*colored background. 5right colors can be helpful but should be chosen carefully. 2aps, like photographs, should be enlarged so that everyone in the audience can see them. 'ighlight certain regions or path)ays, if necessary, )ith distinguishing colors such as red, bright blue, or black. %hese highlights )ill help keep the audience focused on significant features. &udioJvideo. +n addition to visual aids, audio;video aids add variety, realism, and interest to a presentation. &udio aidsH tape recordings, #?s, or recordsHshould be used primarily to supplement a visual presentation. For example, a speaker might have background music for a slide presentation. +n special cases, such as a presentation on classical music, the speaker might )ant to use audio aids apart from any type of visual aid. &udiovisual aids such as films and videotapes combine the effects of visual aids and audio aids. 5ecause of their po)er to dra) attention, both audio aids and audioJvideo aids should be used only )hen they support the main topic. Media "or Visual )ids &fter you decide )hat type of visual aid )ould be most effective for the information that you )ish to present, you )ill need to choose the appropriate communications medium. & communication medium is a tool through )hich a message is communicated. #halkboards and )hiteboards. %hese aids are among the simplest and most available media. %hey are easy to use and have little possibility of technical failure. !peakers can dra) or record main points and explanations as the presentation proceeds. 'o)ever, in order to effectively use chalkboards or )hiteboards, a speaker must )rite clearly and be skilled in dra)ing graphs or diagrams. 'andouts. 7ext to chalkboards, handouts are the simplest media for visual aids. Crofessional*looking handouts can easily be created )ith the use of a desktop publishing program and a color printer. 'andouts give an audience evidence of the speaker1s claims to take home )ith them and further consider. Bhen using handouts, consider the best time to distribute them. +f a speaker )ants to hand them out at the beginning, it may be useful for the handouts to be incomplete, encouraging the audience to listen to the speaker and fill in the missing parts. +f the handouts )ill be given at the end, it is generally best for them to be complete and to offer further information for those interested in pursuing the topic in depth. Flip charts. %hese are large pads of paper )hich contain charts or graphs that may be used as the presentation progresses. %hey offer the convenience of chalkboards )ith the preparedness of professional*looking charts and graphs. %hey are also convenient for rooms that don1t have )hiteboards or chalkboards available or )here boards are not installed in places that are easy for the audience to see. Cages can be taped to the )alls so that the audience can vie) the progression of the speech or presentation. Flip charts are especially helpful in brainstorming sessions. 2ake noteK 5efore deciding to use slides in a presentation, consider ho) much time and effort you )ill

need to prepare a slide presentation. !lides. se slides to enlarge t)o*dimensional visual aids such as photographs, charts, graphs, and maps. %hey may be created in speciali"ed computer programs such as Co)erCoint(, Cersuasion(, or #orel Cresentations(. !lides re3uire a pro@ector and the skills to operate it. +f a speaker chooses to use a pro@ector, he or she should prepare for technical emergencies. %he speaker should become familiar )ith the e3uipment and kno) ho) to change bulbs and troubleshoot common problems. =verhead transparencies. %ransparencies are clear plastic sheets upon )hich images may be printed. Bhen laid upon an overhead pro@ector, the transparency1s image is cast on the )all or screen for everyone to see. ?esktop publishing and presentation computer programs allo) users to create transparencies from files that contain pictures, graphs, charts, and other types of visual aids. 0#? pro@ectors allo) speakers to pro@ect slides -)hich they create on the soft)are systems previously mentioned. onto a )all or screen. %he combination of these pro@ectors and the soft)are also allo)s speakers to use animation and synchroni"ed sound )ith the slides. =verhead transparencies are used more often than slides because they also allo) for enlargements of charts and maps/ in addition, most classrooms or presentation rooms have overhead pro@ectors available. &gain, the speaker should become familiar )ith the e3uipment. *riteria "or Visual )ids #onsider the follo)ing five criteria )hen using visual aids: 1. #onsider the audience. +t is al)ays important to consider the audience. Bhen developing a visual aid, ask the follo)ing 3uestions: Bhat type of visual aid )ould best illustrate my topic and be most interesting to my audienceE Bhat colors )ould be most appropriate for this audienceE Bhat symbols )ould my audience understandE &re there any symbols that my audience might find offensiveE\$ 2. 5e focused. ,isual aids should contain only details that are relevant to the topic. 4emember that visuals should clarify the point not confuse it. 3. Leep it simple. %he most effective visuals are simple. &void cluttering visuals )ith unnecessary labels, explanations, and unimportant data. Leep information to a minimum. 4. 2ake it big. &ll too often, speakers use visual aids that have letters or numbers that are too small to be seen by those in the back of the audience. +f most of the audience cannot see or read the visual aid, it should not be used. 'eadlines should be 38 pt. -one*half inch. or taller. %ext should be as big as possible/ it should never be smaller than 14 pt. ;. 2ake it attractive. Bhether the presentation is to the board of a Fortune ;FF company or the local garden club, visual aids should look professional. ?eveloping professional*looking visual aids is an attainable goal. 5ooks like 4obin Billiams1s /he 7on<!esigner=s !esign 'oo 2 can be very helpful. Let\$s %evie&' +n this lesson, you studied different visual aids, including ob@ects, models, photographs,

graphs, charts, and audio*visual materials. Dou considered modern electronic methods for visual presentations. +n addition, you reevaluated the use of old standards of visual presentation, including chalkboards, )hiteboards, and flip charts