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How Best You Can Improve Oral Skills


Another fundamental communication-sending skill in man is speaking. Speaking is to listening what writing is to reading. In order words, speaking provides the raw materials which listening consequently processes.

What is a speaking skill?

Speaking is the art of producing sound waves, to which we ascribed meaning. Speaking skills enable us to express ourselves verbally.

Since our desires, thoughts and actions vary. Speaking skills need to be adjusted accordingly to faithfully and effectively reflect them.

Basic types of speech

There are two basic types of speech: formal and informal

Formal speeches (also known as official speech) is characterized by officialdom. This means there are laid-down rules and regulations which must be obeyed.

Formal speeches are delivered at ceremonies and public functions, which call for appropriate decorum in terms of mode of address, choice of words, timing, poise, etc.

Let us consider the illustration below to understand more about formal speeches,

In the formal speech presented below, a State Governor shows evidence of adhering to the acceptable format of a formal speech: use of honorifics, appropriate mode of address (formal opening, development, and closure of address), and careful choice of words.

Your Excellency, the Deputy Governor,

The Honorable Speaker,

The Honorable Speaker of Yobe State House of Assembly,

Distinguish Ladies and Gentlemen!

You would recall that when I addressed this Honorable House on Monday, 13th January 1992, I informed you that our 1992 Budget estimates would soon be presented for your deliberations.

Today, I have come to fulfill that initial undertaking before this Honorable House. As you are, no doubt aware, this Budget shall constitute the first fiscal exercise of the present administration in the state.

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Honorable members, if you would kindly cast your minds back to the historic occasion of my assumption of office on 2nd January, you would recall that in my maiden I did indicate the wanton neglect and deprivation which several years of misallocation of resources had visited on our people, especially the rural dwellers.

Due to obvious reasons, they were left without basic facilities and amenities that would otherwise make their lives comfortable.

In every corner of the state, our people barely managed to make ends meet without sufficient water for human and animal consumption, educational facilities, health care delivery facilities, good road networks, and input for improved agricultural production.

Having analyzed these problems, and prescribed a five-point freedom charter to the people, they immediately responded and gave us an overwhelming mandate.

The immediate task before us now is to discharge the odious task of emancipating them from the five evils of poverty, hunger, ignorance, oppression, and disease.

By the SDP charge for a just society, we have decided to approach the achievement of this onerous task through the implementation of integrated rural development.

This policy is predicated on the provision of water, electricity, healthcare delivery facilities, roads, and inputs for improved agricultural production to our people in the rural areas.

It is in that light that the proposals in the Budget being presented before this Honorable House were carefully tailored for your kind consideration.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, this Budget may not necessarily solve all our immediate problems. All of us must not lose sight of the fact that what we hope to achieve may not come in the first one hundred days of the present administration or the first year of this administration.

Our programs shall be implemented in phases. However,  if we did so much as to lay an enduring, solid, and self-sustaining foundation for the effective take-off of Yobe State, even posterity would not judge us as people that failed.

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It is in this regard that I appeal once again to all of you, Honorable Members, that although some of you are from a political party other than our own, we should at all times be mindful of that cake at home, the common man, irrespective of whether he voted for the SDP or NRC, he needs the services that this budget seeks to provide.

Given that, therefore, let us shun partnership and give these budget proposals the objective attention and fair deliberations they require.

Finally, I wish you successful and faithful deliberations on these Appropriate Bills. I also wish you the blessing and guidance of the Almighty Allah in this arduous task.

I thank you very sincerely for having found time to listen to me. God’s day and God bless us all.

An excerpt from the address by His Excellency, the Governor of Yobe State, Alhaji Bukar Abba Ibrahim, to the Yobe State House of Assembly on the occasion of presenting the State’s Appropriate Bill (Budget) for 1992 on Monday, 20th January 1992.

Informal Speeches

An informative speech is characterized by the absence of officialdom. There are hardly any restrictions in terms of subject, choice of words, timing, poise, etc.

The overriding principle is to engage in the art of talking without borders. Most of our daily conversations, especially outside the office, fall within this category of speech.

Barriers to Effective Speaking

Effective speaking, whether formal or informal, may be hampered mainly by inadequate preparation, inappropriate format,d inappropriateness of context.

Inadequate Preparation

Any action for which we are inadequately prepared may not be performed optimally. For formal speaking, formal preparation is necessary. This may involve drawing up an outline, rehearsing the speech, and previewing the context.

Inappropriateness of format

The format of a speech is very important. It must present the message appropriately and be admissible by the audience. An inappropriate format, for instance, would be one in which a technical report on current research on breast cancer is presented to an audience made up of industrialists, seeking investment opportunities. An appropriate format for the report would be one in which emphasis is placed on what yet-to-be-patented drugs are effective in cancer treatment.

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Inappropriateness of context

The context within which a speech is presented contributes to the determination of its effectiveness. When a formal speech is delivered, for instance, in a beer parlor, to an audience made up of contraction workers, it may be perceived as a comedy.

Some members of the audience would easily take it as a mockery of the middle of the superclass.

What you should do to improve your speaking effectively


Goals and objectives should be set to achieve effectiveness in speaking. The speaker should attempt to provide answers to such questions as:

To whom would the speech be addressed? What is the message? How the message is best delivered? When (i.e n terms of timing) and where (i.e in terms of physical context) is the message to be delivered?


Simplicity is a signal of clarity. It is advisable not to drown one’s audience in complex formulations. Correct pronunciation backed up by appropriate passing, suitable volume, warm enthusiasm, necessary poise, the correct choice of words and the use of an outline are all essential tools of clarity.


Preparedness helps in limiting unpleasant surprises. It maps out the conception, development, and execution of the speech.

The basic communication skills in man may be split into receiving and sending skills. Whilst the former serves the purpose of decoding information, the latter acts as the means for generating the message.






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