Speech home were spent at this nursing

Speech Waiver

            One
might say that public speaking is an art form. 
When discussions are had in regards to art forms, often the conversation
turns to the question of are we born this way? 
Is the creativity needed to construct and present a public speech (or
any art form for that matter) innate to one as a person or is this a skill that
can be learned?  “Creativity
can be learned; it is a process that we can repeat and in that repetition, we
find growth” (Mumaw, 2012, para. 12). 
This nurse believes that each one of us as humans possesses the ability
to be creative.  This ability is what
spurs us into motion in learning to be not only competent, but also engaging
public speakers.

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This nurse’s ability to be a competent and engaging public
speaker was one that developed over time during the course of her nursing
education and career.  As commonplace as
it seems, her decision to become a nurse was founded on her childhood
dreams.  As a small girl, her grandmother
worked in the kitchen at a nursing home. 
Most holidays in their home were spent at this nursing home passing out
treats to the patients that her grandmother served.  This holiday tradition is what formed her
dream of working in the nursing field.  A
dream that she clung so tightly to throughout her formative years that she
volunteered all throughout high school at the local, tiny community hospital as
a candy striper. 

            After
graduating from high school this nurse enrolled at Western Michigan University
in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  She obtained
general education credits from here while exploring her new found freedom as a
college student.  In college, she worked as
a nurse aide in a local hospital and this solidified her desire to become a
nurse.  She transferred to a local
community college named Glen Oaks and quickly obtained her Associates Degree in
Nursing.  Her specialty and love became
Oncology patients and has now practiced as an Oncology Certified Nurse for
eleven years.

Experiences

Throughout this nurses’ life, and especially her nursing
career, she can recall four significant experiences that have led her to be the
competent and engaging public speaker that she is today.  Each experience varied in terms of diversity
of audience and the reason the speech was being given.  Two of the experiences were given to inspire
or motivate the given audience and two were given to inform the given audience
of a specific topic.  The sections
highlighted below will allow, you the reader, to better understand who, what,
why, when, and where of these experiences as they will be utilized throughout
this paper to assist in showing her ability in confident public speaking.

Experience
One

Since this nurse was a little girl, she remembers in school
often giving presentations on various topics to assist in learning.  Her first real public speaking experience
occurred though, when she graduated from high school.  She was asked by her graduating high school
class body to perform the prayer at their graduation ceremony.  She graduated in June of 1999 in her small
hometown of Zeeland, Michigan.  At
first, the thought of performing a prayer at graduation was overwhelming.  This nurse’s graduating class had 343
students in it and each student was allowed to invite eight people to
graduation.  This number does not include
faculty, the band, or any other miscellaneous people that may have found their
way into the high school football stadium. 

To say she was nervous at the sheer volume of people was an
understatement.  To assist in combating
how she was feeling, she decided to plan a manuscript written prayer.  This nurse knew that most prayers are not
given in this manner, but she needed a way to be able to ensure she was saying
what she needed to say.  She remembers
being nervous, shaking, and her heart beating quickly.  As the length of time went on though, things
became easier and she felt like there was nobody in front of her.  She often would pause and look at the crowd
for a couple seconds, and then back to her prayer that she had written
out.  When she finished, she felt an
amazing sense of accomplishment and it was clear that her time spent in the
classroom giving speeches had prepared her well for this moment.

Experience
Two

In the Fall of 2009, this nurse was asked to conduct a round
table discussion regarding access devices in a morning and afternoon session at
the Great Lakes Cancer Nursing Conference (GLCNC) in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her experience
as an oncology nurse lent itself to her being asked to conduct this
discussion.  GLCNC is a nursing
conference that specifically attracts oncology nurses in the Midwest
region.  Its primary objective is to
examine current issues that oncology nurses experience as they relate to direct
patient care.

For her round table, she had approximately 40 attendees
total for both sessions.  The round table
discussion, included giving a well-planned extemporaneous speech on the current
and proper use of access devices that oncology nurses use in their everyday
practice.  It was delivered
conversationally due to the small number of nurses at each session, which in
turn allowed for the nurses to ask questions and contribute to the learning
experiences. 

