12th Grade Assignment - Public Speaking Self-Assessment

Instructor: Sudha Aravindan

Sudha Aravindan has taught high school Math and professional development in Information Technology for over 10 years. Sudha has a Doctorate of Education degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Delaware, USA, a Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Kerala, India, a Bachelor of Education degree in Teaching of Math from the University of Kerala, India, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Math, Physics and Statistics from the University of Kerala, India. Sudha has a certificate in Java programming and Statistical Analysis.

For this assignment, students will compose and deliver a 5-10 minute public speech on a topic of their choice. Guidelines for public speaking strategies are provided. A grading rubric is included for assessment. Updated: 01/14/2021

Overview of Assignment

Students will review the lessons and the guidelines for public speaking strategies. Students will then compose a 5-10 minute speech on a topic of their choice. They will practice and deliver the speech to an audience. The speech will be recorded for review. Students will then critically evaluate their speech using the rubric provided.

Guidelines for Public Speaking Assessment

Type of Speech

  • Informative - This type of speech provides information on a topic of interest so the audience can learn from the information presented. An informative speech should include descriptions, explanations, and demonstrations.
  • Persuasive - This speech is made with the intention of persuading the audience to adopt a point of view. A persuasive speech should have evidence, appeal to reason and emotion, and use rhetorical questions.
  • Formal - This includes a formal thank you speech or a welcome speech at a special occasion, such as a ceremony or conference. A formal speech should not include slang, colloquial language, or conversational language.

Methods of delivery

  • Manuscript style - Write the speech and read it word for word.
  • Memorized style - Write the speech, memorize it, and recite the memorized speech verbatim.
  • Extemporaneous style - Prepare the speech and deliver the speech with only notes and key points for reference.

Vocal Strategies

  • Articulation - Speak clearly and with enunciation.
  • Pronunciation - Speak each word correctly.
  • Pitch and Inflection - Raise or lower the voice to create variety and interest.
  • Filler words - Be careful not to use too many filler words: um, ah, ok, like

Speaking Aids

  • Movements and Gestures - Use movements, gestures, and eye contact appropriately. Do not use prolonged eye contact with a person as it may make them uncomfortable.
  • Visual Aids - Use visual aids like PowerPoint, Flip charts, and whiteboards use when relevant and for emphasis.

Instructions for Students

This assignment: deliver a 5-10 minute public speech. To accomplish this task, you will follow the sequence below.

Select the Type of Speech

What kind of speech would you like to deliver? Review the different types of speeches - informative, persuasive, and formal to make a decision.

Select a Topic

Select a topic that you are passionate about, one that you don't need to do a lot of research on. Here are ideas for some sample topics but you are free to choose your own:

  • Adopting a pet from a shelter
  • Selecting a college major
  • Backyard gardening
  • Healthy foods
  • World War I and II
  • Civil rights movement in the USA

Compose the Speech

Make an outline of the main points of your speech, fill in some subpoints, and write a rough draft. Remember, your speech should sound like you speak. Read the speech at moderate speed and record the time it takes to read the speech from beginning to end. Listen to the recording and revise the speech to improve on the content and to stay within the allotted speaking time. The average rate of speed for a speech is about 100 to 200 words per minute, so a 10-minute speech would require somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 words. Repeat the process: Listen - Revise - Read, until you are satisfied with the content of the speech and the message you intend to convey.

Select the Method of Delivery

What is your preferred style of delivery? Would you like to read the speech from a manuscript? Recite from memory? Or use a combination extemporaneous style? Decide on a style and practice the speech following the criteria for the style selected.

If you are reading from the manuscript, make sure you are reading through without making any errors. However, do not look only at your notes, make eye contact, and interact with the audience.

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