public speaking

/ˌpəblɪk spikɪŋ/

/ˈpəblɪk ˈspikɪŋ/

Whenever someone gets up in front of a group and gives a talk, that's public speaking. If you dislike public speaking, you might not want to be a college professor or a politician.

Simply put, public speaking is speaking in public — especially if you're giving a well-planned speech to an audience. Some public speaking is done to entertain people, but it can also persuade an audience (to vote for you, for example) or educate them. You can also call this type of speaking oration or oratory. There's evidence that students studied public speaking as far back as ancient Egypt.

Definitions of public speaking
  1. noun
    delivering an address to a public audience
    synonyms: oral presentation, speaking, speechmaking
    see moresee less
    reading, recital, recitation
    a public instance of reciting or repeating (from memory) something prepared in advance
    debate, disputation, public debate
    the formal presentation of a stated proposition and the opposition to it (usually followed by a vote)
    recitation of a speech from memory with studied gestures and intonation as an exercise in elocution or rhetoric
    type of:
    address, speech
    the act of delivering a formal spoken communication to an audience

/ˌpəblɪk spikɪŋ/


/ˈpəblɪk ˈspikɪŋ/

Cite this entry
  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago

Copy citation
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘public speaking'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up public speaking for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer