Oratory for beginners: exercises and rules

“Speech is the clothing of thoughts, and eloquence is its elegant attire.”

Every day we convince someone of the correctness of our words and, perhaps, use oratory, if we have the skills.

We can participate in negotiations, sell, speak publicly, polemicize and argue. We are constantly trying to prove and defend our rights or point of view.

Every day, television announcers, print journalists, sellers and advertisers, bosses and comrades try to convince us of this or that.

Facts, reasons, arguments, reasons hover around us. We want to argue our positions in front of any audience and speak convincingly so that the opponent is intrigued and interested in our speech. What skills are needed for this, and what is public speaking?

First phrase

All successful speakers place great importance on the first sentence of their speech. It must be powerful and definitely evoke a positive response from the audience.

The first phrase is, in TV terminology, the “prime time” of your speech. At this moment, the audience is at its maximum size: every person in the room wants to look at you and find out what kind of bird you are. In just a few seconds, the screening of listeners can begin: someone will continue the conversation with a neighbor, someone will bury their head in their phone, and someone will even fall asleep. However, everyone without exception will listen to the first phrase.

Example of Lincoln's speech

In 1863, a few months after the bloody battle, Lincoln delivered the famous Gettysbury Address. There is no need to talk about oratory and the attitude towards professional rhetoric; there simply wouldn’t be enough room for techniques. But the text written by Lincoln made tears flow and touched the soul

The public speech lasted only about two minutes, but history will not forget these two minutes. As a result, this speech was carved on a monument at the Lincoln Memorial.

“Eighty-seven years have passed since our fathers founded on this continent a new nation, born of freedom, and dedicated to proving that all men are born equal.”

“We are now undergoing the great test of civil war, which will decide whether this nation, or any nation like it by birth or calling, is able to stand. We came together on the field where the great battle of this war raged. We have come to consecrate a part of this land - the last refuge of those who gave their lives for the life of this nation. And this in itself is quite appropriate and worthy.”

“But still it is not in our power to consecrate this field, to make it sacred, to spiritualize this land. Thanks to the deeds of the brave men, dead and alive, who fought here, this land is already sacred, and it is not in our humble power to add or subtract anything. What we say here will be only briefly noticed and soon forgotten, but what they did here will never be forgotten. Let us, the living, devote ourselves to the unfinished work that these warriors accomplished here. Let us dedicate ourselves here to the great work that lies ahead of us, and become even more determined to give ourselves to the purpose to which those who fell here gave themselves wholly and to the end. Let us solemnly swear that their deaths will not be in vain, that this God-protected nation will have its freedom restored, and that the government of the people, by the will of the people, for the people will not perish from the face of the earth.”

Historians say that Lincoln decided to write the text for his speech himself, taking as a basis the principle of equality from the Declaration of Independence and relying on the great figures of the past. According to eyewitnesses, the performance was so strong that it made the people believe that all the sacrifices were not in vain, and they were not fighting against other states, but were fighting for the freedom of the people and the future of their native state. Just one text allowed people to unite as a family to resist the enemy.

the main idea

Before you even sit down to write your speech, you must determine its main idea. This key point that you want to convey to the audience should be concise, capacious, “fit in a matchbox.”

Stop, look and make a plan: first, highlight the key ideas, and then you can supplement and clarify them with real-life examples or quotes.

As Churchill said, a good speech is like a symphony: it can be performed at three different tempos, but it must maintain the main melody.

The role of functional styles of literary language

An oratorical speech can only be prepared. Preparation takes place using book and written sources, which, in turn, significantly influence both directly and directly on the structure of speech.1

The informative function underlies the official business style. This style of speech serves the sphere of relationships that are officially business.

Functions such as reporting and evidence of information are at the core of the scientific style. Sphere of scientific knowledge.

The journalistic style is based on functions such as message, as well as impact. This style of speech serves both the sphere of socio-political, and the sphere of socio-cultural, and many other social relations. In a journalistic style, absolutely all means that are linguistic can be used. This style is characterized by economy of linguistic means.

