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What is public speaking?


Definition of public speaking?

Public speaking is an important skill in both education and business. Basically, public speaking refers to the process of delivering a speech in front of an audience. It has a long history and was traditionally viewed as part of the art of persuasion.  It probably started in ancient Egypt, but the first written documents about public speaking go back to the Greeks and Romans. Today, public speaking has evolved considerably thanks to the introduction of technologies such as videoconferencing, multimedia presentations, and other nontraditional forms.

Why you need public speaking skills?

You will probably need public speaking skills in different aspects of your life:

  • In job interviews to persuade employers to hire you.
  • In a political speech if you want to become a politician.
  • In project reports at a meeting.
  • In a graduation ceremony speech.
  • In a wedding toast.

Public speaking purposes

Public speaking generally aims at informing, persuading, or entertaining. Here are examples:

  • Describing a product, an invention, a place, people
  • Telling a story, talking about important events (e.g. historical events, natural disasters, and their causes/effects, etc.)
  • Communicating information, such as research findings, survey results, new products.
  • Persuading the audience; having a say in a debate, political campaigns, conferences, by providing to the point arguments; motivating people to act…

Types of presentations

There are three types of public speaking presentations: informative, persuasive and entertaining.


Informative public speaking attempts to convey information or clarify an idea. e.g. school presentations, science and technology presentations, business seminars.


Persuasive public speaking aims at causing a change in the belief, attitude, or behavior of the audience. e.g. in sales, debates, to a group of peers, political speeches.


Entertaining public speaking includes storytelling or ceremonial speeches like those occurring during religious and wedding occasions.

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