Com 121 – Principles of Speaking


Prompt: Compose, rehearse, and present a ceremonial speech / special occasion speech 3-5 minutes in length.

Discussion of the prompt: The most natural form of organized public speaking you are likely to participate in is ceremonial speaking of some sort.  Prepare a speech which frames your class as a specific audience (wedding guests, attendees at award ceremony, etc.).  Using narrative, organize your speech around a story which teaches a lesson of some sort (i.e. the purpose is greater than the story itself).

Grading criteria: You are required to attend a one-on-one conference scheduled prior to speeches.  Bring either an outline or script of your speech to the conference.  Conferences are mandatory—you cannot give a speech if you have not attended a conference with me. Speeches which differ radically from conference to presentation will be severely downgraded. 

All speeches must have the following:

·         An introduction which positions the audience members at a specific ceremony / event.

·         An organized narrative which references the event, participants, etc.

·         A clear conclusion that leaves us with a final thought / lesson / etc.

·         You may speak from an outline or note cards.  Memorized speeches will garner higher grades.  Manuscripts are strongly discouraged – do not read at us, talk to us.

·         Remember that delivery includes eye contact with all classmates – not just the professor who is grading you.

·         Do not present information that would be inappropriate in church, in front of your grandparents, or the president of the college.  Speakers with inappropriate content will be stopped and the speeches will earn a failing grade.

·         Presenting someone else’s speech as your own constitutes plagiarism. Plagiarized speeches will earn a zero and enforcement of the school’s plagiarism policy.

Conferences: 10/06 & 10/08.  Speeches: 10/13 (turn in a finalized outline)