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Public Speaking

Course Purpose: Regardless of who you are or what you do, being able to communicate in a public setting is a necessary skill to have. People need to be able to express themselves effectively in order to succeed in school, in the workplace, and in life. Course Description: This is an introductory course to public speaking, which addresses the importance of effective oral communication. It will teach students useful skills for speaking in public through an explanation of informative, persuasive, and narrative speeches. Students will be required to present a two-minute "elevator speech" to highlight skills learned. Course Outline: Meeting 1: Speaking Skills Meeting 2: Types of speeches Meeting 3: Elevator Speeches

Meeting 1: Speaking Skills Characteristics of effective oral communication Instructor "This course is intended to teach you the skills necessary to communicate effectively. Public speaking is something that we all have to do, whether it is in school or in the workplace. I'm now going to present a speech to you, and I'd like everyone to observe and think about why this speech is ineffective." Instructor to present a poor quality speech. Things to do: Use staller words, such as "like" or "ummm" Make little eye contact / stare down at feet. Do not project / use quiet tone of voice. Following the speech, prompt students to discuss what they have observed: "Was that a good speech? Why not?" "What did I do wrong? Can you cite some examples?" "Why is that bad?" "If I answered questions like this in a job interview, would I get hired?" Next, the instructor should demonstrate qualities of an effective speech: Body Language: Standing / sitting up straight, making eye contact, appropriate facial expressions. Speaking in a clear, strong tone of voice. Avoiding using filler words. Displaying confidence / knowing what you're taking about. Be clear to ensure that the audience understands what youre taking about. Show Abbott & Costello video Whos on First to illustrate what can happen if the speaker is not clear. Prompt discussion about what happened in the video. "Now, let's observe some effective communicators in action." Show one or two videos from CD (Martin Luther King, Jr. & John F. Kennedy, depending on time constraints) - Prompt students to discuss why these are effective speeches. Other speaking tips: Know who your audience is: - Use appropriate language for example, you should speak differently to a group of children than to a group of adults. - In-class exercise: ask the group to think about how they would describe a digital camera to a group of first graders vs. a group of teachers from their school what features would you highlight? Why would you describe them differently?

- Be aware of the difference between "nice to know" and "need to know" information prompt student discussion about what this means. - Don't make assumptions about your audience for example, don't assume that your audience has prior knowledge of the subject matter. - In class exercise: ask the group to pretend that the instructor has just arrived in the United States from Russia and describe for him/her a cheese steak.

Hook your audience immediately engage your listeners: - Start with a short anecdote, starting statistic, or quotation, for example: - "Ken Olson, president, chairman, and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation once said, 'There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.'" - "90 percent of people are uncomfortable introducing themselves to strangers." - Explain why your speech is of relevance to your audience: - A salesman may start out a presentation to a customer by saying, "Today I will be telling you how my product will help your business succeed." - Ask the audience a question: - "How many of you have ever gone skydiving?"

Meeting 2: Types of speeches Informative, persuasive, narrative Informative Speeches: Purpose: the presentation of unique or useful information to an audience the speaker acts as a "teacher" to the audience. Uses: - Explaining a process ("how-to") ask for a volunteer to give an informative speech on how to tie your shoe, make a paper airplane, do a lay-up, etc. - In the workplace, an informative speech may be used to explain to co-workers how to use a new computer system. - In school, an informative speech may be used to explain how to do research. - Explaining an object (a thing, a place, a person, a product, etc.) ask for a volunteer to give an informative speech about a place he has visited. - Ask the group to offer examples of where informative speeches about objects would be useful in the classroom or at work. - Explaining an event for example, the Presidential Election, World War II, Independence Day, etc. Persuasive Speeches: Purpose: the presentation of an argument on a debatable issue - Ask the group to give examples of what they believe to be "debatable issues." Uses: to persuade your audience to accept your view or to convince your audience to take a particular course of action. - Examples - 1. Try to convince your audience that the death penalty is appropriate - 2. Try to convince your audience to live healthier lives (eating healthy, exercising, etc.) because obesity puts people at greater risk for health problems (high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, etc.) - Ask the students to suggest possible arguments for these two examples. - Persuasive speeches can be structured in two ways: - Point-by-point: the speaker presents, one by one, the opposition's arguments and refutes them immediately (The opposition says __, but in reality, it's __. The opposition also says __, but in truth, it's __.) - Specific point: the speaker presents his thesis, followed by the overall view of the opposition, leading into his overall argument and conclusion.)

Narrative Speeches: Purpose: to tell a story Uses: speaking about yourself and your experiences, in the first person, or about someone else, in the third person - Examples: - 1. Speaking about an influential person in your life - 2. Tell your family story - Ask the students to discuss times when a narrative speech would be useful in the business world (example: in a job interview)

Assignment: Give an elevator speech to the class (to be assigned at the end of Meeting 2 to be presented at Meeting 3) What is an elevator speech? A short description of what you do, or the point you want to make, presented in the time it takes an elevator to go from the top floor to the first floor or vice versa. The term was probably coined from the idea that we sometimes meet the important people in our lives in elevators. The odd situation we encounter in most elevators is that nobody speaks to or looks at anyone else, and yet we have a captive audience for that short period of time. Very few people are ready to interact in case someone does speak. The idea of an elevator speech is to have a prepared presentation that grabs attention and says a lot in a few words. By telling your core message, you will be marketing yourself, but in a way that rather than putting people off will make them want to know more about you. An elevator speech can be used when someone you meet asks you what you do or who you are and is a combination of the three types of speech discussed earlier (informative, persuasive, and narrative). Everyone has a story. Think about what makes you unique, and craft a two to three minute elevator speech that you will present to your peers. Meeting 3: Elevator Speeches Each student should present his/her elevator speech to the class. After each person speaks, prompt the class to discuss what they learned about the individual from his/her speech. Ask them to provide one another with constructive feedback.