A public speaking definition, as quoted from Dictionary.com, is as follows:
public speaking; noun
1. The act of delivering speeches in public.
2. The art or skill of addressing an audience effectively.
Let's look at each aspect of this public speaking definition respectively.
First, "The act of delivering speeches in public."
This basically concerns the "what" of the task; the "doing" of it. It's somewhat mechanical in nature and concerned with following the "rules" as outlined in our Essentials page.
As you proceed on your journey of speaking to audiences, these rules begin to relax and become guidelines to move within. The more you become comfortable with these guidelines, the more you become adept with the second part of the definition.
Now let's explore "The art or skill of addressing an audience effectively."
This concerns the "how" of your address. It is more qualitative in its essence. It concerns areas that are much more subtle. More difficult to define, yet just as important when considering whether your message will be successfully received.
We can easily map out an opening, body, and conclusion of a speech. We can readily decipher its purpose. We can categorically see which non-verbal traits are being implemented, and we can straight-out hear which verbal aspects are being used.
The second part is not quite as easy to capture. How will your audience "feel" about your presentation? What, if anything will resonate with them, and how? Will they enjoy your presentation? Will it give them cause for concern? Will they change something in their lives? Will they treat others differently? Will they remember your name months, or years, down the road?
These are both the acts of speaking, as well as the art, the skill, we consistently refine as presenters in a public forum.
It's an ongoing process. Begin to integrate the both aspects of this public speaking definition as soon as possible.