S. S. Kavitha

Students learn about methods to arrest audience attention

MADURAI: Is it mandatory for a speaker to understand the audience? How do you identify the mood and types of audience? How do you enhance speaking skills to arrest the attention of the audience?

These questions were answered at the Newspaper in Education (NIE) session on ‘Understanding Audience’ which is part of the Public Speaking Skills module for class IX students of Ananth Memorial Matriculation Higher Secondary School here on Tuesday.

Listing out the types of audience — quiet, talkative and curious — the resource person highlighted simple techniques to be followed while rendering a speech in public to reach out to the audience.

Have eye contact

The resource person said that speakers should have eye contact with the audience with perfect voice modulation and the talk should be sprinkled with humour. The important thing speakers should avoid is reading out from written notes. As a majority of the audience has eager ears to collect data, especially those related to the society, the speaker should use audio/visual materials to keep them engaged.

The module has more sessions on ‘characteristics of an effective speaker,’ ‘what I think is what I say,’ ‘collecting, organising and presenting information’ and ‘icebreakers and energisers.’

The session on ‘Concept of Space’ of Dramatics module for standard VIII students highlighted the importance of using space on the stage judiciously and effectively in a perfect play. The session explained in detail parts of the stage, angle (facing the audience) and use of imaginary objects. As part of the activity session, the students staged a scene in two different ways — reading without any action and performing the same with action and movements.

The session on ‘Maintaining Conversations,’ which is part of Speaking Skills module, helped the students of Standard VII overcome inhibitions and initiate a dialogue delivery in the session without much hesitation.

The Standard VI students had sessions on ‘Developing Crosswords’ that taught them homonyms, antonyms, and synonyms.