Login
Copyright

Grammar & Pronunciation in Public Speaking

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Using Vivid Language in Public Speaking

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Using Proper Grammar…
  • 1:50 Relating Grammar to a Speech
  • 3:17 Pronunciation Is Important
  • 4:31 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kat Kadian-Baumeyer

Kat has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management and teaches Business courses.

Using proper grammar and pronouncing words correctly are as important to the delivery of a quality speech as the content itself. Errors in sentence structure, word use and articulation will distract your audience and affect your overall speech delivery.

Using Proper Grammar in Speeches

I know what you are thinking, bad grammar only happens in writing. Well, think again! Bad grammar happens in both the penned and spoken word, and it is a reflection on the speaker. Think about it this way: just like a well-dressed businessman, good grammar gives the perception of competence.

Let's start from the beginning. Think of grammar as the rules of language, and there are many rules to follow. Check out the rules of basic grammar:

  • Subject
  • Predicate
  • Verb
  • Article

Every sentence has a subject. It is really only who or what you are talking about. 'I am really tired.' In this sentence, 'I' am the subject.

The predicate is part of a sentence that has a verb that tells the audience something about the subject. Now, a verb is an action word. But, it can also be an existence or occurrence word. 'I am really tired.' Here, the verb 'am' tells the audience my existence or reality. This works the same way with 'is' and 'are'. Action verbs include run, walk, dance, jump, eat, drink, to name a few. Really, anything that implies movement.

Stay with me here. An article defines a noun and can be either definite or indefinite. Think 'a', 'an' or 'the'. Confused? Don't be! Let's check out a few examples.

  • 'The neighbor's dog ate the bone.' This is a definite article because it defined specifically who and what happened.
  • 'A dog ate a bone.' This is indefinite because it is not specific to any one dog.

So, how does this all relate to a speech, you ask? Let's see.

Relating Grammar to a Speech

So, we know all about the basic rules of grammar. Let's put it into action. Listen to the speaker as she delivers her speech.

'Hello! My name Mary. I a member of organization called International Speakers of America. I here to discuss a individual opportunity for membership to organization.'

I know. That was rough! In fact, we really didn't understand what Mary was talking about. Let's see if we can polish this up with good grammar.

First, Mary forgot to use an existence verb between the words 'name' and 'Mary.' She should have said, 'My name is Mary.'

Next, she overlooked the article between 'of' and 'organization.' Perhaps Mary should have said, 'I am a member of an organization called. . .' Oops, she did it again where she said 'I here.' A verb would fit nicely here. 'I am here' sounds much better.

Said a better way, Mary's speech might sound like this. 'Hello! My name is Mary. I am a member of an organization called International Speakers of America. I am here to discuss an individual opportunity for membership to our organization.'

I think you get the idea. But, it doesn't end with proper grammar. Believe it or not, pronunciation is equally important.

Pronunciation Is Important

Now that we have grammar down pat, let's take a look at pronunciation. Pronunciation is how we change the sound of words when we speak. It's important for two reasons. When a speaker mispronounces a word, he doesn't sound very credible. A mispronounced word may also confuse the audience. Imagine the embarrassment a speaker would feel if he messed up just one small word!

'Hello and welcome. Allow me to introduce the flounder of our organization, Mr. Fishbine. He's great, just aks him.'

What? Flounder? Did the speaker mean flounder or founder? Axe him? Really? That's terrifying!

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?
 Back

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support