4 P’s of Public Speaking– Roadmap to Effective Oration

Have you ever heard of 4 P’s Of Public Speaking ?

Public speaking is simply defined as the task of addressing a group of people publicly. Even the art of public speaking or oration has evolved throughout the years. Earlier it used to be strictly about addressing a group of people Live, face-to-face. 

Now, public speaking can be anything from a virtual conference to a pre-recorded speech. What hasn’t changed are the foundational concepts of effective public speaking. 

Today, we’ll introduce you to the 4 Ps of public speaking, and that eases up the tedious task of delivering a speech for you. So, whether you have a seminar coming up or a graduation speech, use the concept of the 4 Ps of public speaking to leave a mark. 

Introduction to the 4 Ps of Public Speaking 

1. Plan

4 P's Of Public Speaking

Plan everything before your public speaking event.

A plan is the first base of every task, whether you’re learning something or delivering a talk on the stage. A good plan can save you from an ounce of errors while executing. This brings us to the first P of effective public speaking–Plan. 

How you do at this stage will determine how the rest of your public speaking engagement will go, so read carefully. 

You need to plan everything from the amount of time you are going to take to deliver your piece to what you’re going to wear on stage. This way, you’ll also have an idea of how much time you need to put into your preparation. 

Start by developing your ideas for the presentation. Come up with a core statement of your presentation– one jargon-free sentence that will catch the attention of the audience. 

Next up is planning the objective. What is the purpose of your presentation, and what problem are you trying to solve? 

Plan out the essentials of your speech and structure the main arguments. Make it easy to remember by writing all your plans down somewhere and following each step accordingly moving forward.

2. Practice

4 P's Of Public Speaking

Have you practiced enough before your public speaking event.

The second of the 4 Ps of public speaking is Practice. According to Wayne Burgaff–It takes one hour of preparation for each minute of presentation time.

Thorough practice of the presentation will help stay prepared before the event. It’s through practice that people exude confidence. When you know the content you’re going to speak by heart, the speech flows better. 

You don’t need to memorize the whole speech but remember the bullet points of the core content and the structure. This will help you if you get off-tracked by questions or just miss the point you were trying to make. 

Furthermore, don’t forget to practice the speech delivery. Before you step onto the stage, you need to practice presenting your speech. First, do it alone, then in front of people. Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse till you’re confident with your preparation. 

3. Performance

4 P's Of Public Speaking

You should know how to engage with your audience during your public speaking event.

Moving on to the third stage of the 4 Ps of public speaking, we come to the essence of the whole game–Performance. 

To give a good performance as a public speaker, you must engage the audience, and draw their attention to the issue you’re discussing. 

As Patricia Fripp puts it–the first 30 seconds and the last 30 seconds have the most impact on a presentation.

So, do the following to give a memorable performance. 

–  Take several deep breaths before going on the stage to curb anxiety or stage fright. 

– Consider the appropriateness of your speech before the event. Tweak it as per the crowd, if necessary. 

– Speak naturally and at a regular pace.

– Don’t fidget or indulge in distracting activities. 

– If you lose your train of thought in mid-sentence, don’t panic, and start again. People who are there to see you want you to succeed, so count on them in such situations. 

– Involve the audience in your by making them a part of the conversation, asking questions, and more. 

– Remember your rehearsed opening statement, and don’t improvise at the last moment.

4. Process

After the planning, practicing, and performing comes the time to process everything. It brings us to the fourth segment of the 4 P’s of public speaking

P's of public speaking

Keep evaluating yourself so that you can improve the areas where you feel that you need more time.

Think of processing as the way to assess your performance, realize the weak segments, and come up with ways to improve. It helps you assess whether or not you met your own goals, reveals how you came across to others, and creates a roadmap for improvement.

The fourth part of the 4 Ps of public speaking is more like an evaluation round where you evaluate your performance so you can learn from it. There are two ways to process a performance– self-evaluation, and feedback. 

You can either go through the performance recording again and ask yourself–What did I do today in my presentation that worked? What did I do today in my presentation that did not work? If I were to do the same presentation tomorrow, what will I change?

Secondly, you can ask your peers, audience, or friends for feedback on your performance. While you do so, remember that successful presentations don’t just happen in the first attempt, they take sheer talent and practice. In the end, an effective public speaker or orator prepares, practices, performs and processes effectively.

Lastly, public speaking is an ongoing learning process. It’s both terrifying and exciting. More importantly, it requires a lot of practice and resilience to master it. Only those who are willing to put genuine effort and have patience can succeed in acquiring this skill. 

Want to become an excellent public speaker? 

If you wish to be an excellent public speaker, but can’t figure out the ABC of the craft, you’re at the right place. 

By now, you must have seen how essential these 4 Ps are to your presentation. By consistently practicing the 4 P’s of public speaking you can improve your oration skills.

If you doubt your ability to become a public speaker, join our public speaking online classes and master all 4 P’s Of Public Speaking.


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About Author

Jeremiah O`Brian
Master Teacher  | USC School of Dramatic Arts

Jeremiah O’Brian is a faculty member at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. His exceptionally diverse background – from gritty nuts-and-bolts firefighting to film and theatre credits and accolades – is bolstered by his several graduate degrees.

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