What Is a Speaker? Definition & 25+ Examples

Have you ever wondered who guides your journey through the realms of a book, leading you through every twist and turn of its narrative? In the vast world of literature, this guide is known as the “speaker.”

This critical element is like the unseen puppeteer of the story, the voice whispering in your ear, sharing secrets, building suspense, and coloring your perception of the characters and events.

Delve into the intriguing role of the speaker, and discover how they breathe life into the words on the page, transforming them into vibrant narratives that captivate your imagination.

Table of Contents

Defining Speaker

In the context of literature, the “speaker” is the narrative voice through which the author presents the story to the reader. While it may be easy to conflate the speaker with the author, they are distinct entities.

The speaker serves as an intermediary, recounting the tale, detailing characters, and describing settings. Whether it’s a novel, poem, or short story, every piece of literature employs a speaker to relate its narrative.

While the speaker may occasionally be a character within the narrative, this is not always the case. A speaker could also be an external entity, distanced from the events and characters yet having a comprehensive overview of the unfolding plot.

Through their unique lens, the speaker shapes the reader’s understanding of the story, influencing their perceptions and emotions. Thus, the speaker is integral to the crafting of a compelling narrative, serving as the conduit between the author’s intent and the reader’s interpretation.

Origin of Speaker

The concept of the “speaker” in literature, the unseen voice whispering tales into the reader’s ear, finds its roots in our most ancient storytelling traditions. Long before the invention of writing, stories were passed down orally from generation to generation.

In these oral narratives, the storyteller, the original “speaker,” spun tales around communal fires, sharing stories of heroes, gods, and ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances.

Fast forward to Ancient Greece, around the 8th century BCE, where we see the tradition of the speaker evolve with the written word. Homer’s epic poems, “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey,” used a narrative voice to weave complex tales of adventure and warfare.

This narrative voice, a “speaker” in every sense, was a device through which Homer could impart his tales with gravitas and complexity.

In the Middle Ages, around the 14th and 15th centuries, literature saw a shift with the advent of written prose narratives. Novelists began to experiment with multiple narrative voices.

The concept of the “unreliable speaker” was born, a narrative voice that could deceive, mislead, or simply provide a subjective viewpoint. This development marked a significant turning point, adding layers of complexity and ambiguity to literary texts.

By the 18th and 19th centuries, during the heyday of the novel, authors experimented further with the idea of the speaker. Writers like Jane Austen and Henry James used the “free indirect discourse,” blurring the lines between the speaker’s voice and the character’s thoughts.

Finally, the 20th century introduced the concept of “stream of consciousness” narration, pioneered by authors like Virginia Woolf and James Joyce. Here, the speaker’s voice replicated the chaotic, non-linear flow of a character’s thoughts, offering readers a deeper exploration of the character’s psyches.

Today, the concept of the “speaker” in literature continues to evolve, encompassing a wide range of narrative voices and perspectives. The speaker remains a pivotal device in storytelling, a bridge that connects the reader to the heart of the narrative, carrying forward our ancient tradition of sharing stories.

Functions of A Speaker

The Speaker Navigates the Narrative

As a speaker, your role is to navigate the narrative effectively. You have the power to guide your audience through the story or concept at hand by choosing the appropriate language and voice. This helps keep your listener engaged and interested in the conversation.

For instance, Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” presents a conflicted person who has to make a big decision between two options: “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both…”

By employing descriptive language like “yellow woods” and “falling leaves,” Frost successfully narrates the situation and allows the reader to visualize the scene.

Moreover, the use of specific metaphors and imagery contributes to presenting the speaker as someone who is impulsive, adventurous, and possibly regretful or sad about their decision.

Speaker Represents Character Voices

Your role as a speaker also involves representing various character voices. This is quite important in literature, as different characters may have diverse perspectives and opinions. By effectively conveying these voices, you provide your audience with a comprehensive understanding of the story or poem.

For example, John Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale” contains intricate language, hinting at elements of Greek mythology and the Bible, which suggests that the speaker has an active imagination and is well-read.

The speaker Creates Suspense and Intrigue

  • Building suspense and intrigue adds depth to your narrative and hooks your audience.
  • Use descriptions and imagery to make your audience empathize with the characters.
  • Employ rhetorical devices like sarcasm and exaggeration to develop unexpected twists.

One example of using suspense and intrigue is Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” wherein the speaker initially appears to be a reasonable and compassionate person concerned about the Irish people’s poverty.

