Impromptu Speech Rubric

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 15 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

Using rubrics helps students aim for a standard and helps teachers offer balanced grading for all students. This lesson offers a sample impromptu speech rubric, and includes standards for grading each main element of a speech.

Impromptu Speeches are Hard

You may find that students are reluctant to participate in impromptu speeches. Given very little time to mentally and emotionally prepare can leave some students a ball of nerves. When assigning impromptu speeches, it is always important to take into account the nervousness that students may have due to the nature of the assignment.

How can you be sure you are grading fairly and not allowing one aspect of the overall performance to have undue influence on the student's grade? Use a rubric! A well-developed rubric ensures that fair and even consideration is given to all students, for all aspects of a speech (not just the ones impacted by nerves). Rubrics, when given to students ahead of the assignment, also help students properly prepare their work with the expected goals in mind.

Another reason to use rubrics is to safe-guard your grading integrity (for example, if a student challenges a grade). With a rubric in hand, students have clear evidence of all aspects of the assignment which met or did not meet expectations and why. So using a rubric helps students and teachers prior to and after the grading process.

Let's take a look at a sample rubric for an impromptu speech. Generic standards are listed; feel free to change these to more closely match your needs. The graded elements of the assignment are timing, presentation, content, and introduction/conclusion. The actual number value for each category depends on the overall points available for the assignment.

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