Public speaking & Conversation- Differences & Similarities

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Public speaking & Conversation-_ Public speaking is the process of speaking to a group of people in a structured, deliberate manner intended to inform, influence, or entertain the listeners. 

Conversation is a form of interactive, spontaneous communication between two or more people who are following rules of etiquette.

Public speaking & Conversation

Public speaking is a planned, deliberate and a purposeful speech that  is meant for a target audience. It has its root in democratic governance which  all started in classical Greece.

The process of delivering an address to a public audience and the act of people coming to see the speaker and listen to the speech making is known as public speaking.

Looking at our contemporary society, the aim of every man in life is to make a difference in the society. This makes all men to strive in order to make a difference either by turning the world around in their little way or by making an impact for the coming generation to see. This also applies to public speaking.

It must make a difference. Public speaking gives at least three possible ways of making a difference. These are by persuading people to do the right thing, by informing people and by entertaining them.

These are the three major goals of public speaking and are also reflected in our everyday conversation.

Similarities Between Public Speaking & Conversation

 In various ways, public speaking requires the same skills used in ordinary everyday conversation. Majority of people who speak well in daily talk can also learn to speak well in public speaking.

This is because it requires a wide range of skills when talking to people and these skills are as follows:


There is no listener that will want to listen to an unorganized talk. Any form of conversation or speech must be well organized.  There must be a flow of thought from one conversation to another.

There is need  for a systematic or chronological arrangement of information. Any man that talks in an unorganized way will be called a lunatic. For instance, if a man is talking to his wife on what to do, he must give an organized instruction.


Anytime conversation or public speaking takes place, there is need to be conscious of audience reactions which could be verbal, facial or physical.

Both public speaking and everyday conversation must have impact on the  life of the listeners. No person will ever want to sit down and listen to unfruitful conversation or speech. They both have a specific message to pass across to the listeners.


Both public speaking and conversation have specific time for the message.

Differences Between Public Speaking & Conversation 

 Despite the similarities that exist between public speaking and everyday conversation, there are still certain differences. Some of these differences are explained below:

Public speaking uses formal language:

Slang, jargon and bad grammar have little or no place in public speaking. Listeners usually react negatively to speakers who do not have a good knowledge of the language used in addressing them. A speech is meant to be “special”. The language of formal speaking must reflect formality and decency.

Public speaking is highly structured:

It usually imposes strict time limitation on the speaker. It also requires much more detailed planning and preparation than ordinary conversation. In most cases, public speaking does not allow listeners to interrupt with questions or commentaries.

Public speaking appears purposefully:

There is an occasion that calls for  it. Public speech is planned. Even, when it is impromptu, it still needs planning.

Public speaking requires a different method of delivery:

In public speaking, delivery matters a lot as speakers’ manner of delivery determines the success grade. There is need to remove or reduce vocalized pauses, distracting mannerism and verbal habits.

In public speech situation, it is necessary to be at alert to show dynamism.

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