However, as the text progresses, the increasing use of sarcasm, exaggeration, and grotesque imagery creates a sense of disgust and shock as the speaker proposes eating children as a solution to social problems.

Speaker Reflects on Themes and Messages

It’s crucial for you, as a speaker, to reflect on the themes and messages of the narrative or poem. Your voice is the mouthpiece through which these ideas are conveyed to your audience. By carefully selecting language and tone, you can deliver these messages while staying true to your character.

For instance, public speakers need to be conscious of their tone during orations, as this sets the stage for the delivery of their message. Novels, on the other hand, require the writer to be cautious about the narrator’s voice, ensuring that it complements the overall story’s atmosphere and theme.

Speaker Shapes Reader’s Perception

Your role as a speaker also involves shaping your reader’s or audience’s perception of the narrative, characters, and events. By using specific language choices, you can manipulate reactions and emotions, causing your audience to sympathize or disagree with certain characters or ideas.

In interviews and public speeches, altering the active voice and intonation can impact how the message is perceived by the audience. The way you choose to convey your speech can impact the way information is processed, making a difference in understanding and interpretation.

Characteristics of A Literary Speaker

Speaker Has a Distinct Voice

As a speaker, having a distinct voice means being able to convey your unique personality, style, and tone through your choice of words and phrases. This allows you to connect with your audience and make your message more engaging.

Here are some tips on developing a distinct voice:

  • Experiment with various styles and tones until you find the one that best suits your personality.
  • Observe and learn from other accomplished speakers to see how they use their own unique voices.
  • Practice public speaking and receive feedback from others to refine your voice and style.

Speaker Possesses Perspective

A speaker with perspective has the ability to see a situation from multiple angles and draw upon their experiences to provide insightful commentary.

Here are a few tips for developing this aspect:

  • Stay up-to-date on current events and trending topics related to your field.
  • Develop a strong foundation in your subject matter by reading and participating in discussions.
  • Reflect upon your own experiences and consider how they may add value to your speaking engagements.

Speaker Exhibits Consistency

Consistency is key in any presentation or speech, as it helps establish your authority on a subject and build trust with your audience.

Maintaining consistency involves:

  • Staying focused on your main message and avoiding unnecessary tangents.
  • Using consistent terminology and avoiding jargon that may confuse your audience.
  • Rehearsing your speech and refining its content to ensure it flows smoothly from one topic to another.

Speaker Demonstrates Reliability or Unreliability

Depending on the context of your speech or presentation, you may want to convey reliability or, in some cases, unreliability.

Here’s how:

  • To demonstrate reliability, back up your statements with credible sources and evidence.
  • For unreliability, you may choose to provide conflicting information to create intrigue or spark discussion purposely.

Speaker Employs Literary Devices

Strong speakers utilize various literary devices to enhance the impact of their words.

Some of the most commonly used devices include:

  • Metaphors and similes convey complex ideas in a relatable way.
  • Alliteration to create emphasis or rhythm in your speech.
  • Repetition to reinforce key points and make them memorable.
  • Storytelling to engage the audience and emotionally connect with them.

Elements of A Speaker

Point of View

When discussing a speaker, it’s essential to consider their point of view. This refers to the vantage point from which they tell the story or present information.

There are three primary points of view:

  1. First Person: The speaker is a character within the story, using “I” or “we” pronouns.
  2. Second Person: The speaker addresses the audience directly, using “you” pronouns.
  3. Third Person: The speaker is an outside observer, using “he,” “she,” or “they” pronouns.

Understanding a speaker’s point of view helps you better analyze a text and comprehend its intended meaning.


A speaker’s voice is their unique style and manner of expression. It reflects their personality, experiences, and emotions. As you examine a text, try to pinpoint the speaker’s voice — are they formal or informal? Do they use slang, or do they prefer sophisticated language?

Recognizing a speaker’s voice helps you decipher their message and better connect with their perspective. To analyze the speaker’s voice, you can look at the word choice, sentence structure, and other stylistic aspects.


The perspective of a speaker refers to their beliefs, values, and attitudes. Every speaker has a unique perspective that influences their interpretation of events and presentation of information. When examining a speaker, consider their background, experiences, and biases that may shape their point of view.

Understanding a speaker’s perspective allows you to contextualize their message and explore any underlying themes or motives.


