Practising English speaking with Impromptu and Persuasive Speech
When learning English as a second language (ESL), there is a lot more at play than simply rote techniques that are sadly practiced amongst several online English speaking classes. Language speaking skills begin with your thoughts.
This means that any effective communication begins with our thoughts and ideas, the sentence construction and rephrasing occurs either as we speak or in some cases we prepare in advance. As Indians, we are non-native English speakers and as observed in most of our students, we rather think in our native languages and then paraphrase into English.
Thus, ‘thinking’ is absolutely crucial in learning any language. As an online English speaking course in India, we encourage students to make it a practice to “think” in English. It is tricky and time consuming but shows great results in spoken English fluency in the long run.
You might be thinking how can one improve their English language skills using Impromptu and Persuasive Speech? What are these exactly? Why do you use them?
What is impromptu and persuasive speech?
Well, Impromptu speech is when you talk in front of the audience without any preparation and persuasive speech is used to persuade or convince people about what you are speaking. The Internet age has brought a paradigm shift in how we approach technology and communication, making classroom discussion with the students in online English speaking courses, one of the most essential things ever.
There are several students who struggle with social interactions and dealing with people. Many of them have become introverts and fearful while staying at homes during these unprecedented times. Online spoken English classes encourage public speaking workshops. Learning public speaking skills can definitely help overcome these issues. The art of impromptu and persuasive speech has become extremely important as to teach the students to present their ideas and arguments as well as to communicate effectively.
Persuasive Speech helps the learners to build upon their verbal abilities. Your message, your voice and body language becomes extremely important when you are presenting your arguments in Persuasive Speech. The aspects and areas where as an online English tutor you can help students improve their abilities are:
- 1.Body language- There should be a proper posture while speaking. If shoulders are sagging and legs are crossed, it might give a message that you are not sincere and people might not be interested in hearing you.
- 2.Articulation- Articulation means “clarity in speech” which involves the coordinated movements of the lips, tongue, teeth, palate (top of the mouth) and respiratory system (lungs). Additionally, there are several other nerves and muscles used for speech. When you are speaking, your pronunciation should be correct. In order to do so, the teachers should make sure that the students are pronouncing the words correctly in their classrooms and rectify the errors at that very time.
- 3.Pitch- Pitch refers to the highs and lows of your voice. There will be many such instances where you need to ‘pitch’ the words while speaking. Pitch signifies different meanings- Pitch in the middle of sentences conveys which words are most important. Pitch at the end gives nuance to what was told while pitch at the beginning tells about what kind of information is going to come. Now when you speak, don’t forget to ‘pitch’.
- 4.Pacing- Pace means ‘speed’. The pace for a persuasive speech is likely between 140-160 words per minute. If you speak faster than this, you might end up eating some words and if you are slower, you could sound like you are giving a lecture. The best exercise is to record yourself while speaking and check if you are able to understand your own speech. Studies reveal that the human ear and brain can decode around 400 spoken words per minute. Therefore, if you are going too slow, the listeners might feel bored.
- 5.Volume- Volume is another important aspect of persuasive speech. You need to be particular about the sound in your speech. If you are too soft, the listeners may not be interested and even doze off. And, if you’re too loud, the speech might lose its effectiveness. Well-timed speech with correct speed, articulation and voice can cheer up the audience.
- 6.Pausing- The ‘pause’ is a critical persuasive tool. When you want to highlight or emphasize a certain word, you need to ‘pause’. Pauses are equally important as it points out the major points in your speech.
- 7.Variance - Variance is yet another important element while giving a speech. Variance means the ability to vary the elements of your voice. Sometimes being slow, sometimes taking pauses, sometimes changing your pitch, using gestures and not repeating the words, can prove to be a success during presentations. Try not to go more than one paragraph without vocal variance. This makes your speech interesting and keeps your audience hooked to your speech.
Talking about Impromptu Speaking, which is delivering a speech without predetermination can be useful in various ways. With regular Impromptu speeches, the students will be able to organize and deliver their thoughts in English confidently. This will aid the learners to distinguish between main and supporting ideas, interpret facts and reach conclusions. In our online English classes, we have observed that students learn to determine relevant information and to recall facts whenever necessary through impromptu speech techniques.
Moreover, Impromptu speaking develops the appropriate use of body language, facial gesture as well as developing other non-technical language aspects such as cross-culture awareness and get a gist of socio-linguistics in the learners. Impromptu removes the fear and hesitation from students, if done continuously in the classes.
According to Jef Menguin (2010), there are immense benefits of an impromptu speaking technique such as improvement in the oral expression of thought, development of confidence in public speaking, being able to think quickly and improvement in communication. By applying this method in daily life, the learners can definitely build self-confidence and speak spontaneously in any situation.
Students that work on persuasive speeches regularly will develop their posture, look over an audience, and express their content in a clear and precise manner. They will learn tactics for thinking under pressure with impromptu speeches. As an online English teacher, you can take as many topics as you want with your learners to improve their skills. You will find that the students have begun to grasp the ideas by learning when to pause. These speeches will help them not only to give presentations and boost their confidence along with their overall personality. With this, students will also learn to communicate with others effectively, speak clearly, articulate their ideas and present themselves well.
These tools assist them to communicate with their friends, family members, and present their ideas in front of strangers successfully. In the fast-changing technology, it becomes the duty of the English tutors to engage the students in real discussions in their classrooms. It is also the responsibility of the educators to place high priority as well as focus on persuasive speeches and impromptu and help the students who are struggling to communicate socially and also, enhance the abilities of those who speak well.
Additional reading: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Impromptu Speaking in Non-native English speakers.