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The 3 main goals of public speaking

If you’re like most people, you might be intimidated by the act of public speaking. Maybe you feel that way because of your background or maybe it was something that was ingrained in you at a young age.

Public speaking is about three main goals- to inform, persuade and entertain. Once you know your purpose, it is easier to plan your presentation. It’s also important to note that public speaking isn’t just about you giving a presentation before an audience- it could be something as simple as making a toast at your sister’s wedding or if you are really brave, maybe you have to stand up in class and talk about the essay topic of the day.

Responding to questions, explaining directions to co-workers, being interviewed on television- all these situations require the speaker to communicate with their voice and body language. You can help ensure success by following some easy steps before, during and after your presentation.

Now you know that public speaking isn’t always difficult; in fact, most people act better when they’re talking than when they’re writing! Public speakers should learn how to relax, focus their attention, speak clearly and logically and make appropriate eye contact.

When you know your goal (inform, persuade or entertain), you can find ways to achieve it. This will help ensure your success as a public speaker.

Inform- To give information or news to the people who are listening to you Speak to be understood- That means that if you want someone to understand what you’re saying, then YOU need to understand what YOU’RE saying Persuade- The definition of persuasion is “to induce someone to do something” You can’t really use this main goal for a presentation because after the presentation is over there is nothing left to do, so if your goal is to persuade people after your presentation then it’s not a good main goal to have.

Unless of course, the presentation is about how they will get something done after you are finished with your speech. Entertain- To attract and hold the attention of an audience Be natural- Remember that you don’t always need notes because your brain knows exactly what you want to say so just think really hard about what you are going to say next instead of reading off cue cards or paper.

Public speaking goals examples

Have you ever been in a position where you had to speak in front of a group of people? If so, then chances are that you have experienced some anxiety about giving the speech.

Public speaking is natural human behavior for anyone with good social skills, but it can be difficult to know how to handle yourself when making an important presentation before the public. This is especially true if there’s a large audience or cameras present; however, there are more than simple tricks and tips to get over this fear.

The first step in getting over your fears is learning how not to worry about them too much. It has been found that worrying more about something will lead to becoming overly timid (e.g., forgetting what you were going to say).

“People who have a lot of social anxiety are particularly bad at using counter-productive strategies,” says Dr. David Barlow, founder and director emeritus of the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University. “Many people tend to get very nervous in anticipation of a public speaking engagement.” In contrast, it has been found that those with low levels of social anxiety were more inclined to plan their speeches ahead of time.

How you prepare for your speech can greatly reduce your level of fear about public speaking. Doing some research on the topic will help give you confidence, as well as helping you remember details during the presentation itself.

A second strategy is to improve your ability to think under pressure; however, this takes time and practice. You can start by practicing your speech in front of a mirror. To help you speak more fluidly, time yourself as you recite the speech once at least 10 times. This way, you will feel less nervous about having to talk for longer periods of time.

When presenting your idea to an audience, there are things that you should keep in mind:

  • First and foremost, know what your message is and who it’s aimed toward
  • Be prepared: Research the topic ahead of time so that you can answer questions easily
  • When speaking to a large audience, pick out one person to focus on rather than trying to look at all the faces in the room at once

Encouragement from others is also helpful in reducing the amount of anxiety you feel before a public speaking engagement. If a friend or family member is willing to come and see your presentation, this can give you a lot more confidence as well as make it easier for you to focus on what you’re saying.

In your speech, try out different gestures and movements. For example, if demonstrating something with hand motions will help make your point clearer, then go ahead and do it! This will keep the audience interested in what you have to say. Plus, varying your tone of voice and using pauses during certain parts of the lecture will help improve the overall atmosphere of the speech.

Public speaking may be difficult at first-but don’t worry about it too much! You’ll soon find that it’s much easier than you imagined and that it can be a lot of fun. So go ahead and give your best effort-after all, the audience is counting on you to present an exciting and informative lecture!

Personal goals for public speaking

Everyone has a fear of public speaking, but it doesn’t have to be something that you dread. Public speaking can actually be less frightening if you follow five personal goals for public speaking. Read on to learn how to make this experience better for yourself!

1.  Know your purpose for standing in front of an audience.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but knowing why there are people listening to you is the key to making public speaking less intimidating.  Ask yourself if you are delivering your speech for entertainment or because someone has asked you to talk about something important to them, and then adjust your material accordingly.

