Assoc. Prof. Boyko Valchev: the Public Speaking Is Not a Public Reading
It is important to know that in the public speaking not everything said by the lecturer is remembered by the audience. Edgar Dale's Cone of Experience presents the following tendencies: people remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, 50% of what they see and hear and 90% of what they do themselves. It was the beginning of the academic lecture on the Public Speaking delivered by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Boyko Valchev, lecturer at the International Relations Department (in the picture below) on the occasion of his academic assignment as Associate Professor.
Assoc. Prof. Valchev was presented by Prof. Dr. Georgy Genov, lecturer and longstanding Head of the Economic Relations Department (in the picture below).
Public lectures are delivered by university lecturers, politicians, journalists, public figures, lawyers, etc. Their objectives are various – to inform the audience, convince it of a certain thesis, appeal for action, entertain or just to be liked. Firstly, the lecturer should know the objective and adapt the speech to it.
Secondly, the lecturer should adapt the speech to the audience profile, explained Assoc. Prof. Valchev. If the speaker is a politician he can`t convince the audience through a complex vocabulary because few of his voters will understand it. The university lecturer can`t speak simplistically because the use of correct scientific terminology is a criterion of his preparation and competence. The lecturer has to adapt the speech also to the understanding and valuable system of the audience. Every listener censors the information and apprises whether it meets its basic understanding and if it`s not the listener rejects the information no matter how logical and well-grounded is it, concluded Assoc. Prof. Valchev.
The Director of the UNWE Center for Balkan Studies Prof. Dr. Dinko Dinkov also attended at the lecture (the second man from the right to the left)
A lecture should have three accents maximum. These are the messages the lecturer pays the largest attention and probably they will be remembered by the audience. In order to attract the attention and make the audience to remember them the lecturer can illustrate them by examples or “garnish” them with entertaining elements, or change the manner of speaking. The basic principle is that the public speaking is not a public reading. A lecture has more authority when the speaker doesn`t read the notes quickly and gives time for the audience to make sense of what has been said during the speaking. The long pause after the essential theses in the speech also helps the audience to perceive and remember what has been said.
The body language and visual contact are also very important. When the lecturer stands and there`s nothing in front of him the audience has more confidence in the speaker. Gestures should illustrate what has been said but they should not be disturbing because the audience may concentrate only on them. The visual contact has special importance because it allows to be concentrated the attention of audience and at the same time the lecturer can assess when it is needed to wake it up with an entertaining example. Emotions are also important because they have a strong impact on the audience and according to the psychologists they are remembered for a long time.
In conclusion Assoc. Prof. Boyko Valchev declared that the best way for a lecturer to improve in public speaking is the practice. Obtaining feedback by the audience or viewing a videotape of the speech can help the lecturer to avoid the weaknesses as well as to learn presenting memorable and effective speeches.