In the morning session, this
nurse started by defining access devices and then went further to talk about
their availability and how they have resulted in a mix-up among oncology nurses
regarding which method ought to be used.  During this time, it was also discussed that
when choosing an appropriate access device, healthcare providers need to make
their decisions based on cost, type of support system available as well as the
kind of therapy available.  Based on how
the discussion progressed, it was discovered that several contentious issues
are surrounding the care of access devices, and study findings have not yet
determined these practical concerns.  It
was also discussed that despite the different existing procedures being
practiced, the ultimate prerequisite for the successful upkeep of access device
was the stringent observance of well-known care protocols.

In the afternoon discussion
session, the points from the morning were revisited and then went further to
acknowledge that access devices such as the venous access are critical for
providing optimal management and nursing care for oncology patients.  This conclusion was reached due to all agreeing
that in most cases, newly diagnosed patients have trouble making decisions
about care and specifically access devices.  Therefore, an oncology nurse must be
proficient on how to direct the patient through care decisions.  Overall, the evaluations that she received
from the GLCNC round table were very positive with all sections of the
evaluation being above 90%. 

Experience
Three

This nurse’s third speaking experience happened in May of
2013 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Her employer
at the time, Cancer and Hematology Centers of West Michigan, offered her the
opportunity to attend the 2013 Oncology Nursing Society’s annual conference
entitled ONS Congress in Washington D.C. 
ONS Congress presents educational opportunities to over 3,300 oncology
nurses annually.  There she was able to
learn about a variety of topics that directly affected her professional career
and specialization in oncology over four days.

Upon returning from ONS Congress, her employer required that
she give a well thought out, organized, extemporaneous presentation to a group
of her fellow colleagues.  This included
approximately 30 oncology nurses and several nurse managers.   Planning for this presentation included
preparation and also short notes for which were used when presenting to the
listeners along with a power point presentation.  Some of the topics included in this nurse’s
presentation are sexuality and cancer patients, DYPD and Fluorouracil Toxicity,
Chemotherapy/Biotherapy safety, Closed Systems, Compassion fatigue, Shift reports,
and the role of IT in Healthcare as well as Role of MuGuard.  In the end, this presentation provided a
highly effective way for this nurse to communicate to a group of colleagues and
provide updated oncology nursing information.

Experience
Four

The last public speaking experience this nurse deems
significant in her public speaking experiences was at her youngest daughter’s
baptism.  This nurse’s daughter, Natalie,
was born in April of 2014.  On May 11th
of 2014, her daughter was baptized in her local community church, Lifeline, in
Wyoming, Michigan.  The pastor of this
church requires that any parents wanting their children to be baptized must
write a well thought-out, heartfelt letter to their child and read it to the
congregation and their child as part of the baptism. 

As this is a very emotional day, this was a difficult task
for this nurse to complete.  It was
coupled in difficulty by the fact that there were approximately 150 members of
the congregation and family present when this was done.  The letter this nurse wrote to her daughter
included a manuscript and was delivered in a speech like manner, but caused a
few moments of voice cracking and tears falling.  As it was an emotionally charged moment for
this nurse, she cannot even begin to explain what happened that day.  It was her heart on paper.

Learning
Outcomes

Based on experiences described in the previously noted above
paragraphs, some thoughts were gathered in relation to preparation and
practice, organization, vocal delivery and physical delivery.  This nurse found this to be a wonderful way
to assess her abilities as a speaker.  It
also gave her an opportunity to identify her weaknesses and learn from her
mistakes.

Preparation and Practice

Following the public speaking
experiences that this nurse gained while she employed at the West Michigan
Cancer Center and Cancer and Hematology Centers of West Michigan, she learned
that good speeches do not just come about. 
Good speeches are formed when a person puts good content, relevant to
their audience’s needs, into a charming and reasonable flow.  They require hard work and skill to create a
powerful speech which has a properly selected topic.  For instance, the speaker needs to identify
the type of speech engagement.  Whether the
purpose of the speech is to persuade or inform, it is important that a person
knows the purpose of their speech.  One
should select a topic from an area that interests them because, in general, people
speak better about issues which are familiar to them.  Therefore isolating their own interests is a
helpful stride in moving the topic forward. 
At this point a person should also find out more about what they know
about a certain topic and what they do not know.   One should explore keywords which are related
to the topic and then search for their meaning on the internet or in books.

