Special Forms of Public Speaking: The Interview
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Special Forms of Public Speaking: The Interview

Developing skills in interview as a specialized form of public speaking is a must for all would-be young professionals, who, after graduating from college, will certainly apply for a job.
                 interview as public speaking

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Developing skills in interview as a specialized form of public speaking is a must for all would-be young professionals, who, after graduating from college, will certainly apply for a job.

The two-person conversation is the most frequent of all our speaking situations. For every formal speech, we participate in a thousand informal occasions where we must communicate or receive ideas from another person. These take many different shapes and forms, all variations of the interview.

The interview, as a special form of public speaking, is a two-person conversation. It is frequently impromptu in character and is even casual in its occurrence and, for this reason, we make the mistake of concluding that we do not need specific training in this form of speech communication. But, it is important that a training in interview be undertaken and trainees must be taught the tools and principles involved in the interview and the way to use these tools and principles.

The Need for Training

Modern society has become conscious of the importance of better understanding of one another in order to improve our relations in all the contacts that a complex social life demands of us. These include our family discussions, our casual meetings with friends, our participation in clubs and organizations, and our countless associations in business and professional life.

In industry, in government agencies, and in business organizations, ample evidence shows that industrial, government leaders, and business executives have an urgent concern for improving our ability to communicate and work with others. They plead for better human relations involving employer-employee, supervisor-employee, and labor management situations. In order to achieve the desired improvement, industry is turning more and more to training its supervisors, executives, and salesmen in effective speaking, in interview skills and techniques, and in basic principles of psychology, so that they can analyze and deal with people better. For this reason, employers look for more of these qualities in the young men and women they employ. Since the challenge for meeting these needs rests squarely with the educational systems, it should be met as early as possible in the development of the young people.

The Tools and Principles Involved in the Interview

An individual is well-grounded in the general basic principles of effective speaking and human relations will usually do well in an interview. In other words, although the interview makes necessary certain special demands and adaptations of the general principles, the participant is simply an effective speaker adapting to a particular situation. Therefore, it is obvious that the tools and principles involved start with those that are common to all speech communication. In the interview, the following are the qualities that must be generally emphasized: resourcefulness, adaptability, understanding others, tact, and ability to listen.

In the interview, most of the special skills needed are adaptations of the speech skills in the direction of more flexibility. But flexibility and informality should not be mistaken for license to avoid application of the principles. It is just an essential, and sometimes more so, to plan and organize ideas and their development for the interview as for public speech. The fact that flexibility is required usually means that more preparation is necessary in order to meet all contingencies. This fact must be impressed in the trainees so that they will truly meet their informal speech requirements with ample preparation.

In the interview, the trainees must bear in mind two important factors: a thorough analysis of the person to be interviewed and the development of the listening habits. Furthermore, they must remember that a successful interview frequently turns on some point that is won because the other person's views were known thoroughly in advance. Frequently, a point is won by listening and letting the other person talk.

Meeting objections is another important ability that requires a steady attitude of conciliation and diplomacy rather than one of argument and contention. Properly adapting and replying to points, questions, or objections requires extreme tact, a quality difficult to teach. These suggestions can be followed in learning to handle the other person's point:

Principles of Conciliation in Meeting Points or Objections

  • Listen objectively and carefully
  • Analyze why the person is making this point
  • Concede or agree as much as you can
  • State the point clearly and fairly
  • Explain or state your position clearly
  • Support and develop your position
  • Speak softly and pleasantly

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Comments (4)

Nice read. Good share!

Another interesting and informative article about public speaking.Thanks for sharing

The mere word 'interview' puts the fear of God into me lol.

Stumbled for reference, thanks.