Chapter 7 Summary

Man delivering a speech.The nuance of language offers powerful options for speechwriters. As such, speakers should masterfully assemble the words of the speech with the audience in mind. Select the right language and tone for those words based on the context of the speaking arrangement; be sure the tone matches the expected and appropriate tone for the situation.

The language chosen when composing a speech should take into account both the denotation (dictionary definition) and connotation (emotional implication) of the words. Keep words simple, clear, concrete. Avoid overusing abstract language and generalizations. Be aware of other types of language to avoid, such as euphemisms, inflated language, and jargon. Finally, employ vivid language through the use of metaphor, simile, and rhetorical devices such as alliteration, antithesis, and parallel structure or repetition to keep audiences engaged and listening.


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Messages that Matter: Public Speaking in the Information Age - Third Edition Copyright © 2023 by North Idaho College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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