The artistic style is based on functions such as impact and aesthetics. In this style, the national language and literary language are most closely reflected.


There are several rules, the observance of which will give strength to the citation. First, the quote should be close to you. Never cite statements from an author who is unfamiliar to you, uninteresting, or whom you do not like to quote. Secondly, the name of the author should be known to the audience, and the quote itself should be short.

You must also learn how to create an environment for quoting. Many successful speakers use similar techniques: before quoting, they pause and put on glasses, or with a serious look they read a quote from a card or, for example, a sheet of newspaper.

If you want to make a special impression with a quote, write it down on a small card, take it out of your wallet during your speech, and read the statement.

Principle 5. Motivation is important

People must have an incentive. And this is not just a solution to their problems. They should feel like they want to follow you. The most popular incentive is an appeal to civic duty. If the public is confident that what they are doing is a truly important human and heroic act, they will follow you without question.

Be careful that if what you ask of people will cost them money or time, the outcome of their loss must be consistent with their expectations.

For example, in one of the texts people are required to take the time to stand in line and sign a petition. But in return they will receive their health and the health of their loved ones. You remove the threat of disease from them, this is motivation.


Surely you have been advised many times to add a joke or anecdote to your presentation. There is some truth in this advice, but do not forget that a joke for the sake of a joke only insults the listener.

There is no need to start your speech with an anecdote that is not related to the situation (“It seems that it is customary to start a speech with an anecdote, so here it is. Somehow a man comes to see a psychiatrist...”). It's best to sneak in your funny story mid-speech to lighten the mood.

The author of the book advises using the rule of the three R's to test a joke or wit: the joke must be realistic, relevant and told (not read).

The structure of oratory speech

In order for a public speech to achieve its goal and leave no one indifferent, it is built according to the plan and content in a certain order, which is called composition.

The introduction should attract attention, interest, establish contact with the audience, and give an idea of ​​the topic of the upcoming message with a brief description of the issue.

The main part of a public speaking speech is the presentation of the material itself, argumentation, and the use of facts and logical evidence.

The conclusion is intended to summarize and generalize what has been said, emphasize the main idea, draw conclusions, and inspire listeners.

It is advisable to approach creatively when working on a composition. While maintaining a clear sequence and consistency of its elements, it is important not to lose your individual style.


Reading a speech from a sheet of paper with your eyes downcast does not, to put it mildly, excite the audience. What should we do then? Is it really necessary to memorize a half-hour long speech? Not at all. You need to learn to read correctly.

The first rule of reading a speech: never say words while your eyes are looking at the paper.

Use the SOS technique: look - stop - say.

For training, take any text. Lower your eyes and take a mental picture of a few words. Then raise your head and stop. Then, looking at any object at the other end of the room, tell what you remember. And so on: look at the text, stop, speak.

Newbie mistakes in rhetoric

Discomfort and uncertainty during public speaking indicate a lack of knowledge of how to interact with an audience. The first and most important piece of advice is to treat your audience as an interlocutor. Undoubtedly, sometimes you encounter a difficult audience, just as you can encounter a difficult interlocutor. But even in such a situation, you can find an approach to people and build a productive dialogue. Dialogue is what should happen between the speaker and the audience, even if only the speaker speaks. Dialogue in this context is interaction with people, working with their reactions and responses. But let's look at the most common mistakes of novice speakers, which also happen to very responsive audiences.

Speech too quickly or without pauses

Such a flow of information cannot be well received because it tires the listener and sounds incoherent and unstructured. In addition, pauses help to evoke emotions in the listeners, which is very important for a good monologue. Meaningful pauses also make speech structured and understandable.

Apologies and excuses

Unfortunately, the audience of listeners is unlikely to show understanding towards the rhetorician, but excuses and apologies will demonstrate the speaker’s insecurity. After this, it will be impossible to regain the attention of the audience. Simple psychology comes into play: why listen to someone who doesn’t believe what he says? This is how the manifestation of uncertainty is interpreted. Alas, no one will figure out whether this is really so.