A reliable speaker is one that presents accurate, credible, and trustworthy information. However, some speakers may be unreliable, either intentionally or unintentionally.

Assessing a speaker’s reliability can be a complex task, as it requires you to weigh the evidence they provide, corroborate their claims, and examine their credibility. Approach texts critically and question the speaker’s motives and how they may impact their reliability.

Use of Literary Devices

Speakers often employ various literary devices to enhance their message, evoke emotions, or create vivid imagery.

Some common literary devices include:

  • Metaphors
  • Similes
  • Alliteration
  • Personification

As you read a text, note the literary devices the speaker utilizes, and consider how they contribute to the overall theme and impact of the work.

Emotional Insight

A crucial aspect of understanding a speaker is tapping into their emotions. Examine the speaker’s emotions, as they can reveal deeper themes and enhance your comprehension of the text.

Consider the feelings expressed or implied by the speaker, and explore how they affect the tone, content, and message of the piece.

Information Control

Speakers control the information they present, which can be a powerful tool for shaping your perception of a text. They can decide what to reveal, conceal, or emphasize. Be aware of the ways a speaker might manipulate information, and consider how it influences your understanding of the material.

Techniques and Styles

Metaphors and Imagery

In developing your language as a speaker, incorporating metaphors and imagery can help you paint vivid pictures for your audience. These techniques enable you to articulate complex ideas or emotions in a more accessible and memorable form.

By using metaphorical language, you can create strong connections between unrelated concepts, making your speech more engaging and impactful. Similarly, the use of imagery can provide a sensory experience for your listeners, evoking emotions and deepening their understanding of your message.

To effectively utilize these techniques, ensure they are appropriate for your topic and audience, and avoid cluttering your speech with too many metaphors or images.

Active Voice and Perspective

Another important aspect to consider in your speaking style is the use of an active voice and perspective. Active voice places emphasis on the subject performing the action rather than the object receiving it. This approach creates a more engaging and direct narrative, allowing you to maintain your audience’s interest and attention.

As a speaker, adopting a second-person point of view, using “you” and “your,” can help create a more personal and relatable tone, allowing listeners to feel connected to the subject matter.

In addition, switching between first-person and third-person perspectives can provide variation and depth to your speech, ensuring a more dynamic and compelling presentation.

Sarcasm and Exaggeration

While not suitable for every situation, incorporating sarcasm and exaggeration can add an element of humor and relatability to your speech. These techniques allow you to make a point in a lighthearted or unexpected manner, engaging the audience in a different way.

However, it’s important to use them carefully, ensuring they are appropriate for the context and audience. Misusing sarcasm and exaggeration can lead to confusion or offend your listeners, potentially undermining your overall message.

To effectively incorporate these techniques, consider your audience’s sensitivities and ensure the underlying message is still clear and concise.

Remember, as a speaker, your goal is to connect with your audience and effectively convey your message. By carefully employing techniques such as metaphors, active voice, and even sarcasm, you can tailor your speaking style to engage better and inform your listeners.

Adapt your language and voice to suit the context and audience, and always strive to make your speech a memorable experience.

Tips: Reflect on your tone and content to make sure the use of sarcasm or exaggeration aligns with your goals and the audience's expectations. Recognize that not all listeners will appreciate this style, so make sure to monitor their reactions and adjust accordingly.

Types of Speakers

First-Person Speaker

In the first-person speaker perspective, the narrator uses “I” or “we” to tell the story. This allows you to feel a close connection with the protagonist and witness events from their perspective.

It’s common in autobiographies, memoirs, and personal essays. Keep in mind that a first-person speaker might not know everything that’s happening in the story since they only have access to their own thoughts and emotions.

  • Be aware of the limited insight that comes with first-person narration.
  • First-person speakers can offer intimate perspectives on events.

Third-Person Omniscient Speaker

The third-person omniscient speaker is a versatile narrator with insight into multiple characters’ thoughts and feelings. They’re able to share information about various aspects of the story, such as past events, future occurrences, or unknown secrets.

This perspective offers a fuller understanding of the plot and allows for the exploration of multiple characters’ perspectives.

  • Offers a comprehensive view of events and character emotions.
  • Can provide details on multiple aspects of the story.
  • Knows what all characters are thinking and feeling at any given moment.

Third-Person Limited Speaker

A third-person limited speaker uses “he,” “she,” or “they” and focuses on one specific character’s thoughts and emotions. This perspective is similar to the first-person speaker, with the benefit of a broader view of events, as the narrator is still separate from the main character.

