COMM 1110 Fundamentals of Speech
Intro Speech Assignment
Your first speech will be a speech of self-introduction. Your objective is to present yourself to the audience by way of describing a particular character trait that you possess. Essentially, you should tell us why you know that the particular trait you have chosen to discuss with us is so central to your character. Additionally, you should plan your speech so that you address four specific criteria for evaluation that will be used to assess your speech's effectiveness:
Organization—Your speech should have a clearly identifiable beginning (introduction), middle (body), and end (conclusion). Your introduction should allow you to do two things: 1) gain the audience's attention in a novel way related to your focus; and 2) clearly indicate the one character trait that you plan to develop during the body of the speech. In the body of your presentation, you should present 2-3 complete-sentence main points, which follow either a chronological or a topical order. For example, if a student were to emphasize loyalty as a character trait, he or she might discuss how that trait has manifested itself throughout his or her childhood, throughout his or her secondary school years, and throughout his or her adult years so far (chronological). The same speaker might, however, choose to use a topical order for his or her main points. If so, he or she might point out that loyalty is central to his or her personal friendships, family relationships, and work relationships. The speaker's conclusion should also serve to accomplish two things: 1) reinforce the relationship between the particular character trait and the speaker; and 2) provide closure for the speech by leaving the audience with a relevant final thought—how might they benefit from getting to know the speaker, given his or her particular character trait, for example.
Supporting Material—Speakers should draw on their own experiences to support each of their main points. As you reflect on your life, you should be able to relate interesting examples that support your claim that you do, in fact, possess the character trait that is the focus of your speech. Indeed, the vast majority of the speech's time should be devoted to this form of personal narrative.
Delivery—Speakers should practice and present extemporaneous—not read, memorized, or impromptu—speeches. That is, speakers should speak from limited notes (nothing larger than two 3" X 5" note cards or one 4" X 6" note card), and they should maintain frequent (the majority of the time) and varied eye contact with all of the audience.
Time Limit—Speakers should plan and practice for a 2-3 minute presentation.