During a speech, you not only talk, but also show. For a holistic perception of the picture, it is important to be in harmony with your words and intonations. Walking around the stage, constantly fiddling with something in your hands, straightening your hair - all this will irritate other people and will reveal your insecurity.

Lifelessness and monotony

The other extreme is rigidity of movements and complete dispassion of speech. Some people, when nervous, become stupefied and look as if they have been petrified. Such a performance will be perceived even worse. If you feel stuck, make small movements over and over again, looking a few degrees above the audience. This will help you bring your attention back inward and overcome some of your anxiety. It is important to return your gaze to the audience each time and continue speaking.

Monotonous speech is also a bad sign. To avoid getting lost, imagine that you are talking to a close friend and speak from the heart, even if your words deviate from the pre-written speech. Being sincere is always better than being unnatural.

Apologies and excuses

Phrases like “Sorry, but I’m a bad speaker” are the worst solution for winning over the audience. As already mentioned, displaying uncertainty or feigned modesty will cause listeners to initially doubt the speaker, and their goodwill will be extremely difficult to regain.


Despite the fact that public speaking is a monologue in its essence, it is important not to forget about the audience, ask questions, and interact with the audience. Good rhetoricians communicate with the audience, call for volunteers and give examples of real people.

Speaker techniques

It is known that Churchill recorded his speeches like poetry, dividing them into separate phrases and writing each on a separate line. To make your speech sound even more convincing, use this technique.

Use rhyme and internal consonance in a phrase to give the sound of your speech poetic impact (for example, Churchill's phrase “We must follow the principles of HUMANISM, not bureaucracy”).

It’s very easy to come up with rhymes, just remember the most common ones: -na (war, silence, needed), -ta (darkness, emptiness, dream), -ch (sword, speech, flow, meetings), -oses / wasps (roses , threats, tears, questions), -anie, -yes, -on, -tion, -ism and so on. Practice these simple rhymes to create sonorous phrases.

But remember: the rhymed phrase should be the same for the entire speech; there is no need to turn your speech into a poem.

And so that the rhyme does not go to waste, express the key idea of ​​​​the speech in this phrase.

Features of oratory

Oratory speech is characterized by the following features:

Oral presentation. The process of communication with the audience occurs directly when voicing thoughts. Texts for public speaking are learned by ear and structured in such a way as to be easy to understand.

Availability of feedback. A good speaker feels the audience. He distinguishes mood, catches reactions to what is said, guesses emerging questions and flexibly builds further dialogue.

Use of various means of communication. The use of gestures, pantomime, intonation and other non-verbal methods is inherent in oratory, which distinguishes it from ordinary oral speech.

The relationship between the text prepared for speech and its oral interpretation. Choosing the right tone of communication helps to present information in an intelligible form and find contact with the audience.

The final

Even if your speech was inexpressive, a successful ending can fix everything. To make an impression in the finale, tune in, call on your emotions to help: pride, hope, love and others. Try to convey these feelings to your listeners the way great speakers of the past did.

Under no circumstances should you end your speech on a minor note, as this will simply destroy your career. Use uplifting quotes, poems or jokes.

And finally, the author’s last advice: surprise your listeners, take them by surprise! This is what all great speakers have done. Don't be predictable and prosaic, don't become slaves to pleasantries. Be different.

Oratory for children

Today, rhetoric, as a scientific discipline about the art of oratory, is also in demand for the harmonious development of children. It develops the child’s personal qualities, teaches them the ability to communicate, express their thoughts competently and confidently, conduct a dialogue using intonation and facial expressions, and acquire the first skills of public speaking.

The objectives of teaching rhetoric are:

You can also work with your children at home:

  • work on your speech technique, pronouncing tongue twisters;
  • learn polite communication;
  • read and talk a lot on different topics to increase your vocabulary;
  • organize theatrical performances to develop acting skills;
  • learn and read poetry with expression;
  • practice performing in front of family and friends.

These classes will help your child become more confident and not be shy at public events, teach them how to establish contacts with people, and reveal their creative potential.

( 1 rating, average 5 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]