You get a glimpse into the protagonist’s mind, but there’s also room for surprises or secrets that the character is unaware of.

Objective Speaker

An objective speaker remains detached from the characters and events in the story. They don’t delve into the thoughts or emotions of the characters and instead focus on describing events and actions as they unfold.

This neutral approach allows you to draw your own conclusions and interpretations about the story and its characters.

Unreliable Speaker

An unreliable speaker presents a subjective viewpoint, which may involve dishonesty, exaggeration, or distortion of facts. This can make the narrative more intriguing and challenge your assumptions, as it’s up to you to determine the truth.

Keep in mind that unreliable speakers may not realize their own bias or inaccuracies, creating a complex layer to the narrative voice.

Stream of Consciousness Speaker

A stream-of-consciousness speaker portrays thoughts and emotions as they occur in rapid succession, resulting in a continuous flow of internal monologue. This style can give you a deep, intimate understanding of a character’s psychology and emotional state.

It may be challenging to follow at times due to the nonlinear and fragmented nature of the narrative.

Second-Person Speaker

The second-person speaker perspective is less common in literature, as it directly addresses the reader using “you,” “your,” and “yours” pronouns. This style injects a sense of immediacy and can make readers feel an active participant in the story. It’s often used in genres like self-help, instruction manuals, and interactive fiction.

Examples of Speakers in Literature


"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee 

The speaker in Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" is Scout Finch, the young daughter of attorney Atticus Finch. Through Scout's innocent yet insightful perspective, readers get a firsthand account of racial tensions in a small Southern town during the 1930s.
"Moby-Dick" by Herman Melville 

The novel "Moby-Dick" is told by the speaker Ishmael, a sailor who serves aboard the whaling ship Pequod. Ishmael's narrative combines detailed descriptions of whaling with philosophical musings, presenting a profound and complex picture of Captain Ahab's obsessive quest for the white whale.
"The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger 

In "The Catcher in the Rye," the speaker is the teenage protagonist Holden Caulfield. His colloquial, rambling, and often cynical narration provides a raw, honest view of his struggle with alienation, disillusionment, and the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
"Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen 

Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" employs a third-person speaker. However, the speaker largely presents the story through the perspective of the protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet. The speaker's keen observations and ironic commentary highlight the social mores and prejudices of early 19th-century English society.
"Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov 

"Lolita" uses the character Humbert Humbert as its first-person speaker. His eloquent yet deeply unreliable narration brings the reader into his twisted mind, creating an uncomfortable tension between the beauty of his language and the morally repugnant content of his story.

Short Story

"The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe 

The speaker in Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" is an unnamed narrator who confesses to a murder. The speaker's frenzied and paranoid narration creates an intense and haunting atmosphere that reflects their deteriorating mental state.
"A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" by Ernest Hemingway 

In this Hemingway story, the third-person omniscient speaker shifts perspective between two waiters in a café. The speaker's sparse, objective narration underscores the existential themes of loneliness and the search for meaning.
"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman 

The speaker in "The Yellow Wallpaper" is an unnamed woman suffering from postpartum depression. Her first-person account, which descends into madness, effectively illustrates the damaging effects of 19th-century medical practices for women's mental health.
"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson 

In "The Lottery," the speaker is a detached third-person narrator who describes a small town's annual lottery. The speaker's objective, unemotional narration heightens the horror of the story's gruesome conclusion.
"Everyday Use" by Alice Walker 

Walker's "Everyday Use" is told through the first-person perspective of Mama, a rural, Southern woman. The speaker's authentic voice and vivid descriptions underscore the story's themes of heritage and identity.


"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot 

The speaker in this Eliot poem is J. Alfred Prufrock, an insecure, middle-aged man. His rambling monologue reveals his inner turmoil and fear of life's passing.
"My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning 

In Browning's dramatic monologue, the speaker is Duke Ferrara, who chillingly discusses the portrait of his late wife. The Duke's speech subtly reveals his controlling nature and his role in his wife's demise.
"Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night" by Dylan Thomas 

Thomas' speaker in this villanelle is a son addressing his dying father. The speaker's passionate exhortation to "rage against the dying of the light" expresses his refusal to accept his father's impending death.
"I, Too" by Langston Hughes 

The speaker in Hughes' "I, Too" is an African American man during the early 20th century. His confident, defiant voice asserts his identity and anticipates a future where racial discrimination will end.
"Daddy" by Sylvia Plath 

Plath's speaker in "Daddy" is a woman expressing her conflicted feelings towards her father. The speaker's intense emotions and vivid, disturbing imagery create a powerful exploration of grief, anger, and the struggle to break free from oppression.