2.  Know your audience

Part of being prepared is knowing who will be listening to you speak so that you can tailor what you say. If this includes students, their parents, other teachers, future employers or another type of group, know what they might want from your presentation so that it’s useful for everyone who will be present. If possible, ask some questions beforehand so that there are not any surprises when you present!

3.  Focus on the present

It can be easy to focus on all of the people that are watching you, or how many views your presentation might receive online later. However, focusing too much attention on these things can cause unnecessary jitters and affect your performance. Focusing instead on what is relevant right now will help you speak comfortably and with confidence.

4.  Make a plan

Practice makes perfect! Sitting down and making a detailed list of what you want to say in your speech as well as any visual aids helps organize your thoughts into something that stands out. Be sure to include details about where pictures should be placed or how long each physical aid should be displayed for during your talk so that there are no surprises when you get on stage.

5.  Be yourself!

Don’t try to be anyone other than who you are. This is your presentation and you have the right to say what you want, so don’t let someone else’s words get in the way of that! If you feel comfortable speaking about certain topics or if there are points that need more clarification, go for it. The worst thing that can happen is that people get something valuable out of your talk even after hearing a few rough comments!

Everyone has fears when it comes to public speaking – but this doesn’t mean that you should dread it. Remembering your goals for public speaking will take away some of the fear while also making sure your speech goes. With this knowledge, public speaking is something that you can do successfully!

SMART goals for public speaking

In preparing for a speech, it is important to make sure you’ve set some clear goals or objectives. In order to achieve these goals, it can be helpful to think of the acronym SMART when planning what your main objective should be for your speech.


The first letter of the acronym SMART- specific stands for having a clear and precise statement of just one goal in four main areas that will help you prepare for a successful presentation:

  • Situation: What is my purpose? Why am I giving this speech? – My purpose would be to inform my audience about why they should vote online during student elections.
  • Message: What do I want people to remember from all this?  Informing my audience on why they should vote online instead of in-person for student elections.
  • Audience: Who am I talking to? What do they already know about the topic?  In this speech, my audience is composed of students from all grades. They know some information about the voting process but not a lot.
  • Environment: What details do I need to remember that might change what I planned?  I will be giving my speech in a room with an internet connection and a projector.


The next letter of the acronym SMART- measurable stands for having clear goals that you can measure, so you have something concrete to work towards. Goals should be quantifiable and able to produce numbers as evidence of your success. In order to make these goals more specific, think about the four main areas from the first letter of this acronym to help you explain what your specific goals are.

  • My goal is to inform my audience about why they should vote online during student elections. This would be measured by success criteria, which might include how many people chose to vote online after hearing this speech and by what percentage of the overall votes were cast online.
  • My goal is to inform my audience about why they should vote online instead of in-person for student elections. This would be measured by success criteria, which might include how many students chose to use their computers or smartphones instead of going to a polling station on voting day.


The third letter of SMART- attainable stands for having clear goals that are not too difficult to accomplish, but not too easy either. Your goals need to be challenging enough that you will use all the planning time available and achieve success at the end of your speech practice.

When determining if your goal is attainable or not, think about what it might take for you to achieve success with this goal. This would include evaluating how much time is left before giving this presentation and whether you can plan effectively within those constraints.

  • I have two weeks until my speech so I should try to work on this goal during that time period.
  • My goal is informative so it might be harder to gain support from students who are apathetic about voting online than students who already know a lot about internet voting and why it benefits them.


The fourth letter of the SMART acronym- relevant stands for having clear goals that are relevant to your audience, which will make your presentation more interesting. This means you need to think about what makes this topic relevant to them and how it might impact their daily lives.

I would consider my goal being relevant because if students vote online, they can do so from home or anywhere else with an internet connection. This allows easy access instead of requiring someone to go out of their way in order for them to cast a ballot.

The final letter of SMART- time-bound stands for making sure you set deadlines that work within the constraints of your opportunity after setting these other four goals, which should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

I need to plan on working on this goal for two weeks in order to accomplish what I want. During that time, I will try to come up with different strategies of how the audience can benefit from voting online, brainstorm awards or scholarships students could win if they voted online and find statistics about the number of votes cast online compared with in person.

These are all measurable, attainable goals which are relevant because they are all things my audience would be interested in hearing about when it comes to student elections.