E-Portfolio: Coms 102, assignment 1

What are 2-3 objectives you want to accomplish in the next ten weeks of public speaking class?  

  • Goal 1:  Gain self- confidence.

I know, I know.  I seem like such a self- confident person.  But I get butterflies when I walk up to the public speaking podium.  Having had the benefit of taking a public speaking class before this one, I know nerves are the greatest obstacle to delivery of a good speech.  They can make a credible source sound shaky and unsure, even if the speech giver has valuable information.  When I was in middle school I would pretty much step in front of the class and talk with absolute abandon, not caring what the students thought, what grade I got, or what the teacher thought.  I always got pretty good grades.  I care more now, and my grades have slipped.  What’s up with that?

To aid me in this goal, I plan on rehearsing my speeches several times, out loud, in front of a mirror when a physical audience is not available.  I would prefer a “test” audience, since the fear of public speaking only comes about when I’m actually in public.  But confidence in my material will hopefully translate to confidence in my classroom presence.  I hope practicing will lead to such familiarity.

Here’s a link from the Disney Institute debunking public speaking fears:

People are constantly making improvements to their homes, adding new furniture or remodeling. They don’t love their home any less for what it may lack, they love it for what it is becoming, and what it could be. Have faith in yourself and that others will appreciate you in spite of your imperfection.

How about that!

  • Goal 2: Master organization.

My speeches from Spring quarter consistently lacked obvious organization.  They had introductions, bodies, and conclusions, but oftentimes the audience (or at least the professor) couldn’t tell what they were.  They made sense as essays, but for some reason floundered as speeches.  I plan to make this quarter’s speeches more explicitly organized. For example, for my thesis, I’ll say something like “During this speech, I would like to make the following main points”.  For transitions, say something like “going back to point one, which was _________”.  I would even go so far as to preface my thesis with “My Thesis is this” and begin my conclusion with the words “in conclusion”.  I know, I know, those are like the training wheels you take off once you learn how to be a good writer.  But, as I am learning, writing and speechwriting are not the same thing, and I hope to master the rules of speech writing as I have mastered essays.  The more obvious, the better!

Six Minutes is a speaking and presentation skills site that has a whole section devoted to organizing and writing effective speeches. For example, here’s an article on how to craft a shocking opening.

You can’t give the speech of your life until you first give life to your speeches.

They also have an article about what chiasmus can do for you.

the goal:  write speeches a President would be proud of.

The goal: write speeches a President would be proud of.

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