Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech ‘I have a dream’ is one of the most memorable speeches of all times. He delivered the speech to the American Negroes In the year 1963 in his continued fight for equal rights for all humans in the USA (Miller et al., 2009). The speech was emotional as he had seen and experienced the increased racial discrimination that had gone beyond boundaries in the USA. As a good speaker, Dr. Martin Luther made use of a number of literary devices to ensure that the speech brought sense to his audience and enhance its memorability to the audience.
Dr. Luther stimulated the sense of his listeners by sticking to the current situation of oppression that his people were going through. He made use of repetitive words such as “I have a dream” and “Let freedom ring” so as to make all his listeners feel the pain they were in as they underwent oppression from the whites just because of their skin color.
To leave a memorable mark in the hearts of his audience and make his speech effective, Dr. Luther involved a number of literary techniques in his speech so as to engage his listeners. One example of a literary technique he used to capture the attention of his listeners was the use of repetition by repeating the word “freedom” twenty times throughout the speech so as to emphasize on what he was fighting for. Dr. Luther also used the technique of metaphor so as to directly compare two, unlike things by suggesting that one thing is another thing or is an equal of the other. This helped in creating vivid descriptions using few words.
Upon completion of my course, I will have acquired crucial public speaking skills that will be vital at the place of work as well as in my church ministry activities. In the place of work, I can use my public speaking skills to advocate for myself and work when going for a promotion because learning and adopting good public speaking skills will help polish my communication and leadership skills thus increasing my level of confidence. High confidence at the place of work is very critical as it will enable me to take up projects that I could have otherwise not have taken.
Good public speaking skills will also be fundamental in instilling good public speaking principles that will help me communicate better with my boss and co-workers at the place of work. These public speaking principles will help me become a good face-face communicator instead of an email or technology based communicator. This will also enable be undertake successful projects as many of them fail due to ineffective communication.
I also anticipate using my public speaking skills to improve my negotiation and influencing skills at the place of work. This is because with desirable public speaking skills I will be able to understand the needs of my audience whom I will be aiming to influence. This will also be able to act confidently even when am not confident thus influencing other people.
Throughout the week I have learned a number of public speaking skills that I will be able to practice immediately. Among the skills is seeking and utilizing feedback from people as no one is perfect in communication thus the need for continuous improvement. Also, acting and speaking ethically is another skill that I have learned in the course of the week that am determined to practice immediately as there are so many people who fear public speaking. This fear leaves the power of public speaking to few people thus the need to use this power responsibly.
In the instance I am delivering a speech and realize that my audience has lost concentration while others are sleeping on their seats and also a number have blank facial expressions, I would do a number of things so as to gain their attention once more. Among the things I would do is telling a story since stories require little effort to keep concentration. The story will even wake the sleepy one as people are known to like listening to stories. Another technique that I will use to gain the attention of the audience is creating a joke that will make the audience laugh. This is because even those that are asleep will pay attention whenever they hear others laugh and want to know what is funny (Peirce et al., 2013)
Another strategy that I can use to gain back the attention of the listeners is making a transition so that the sleepy and other people who are not listening can be reminded that they want to refocus. Such transitions can be “In summary…” or “Additional to…” that will help the listeners to get back on board and concentrate once more. To gain back the attention of the audience I get them to talk to the person next to them so that they can share an idea I had mentioned earlier. This can make even the sleepy ones to wake up so that they can be engaged thus achieving their attention.
Another way of gaining the attention of my audience after a period of boredom is by getting them to note something down. This will allow every listener to note down whatever I have asked them to thus gaining their attention back. I can also take a micro break if the session is long so that the audience can stretch their bodies, visit the washrooms or even sip a drink. This will be important in regaining their attention once more.
Miller, M. C., & Sundquist, Eric J. (2009). King’s Dream: The Legacy of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech. Yale University Press.
Peirce, P., Eby, T., & Tantor Media. (2013). Leap of perception: The transforming power of your attention. Old Saybrook, Ct.: Tantor Media.