"Hamlet" by William Shakespeare 

The speaker in "Hamlet" frequently shifts, as it is a play with multiple characters. However, one notable speaker is the character of Hamlet himself, whose soliloquies offer deep insight into his inner turmoil and philosophical contemplations.
"A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams 

In Williams' play, the speaker varies among the cast of characters. Blanche DuBois, one of the main characters, stands out for her florid, grandiose speech, which contrasts sharply with her harsh reality.
"Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller 

The play's protagonist, Willy Loman, is a prominent speaker in "Death of a Salesman." His dialogue, ranging from hopeful aspirations to disillusioned despair, illuminates his tragic downfall.
"Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett 

The speakers in Beckett's play are mainly the characters Vladimir and Estragon. Their circular, repetitive dialogue underscores the play's themes of existentialist angst and the absurdity of life.
"The Crucible" by Arthur Miller 

In "The Crucible," the speaker often shifts among a large cast of characters. Their dialogue, stylized to resemble 17th-century speech, reveals the hysteria and fear during the Salem Witch Trials.

Examples of Speakers in Pop Culture


"FightClub" directed by David Fincher 

The speaker in "Fight Club" is the unnamed protagonist, often referred to as the Narrator. His first-person narration, revealing his disillusionment with modern society and his creation of the anarchistic "Fight Club," guides the viewers through the film's shocking twists and turns.
"Goodfellas" directed by Martin Scorsese 

In Scorsese's "Goodfellas," the primary speaker is mobster Henry Hill, whose first-person narration provides an insider's view of the mafia life, from its allure to its inevitable downfalls.
"The Shawshank Redemption" directed by Frank Darabont 

"Red," played by Morgan Freeman, is the speaker in "The Shawshank Redemption." His warm, reflective voiceover narration adds depth and resonance to this tale of friendship and hope in a harsh prison environment.
"Sunset Boulevard" directed by Billy Wilder

The film uses a unique narrative device with the deceased screenwriter Joe Gillis as its speaker. His posthumous narration provides a cynical, haunting commentary on Hollywood's dark underbelly.
"The Royal Tenenbaums" directed by Wes Anderson 

The speaker in "The Royal Tenenbaums" is an unnamed narrator, voiced by Alec Baldwin. His third-person narration, complete with a book-like chapter structure, contributes to the film's whimsical, storybook feel.

Television Show

"The Office" (U.S. Version) 

In this mockumentary-style sitcom, multiple characters take turns as the speaker in talking-head interviews. These segments provide humorous insights into the characters' thoughts and break the fourth wall.
"Mr. Robot" 

The primary speaker in "Mr. Robot" is the protagonist Elliot Alderson. His voiceover narration, marked by its paranoid and disjointed tone, mirrors his mental health struggles and cybersecurity vigilante activities.
"Sex and the City" 

The speaker in "Sex and the City" is the lead character Carrie Bradshaw. Her voiceover, often framed as her writing her weekly column, offers her observations on love, sex, and relationships in New York City.
"How I Met Your Mother" 

The speaker in "How I Met Your Mother" is an older Ted Mosby, voiced by Bob Saget. His narration recounts his youthful adventures and romantic missteps to his children, leading up to how he met their mother.

In the television show "Dexter," the speaker is the titular character, Dexter Morgan. His voiceover narration offers a disturbing glimpse into the mind of a serial killer who leads a double life.

Technical Aspects

Pronunciation and Dialect

Pronunciation and dialect in speaking are essential aspects of conveying your message effectively. When speaking, you should aim to pronounce words accurately and adhere to standard dialect rules. This will allow your audience to understand your points and follow along with ease.

  • Learn phonetics and practice proper enunciation.
  • Familiarize yourself with regional dialects that may affect speech clarity.

As your speaking abilities progress, challenge yourself to adapt to various dialects and maintain a clear pronunciation. This skill is especially important if you frequently address audiences from diverse linguistic backgrounds.

Transducers and Public Address Systems

Transducers and public address (PA) systems play critical roles in making your voice heard. Transducers convert one form of energy into another, like turning sound waves from your voice into electrical signals. PA systems amplify and distribute those signals to speakers, ensuring your message is loud and clear.

