Public speaking serves many purposes, first of which is providing information to an audience. However, this purpose often serves another master, promotion. Clearly, a public speaker only has an audience if people are interested in gaining insight and information about the topic(s) being covered, but the speaker must find value in sharing that information as well.
For many speakers, the value is intellectual, sharing of knowledge for the betterment of mankind or the expansion of knowledge in a particular field. For others it is to foster an increase in discussion and debate about a particular discipline or topic. In still other cases, the goal of speaking is to increase interest in a topic, concept, research area or product. This is the main focus of this article, the use of public speaking to increase the fiscal interests of the speaker or the entity which the speaker represents.
Examples of this application of public speaking are widespread and varied. Authors are frequently sent on speaking engagements to build interest in their literary works. Examples of this on a small scale would be local author events at small bookstores and at larger chains. On a greater scale, appearances on major TV programs, like Oprah or Good Morning America, and Radio Talk shows are used to promote their works. By adding a personal touch and a human face to the public, the audience is further engaged with the topic discussion. On more product oriented examples (as if books are not products), infomercials are a prime example of public speaking to increase value. Using studio audiences and interaction lends credibility to product claims. When an audience can see a product being used, with witnesses present, they are subconsciously more apt to believe the claims.
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