Also, a well created speech
needs great delivery and this can only be achieved in one way which is through
lot of practice.  When a person has trained
as a performer, it is easy for them to know the best way to practice, but for
those who are not trained they can learn how to do it.  It is important to acknowledge that creating
an informational presentation is only the start of getting prepared.  After that a person will need to have a clear
image of what they are going to talk about and this is where the speaker will
have to practice.  They can use some form
of flashcards to help them recap what they need to say and then read them
repeatedly including audibly in an effort to rehearse without looking at the
notes.  The speaker needs to make sure
that his or her voice does not sound like they are reading because such a case
makes the entire presentation odd.  Instead,
the speaker should try to speak as if he or she is vehemently clarifying an
idea to a group of friends.  They should
plan their breaks, emphasize certain points, and pose questions to the audience
as well as insert jokes and other icebreakers.  

Memorizing the speech is not the
only objective of practicing however.  What
is equally vital is to practice until the speech is fluent and the speaker is
comfortable and familiar with it. From there, the speaker can request a family
member or friend to listen to them and offer their opinion.  Speakers should make sure that they have ample
time for this phase.  After the rehearsal
process, it is important that the speaker receives enough rest because the amount
of stress that is caused by public speaking often increases as the event draws
closer.  For instance, the night before
the speech the speaker might wake up nervous and tired, and this contributes a
lot to a person’s anxiety.

Once an individual has prepared
a well-thought-out speech and practiced until they are contented, they can
present it to the audience.  Most people
at this point feel fearful or awkward when they talk in public, and though it is
a natural reaction, it is fun to have it get out of their head and just speak
to the audience.  The most important
thing that they have to keep in mind that the audience is only interested in a
person who is relaxed, exciting and comfortable.  A keen look at the daily conversations that
people experience each day shows that they always act themselves when they
speak.  When it comes to giving a speech,
they change a lot of things. They start focusing on the audience and forget
about talking.  There is no need of
trying to be a tremendous public speaker, the only thing compelling speakers
can do is to focus on the speaking and forget about the audience.  A speaker needs to think of the speech as a
conversation between them and the audience.  If a person can converse comfortably with one
or two individuals, then they can give a great speech.  Whether their audience is made of three or a
thousand people, it is important that the speaker composes his/herself and talks
to the audience by connecting with them.

Organization

When writing a speech
presentation, three essential parts make the speech.  The introduction part, body and the
conclusion section. The introduction creates the purpose of the address, and
the speaker can use it to preview their points and inform the audience to
listen.  The most important thing when
writing an introduction is to include a good opening line which can be used to
capture the audience.  It also attracts
the attention of the audience and keeps the speaker at ease.

For the body of the speech,
there are five organizational patterns which a speaker can use when making a
presentation to the audience.  First, the
speaker can structure the statement in a local or logical model which allows
them to deliver a presentation or a speech that involves ideas which are
interrelated and allows the message to flow naturally.  When the address is structured in a logical
pattern, information flows cogently according to the topic.  The speaker can also chronologically structure
his speech in that it allows the message to start by talking about the origin
of a problem and then goes ahead to highlight how the events progressed all
through.  Such an organizational pattern
allows a speech to be presented historically.  On the other hand, a geographical or spatial
model can also be used to structure the body of the speech especially when a
topic is a geographical place.  Another
way to structure a speech based on a particular issue is to observe explicit
expressions of cause and effect.  For
instance, when talking about helping cancer patients, the speaker can start by
discussing cancer itself and how it has affected the patient.  Lastly, there is the problem-solution
organizational pattern which is the cause and effect pattern although a speaker
can use it when trying to persuade the audience to accept a specific concept.  In short, a speaker can introduce a problem
and then highlight how it can be solved.

The last part of the speech is
the conclusion section with the purpose of summarizing the main points and making
the audience prepared for the end of the speech.  At this point, the speaker will be recapturing
the essence of the speech, his or her main points and why they made the
presentation.  It is essential that they
remember that the when concluding there is no more time to introduce new points
or supporting evidence because by doing so will only leave the audience
confused.  Another thing that they need
to remember is that a conclusion has a closing line where the speaker can
reference the theme discussed in the introduction and conclusion. Furthermore,
a closing line is meant to leave a lasting impression on the listeners.