Consider these factors when using a transducer or PA system:

  • Output power and impedance of your microphone and speakers.
  • Room acoustics and speaker placement.

Proper setup and optimization will make your audio distribution as efficient as possible and ensure your voice is heard by everyone in the room.

Developing Speaker Skills

Developing strong speaker skills requires dedication and practice.

Here are a few tips to help you on your journey:

  1. Take a public speaking course or join a club: Many educational institutions and organizations offer training for public speaking.
  2. Practice, practice, practice: In front of a mirror, to a friend, or by recording yourself, find opportunities to practice your speaking skills.
  3. Study famous speakers: Take note of their strengths and emulate their techniques in your own speaking engagements.

As you progress, you’ll find that your confidence and competence as a speaker simultaneously increase, helping you become a more effective communicator.

Cultural and Geographical Differences

Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand Speakers

In Canada, accents and dialects are usually linked to the various regions, with noticeable differences between the urban and rural contexts. For instance, you might hear the so-called “Canadian raising” in certain areas, where the vowels in “about” and “out” are pronounced similarly to “oot” and “aboat.”

Australian English has a lot of variations, too, mainly due to the influences of different Aboriginal languages and British dialects. However, in general, Australian speakers tend to have a relaxed and informal tone.

Expect unique slang and expressions, like “fair dinkum,” which is used to show authenticity, or “good on ya,” a way to say “well done.”

New Zealand English, meanwhile, has connections to both British and Australian dialects. As a speaker, you’ll likely encounter Maori terms in everyday conversation since it’s one of New Zealand’s official languages.

Moreover, notice a distinctive feature of New Zealand English: the short “i” vowel tends to sound like “uh,” as in “fush and chups” instead of “fish and chips.”

Canadian fact: Canada has two official languages, English and French.
Australian trivia: Australian English is a major variety of the English language and has its own distinctive accent, vocabulary, and grammar. It was influenced by the languages of the early settlers from the British Isles and includes a variety of slang terms or colloquialisms, often referred to as "Strine" or "Aussie slang."
New Zealand tip: To blend in with New Zealand speakers, try learning common Maori phrases and their pronunciation.

British and American Speakers

British English offers a wide range of accents and dialects to explore, from the posh-sounding Received Pronunciation (RP) to the Northern, Scottish, and Welsh varieties. As you navigate these dialects, expect some unique linguistic quirks and turns of phrase.

For example, you may hear rhyming slang in East London, where the expression “apples and pears” can actually mean “stairs.”

In comparison, American English is often seen as more standardized, though you’ll still find distinct regional accents and dialects. It’s essential to recognize the cultural contexts, geographical locations, and sociopolitical factors that contribute to these differences.

For instance, the southern states showcase a particular drawl, while speakers from the midwest are often perceived as having a “neutral” American accent.

British LingoAmerican Lingo
British fact: Received Pronunciation is sometimes called "BBC English" because it used to be the standard dialect for British broadcasting.
American trivia: The General American accent is said to be the most widely understood and well-received across the United States.
Tip for British and American speakers: Familiarize yourself with the specific terms and phrases used in each dialect to ease communication and avoid misunderstandings.

Role of Audience and Feedback

Influence on Speaker’s Power

The audience plays a crucial role in determining the speaker’s power. A receptive and engaged audience can significantly enhance your authority and influence during a speech. Conversely, a disinterested crowd can diminish your impact.

As a speaker, it’s essential to understand your audience’s expectations, interests, and perspectives to tailor your message effectively.

Here are some tips to enhance your power as a speaker:

  • Adjust your speech’s content, tone, and style to target your audience effectively.
  • Engage with your audience through eye contact, body language, and addressing their concerns.
  • Encourage two-way communication by soliciting questions, comments, and feedback.

Influence on Speaker’s Perspective

The audience also influences your perspective as a speaker. By gauging their feedback and reactions, you can obtain valuable insights that help adapt your message or refine your arguments.

Here’s how to incorporate audience feedback into your speech:

  1. Be attentive to non-verbal cues like facial expressions, body language, and reactions.
  2. Actively listen to questions, comments, and suggestions to address misunderstandings or clarify points.
  3. Seek post-speech feedback from audience members or colleagues to identify areas for improvement.

