Speaking for Yourself – A Guide for Students
Author: Robert Barrass
The ability to communicate one’s thoughts clearly, concisely and convincingly – in speaking and in writing – is a key skill in study and in any career based on a college or university education. Yet. although many try to improve their written work, most students give little thought to developing their oral communication skills – until they have to attend their first tutorial, introduce a subject in a seminar, or prepare and deliver a short talk or presentation.
I hope Speaking for Yourself will encourage students to think more about what they say and how they say it in all serious conversations and discussions, as well as when they have to attend an interview or address an audience. I hope it will help both those who recognise that they have difficulty in putting their thoughts into words and those who, although they speak confidently, are prepared to consider the possibility of improvement. I also hope that experienced speakers who refer to any page will read there the kind of straightforward common-sense advice that they themselves would give to a student – and which is needed even by some experienced speakers if only they were prepared to consider the possibility of improvement.
In short, I hope Speaking for Yourself will help you to ensure that your spoken words work for you – helping you to achieve your short-term, medium-term and career goals. If you are just starting at college or university, I suggest that you read it, perhaps one chapter at a time early in your course, and then refer to it for guidance on particular points as the need arises. The exercises headed Improve your performance, at the end of most chapters, may be undertaken by students working alone or used by tutors in their courses on communication skills.