Vocal and physical delivery

When presenting a speech,
sometimes speakers are more anxious about physical than vocal delivery.  The fact that they put their bodies on the
line before listeners often make them feel more vulnerable talking.  Most audiences are not as fixated on their
physical delivery as people might think.  Understanding this can help a lot to let go of
some anxiety though it does not guarantee a free pass in physical delivery.  Therefore, there is the need for a speaker to
practice for physical delivery because it will play a huge role in enhancing
their verbal message.  Some of these
nonverbal communications include volume, rate, pitch, pauses, articulation,
pronunciation, facial expressions and eye contact.

Volume refers to the softness or
loudness of the person speaking. The speaker needs to understand that the power
of the speech is the primary pointer of how enjoyable the presentation
resonates with the listener’s point of view.  From the speaker, it shows how the listeners
are captivated or how he or she is endeavoring to gain the attention of the
audience.  The three things that a
speaker needs to consider when speaking is speaking too inaudibly, boringly and
too noisily.

Rate implies the speed of how an
individual talks.  When a person talks
too fast their listeners might not be in a position to absorb the information
being presented.  When the speaker also
talks too slowly, the listeners might stop listening.  Therefore, the solution is for the speaker to
keep their voice in a middle range to avoid being extreme and keep the
listeners engaged. 

Lastly, pitch discusses how low
or high the voice of a person is.  Unlike
other vocal qualities, vocal pitch varies naturally among people.  For instance, males generally have lower
pitched voices than females.  Besides
these limitations, each person still can intentionally alter their pitch to engage
the audience.  

Analysis

Based on the experiences
acquired throughout this nurse’s education, career, and personal life, she can
point out that there are areas where she was efficient, and there are areas
where she definitely felt the need to improve.  During her presentations, she learned that she
is efficient in preparing and practicing before making her presentations. For
instance, before making her presentations, she took enough time to prepare herself
by making all her notes clear and rehearsing before facing people.  She realized that by doing this, she was able
to understand the topic that she was covering and it also gave her the
opportunity to perfect her presentation skills. Even further, it made sure that
when she is presenting she does not sound like she is reading notes because
this can put off some listeners. 

Another area that this nurse can
say she was effective is in was organizing her speech. For instance, she
understands the significance of the components of speech and therefore when she
was making her statements she used a substantial introduction to a body that
was structured according to the topics.

However, this nurse had a
problem with physical delivery, and this is an area that she needs to improve
upon.  For instance, when she was making
several of her presentations, a few listeners complained that her voice was low
and they could not hear what she was saying. Another problem she had is that
she was talking in a fast speed at some points and she could see that some
listeners were struggling to understand what she was saying.   This
nurse also has a low pitched voice, and this makes her sound deep to the extent
that there are moments when a person can just hear her voice and not understand
what she said.  Therefore, she plans to be
using a microphone when speaking to a broad audience because her voice is deep
and people who are further from her cannot hear.  Also, she plans to do more public speaking
presentations to boost her confidence because of the fact that when she was
speaking she was anxious and shaking.

Application

            More recently (December 2017), this nurse and
her husband were asked to speak in front of their church regarding what the
birth of Jesus Christ meant to their family in Wyoming.  She started by making an outline about the
topic and her thoughts.  She then wrote
the speech out word for word.  She
practiced over and over and when she able to recall most of the speech, she
made note cards to assist her in queuing herself if she became stuck or
nervous.  One important thing that she
made sure happened was the ability to have a microphone.  When she had this, she was confident that she
was able to speak to the entire audience and that they were able to hear her.  She made eye contact, allowed for pauses, and
generally felt very comfortable on stage.

            Being able to speak on a
formal level has even benefitted this nurse in her personal life.  She able to be more confident and clearly
communicate her thoughts and feelings when she and her husband are having
disagreements.  She is able to garner
more respect for her children, because she can speak her mind and they can hear
her.  It has even improved her
relationship with her mother.  This
nurse’s mother is extremely controlling and borderline emotionally abusive, but
gaining confidence through public speaking has allowed her to gain confidence
and demand mutual respect for one another.

Conclusion

Through public speaking, this nurse has
learned to connect to a power inside herself. 
She has found a voice waiting to be heard.  She has gained confidence and
respect.  Her hope is that through
reading this paper one can clearly see that she is adapt and confident public
speaker who skills have grown through a variety of situations and experiences.