Understanding and incorporating audience feedback can improve your message, making it more relevant and compelling. By actively engaging with your listeners, you demonstrate your commitment to their needs and enhance your credibility as a speaker.

Impact of The Speaker on Literature

Speaker Shapes the Narrative Structure

A speaker’s role in a literary work is critical in shaping its narrative structure. As you read, the speaker’s perspective and voice directly influence how events unfold and the order in which information is revealed.

This can take numerous forms, such as a first-person narrator providing personal insights or a third-person omniscient narrator dictating the thoughts and actions of multiple characters.

  • Stream of consciousness narration: gives readers direct access to a character’s thoughts, offering a unique insight into their inner world.
  • Non-linear narratives: the speaker can present events out of chronological order, requiring readers to piece together the story themselves.

Speaker Contributes to Character Development

Character development relies heavily on the speaker’s portrayal of different personalities, emotions, and actions. By carefully choosing their words, tone, and perspective, speakers can reveal hidden aspects of a character’s personality or innermost thoughts.

This insight helps you understand the motives and desires of the characters, leading to a richer and more engaging reading experience.


• Pay close attention to the diction and syntax used by the speaker for clues about a character's feelings and thoughts.
• Look for moments in the text where the speaker's voice shifts or contrasts with the character's actions to uncover hidden layers of meaning.

The Speaker Sets the Tone and Mood

The tone and mood of a literary work are greatly influenced by the voice of the speaker. As you read, take note of the speaker’s attitude and emotions, as they will affect your overall impression of the story.

Whether the speaker adopts an ironic, sad, or humorous tone, their words can evoke a wide range of feelings in readers and create an immersive atmosphere.

Speaker Enhances Literary Themes

In literature, a speaker can significantly contribute to the development and exploration of key themes. By guiding your interpretation of the story, the speaker brings attention to important ideas and motifs so that you can better understand and appreciate them.

As you read, look for moments when the speaker emphasizes or connects recurring elements throughout the text, as these often signify central themes.

  • In “The Catcher in the Rye,” the speaker, Holden Caulfield, communicates themes of innocence, isolation, and self-discovery through his raw, introspective voice.
  • The speaker in “To Kill a Mockingbird” highlights themes of racism, empathy, and moral growth throughout the novel.

Speaker Promotes Reader Engagement

A speaker’s voice can significantly impact your level of engagement with a literary work. By adopting an insightful or compelling perspective, the speaker sparks curiosity and empathy, drawing you further into the narrative.

This can lead to more profound connections with the characters, greater investment in the plot, and, ultimately, a deeper appreciation of the work as a whole.

  • William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” features a speaker who uses soliloquies to express complex inner thoughts, allowing you to connect with the protagonist on an intimate level.
  • In “The Great Gatsby,” the reserved, observant voice of the speaker, Nick Carraway, encourages you to ponder the motives and morality of the characters.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the speaker and the author the same?

Not always. While the author is the person who writes the work, the speaker is the voice that narrates it. In some cases, such as in autobiographies or certain first-person narratives, the author and speaker might be the same.

However, often in fiction, the speaker is a separate entity or a character created by the author.

Can a text have more than one speaker?

Yes, a text can indeed have more than one speaker. Multiple speakers can offer different perspectives, contributing to a multifaceted understanding of the narrative. This technique is common in novels with multiple point-of-view characters.

What’s the difference between a speaker and a character?

A character is an individual or entity in a story, while the speaker is the voice that narrates the story or poem. In some cases, a character in the story may also be the speaker, especially in first-person narratives.

However, not all speakers are characters; sometimes, the speaker is an abstract, impersonal voice.


In the vast landscape of literature, the role of the speaker is indispensable. As the narrative voice that guides us through a story or poem, the speaker shapes our experience of the text and profoundly influences our understanding of its themes, characters, and events.

Whether it’s an abstract entity, the author’s voice, or a vivid character from the narrative, the speaker invites us into the world of the text, directing our attention, stirring our emotions, and provoking our thoughts.

Thus, the exploration of the speaker provides a deeper, more nuanced comprehension of a literary work, adding to the richness and enjoyment of our reading experience.

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Aerielle Ezra is an enthusiastic student of architecture who has a wide range of interests, including psychology, lifestyle, and relationships. Apart from her studies, she also likes to engage in athletic activities, particularly volleyball. When she is not playing, she spends her free time watching her preferred sitcoms or reading her favorite books, which include fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and horror.