VP Tahir on Effective Public Speaking at SoL Seminar

VP Tahir on Effective Public Speaking at SoL Seminar

Adjunct Professor of Communications and Vice President for University Relations, Dr. Abubakar Abba Tahir, says public speaking is inevitable.

"Irrespective of our specializations, disciplines or engagements, no human being has ever existed without speaking publicly," he told the audience at the School of Law weekly seminar on December 6, 2019.

This seminar was SoL's 10th in the series and the grand finale for the Fall semester.

Dr. Tahir opened the session by emphasizing the inevitability of public speaking.

"Speech Communication is an integral and indispensable component of everyday life."

Most people take public speaking for granted, thinking it is only meant for media specialists. However, they are disorganized as a result of stage fright which makes public speaking a predominant challenge for them.

Dr. Tahir pointed out that it is important for speakers to understand and practice the three P's of speech communication (Planning, Practice, and Presentation) to effectively deliver a flawless speech on any given topic. 

He further explained the order of precedence of these Ps, saying preparation is the most important and yet often abandoned. Next in line is practice. However, many speakers pay more attention to the presentation which is the easiest of the three Ps.

A major constraint for effective speaking is that most people who try to effortlessly deliver speeches do not make an effort to understand the basic principles of public speaking (perception, perfection, visualization, discipline, description, inspiration, and anticipation).

The type of speech and the goal of a speech should also be carefully outlined. These factors are often implicit in the failure of speakers to impact their audiences, Dr. Tahir added.

"There is no perfect writer. Never feel too important, always share your scripts for review. It will only help you improve."

Dr. Tahir recalled the advice of his teacher: 'There does not exist a writer whose work cannot be improved upon by an editor.' This sequenced into his presentation on the structure of scriptwriting.

Dr. Tahir implored the audience to always identify a speech goal and type from the very beginning, ensure appropriate scripting and then always remember the essentials and principles of public speaking.

At the end of the session, the Dean, School of Law, Professor Lawal Ahmadu, said SOL seminars were focused on quality presentations to impact the learning community above all other considerations. He emphasized the importance of eloquence for lawyers as a critical skill that can make or break a case in court.

"Advocacy is a fundamental part of the law; as such effective public speaking is essential for every lawyer and law student."

Dr. Tahir is a media professional of renown with journalistic forays spanning radio, television, print media, public relations, multimedia teaching, and communication consulting. Before joining AUN, he had served as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Adamawa Broadcasting Corporation.

The School of Law seminar series seeks out experts like Dr. Tahir and many others to enrich the academic discourse in law and to bridge gaps across disciplines.

Reported by Rofiat Adekunle