Assignment 1: CHOOSING A PERSUASIVE SPEECH TOPIC
For this module, google the descriptor “Persuasive Speech Topics” and list from the websites at least ten topics that would make for a good persuasive speech. Don’t choose topics that don’t interest you. Pick ten that you would like to speak on sometime if you get the chance. List the ten and reflect on the topic for a few seconds to sense what direction you might take on it. You do not need to write your response down, but feel it, sense it inwardly. Obviously these are topics on which people hold varying positions. When you think on each of the ten, see how strongly you feel about them.
Send along your list of ten for me to see.
Assignment 3: SPEAKING ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS
We will cover the special occasion speech more in Module 15, but let me make sure you see this bit of advice that will always help a special-occasion speech. Put it in your “for keeps” pocket.
ONE PIECE OF ADVICE: When you are asked to speak on special occasions such as at a wedding or funeral, commemoration or dedication, the key to hitting a home run is to share a brief story. For example, if you speak at a friend’s wedding, don’t rattle off a list of adjectives such as “She is nice, friendly, kind and generous.” Tell a story instead; a short story that gives a window into your relationship with your friend from the past. For example, “Tiffany and I used to join my grandmother in her kitchen and eat half the batter before she ever got the cookies in the oven.” You might want to add a few details, but that kind of story is what an audience wants to hear. And after all, Dr. Lucas says that telling a story is the way to make maximum impact in any speech, including those at special occasions.
Let me start a list of Special Occasion speeches and have you add at least three more settings where you might be asked to share a special speech.
VETERAN HONORING SERVICE
Give me three more.
In our day, it is not comfortable to tell people that we want them to change their mind. We are a pretty tolerate people. We usually say, “live and let live.” But if persuasive speaking means anything, it means that you want people to come around to your point of view. Whether it’s on recycling, burning the flag or organ donation, we have things that matter to us and which we want others to agree with us on.
For this assignment, suggest why you think persuasive speaking is more difficult to do. I have mentioned that we are more tolerate than perhaps a past generation, but what else? Why is it harder to give a persuasive speech than it is an information speech? Your thoughts?
Assignment 5: LEARNING ONE WAY TO ORGANIZE A SPEECH
In this chapter, Lucas observes that a good speech needs an organizational structure. You can’t just toss out a handful of ideas willy-nilly and hope the audience sorts it all out and takes it all in. Part of a good speech is giving it structure, an organizing structure. For example, you might use the steps of a process to organize the speech. Let me have you try it. If you are describing how to make a bed to a person who has never done that (and I’ve met a few in class), talk him/her through the process. Mention at least eight steps that one would need to go through to move from a bare mattress to a fully made bed. Lay out the steps as you would envision them.
Assignment 6: LEARNING ANOTHER WAY TO ORGANIZE A SPEECH
In this chapter, the author says that you might also organize your speech around a time line. Often called a chronological order, this structure is sometimes used with speeches about historical events. Let’s give it a try. If you are describing an event when you or a person in your family went to the hospital, tell us what caused the need for the hospital trip to arise and take it from there in a series of points. Beginning with the accident or onset of a physical problem, take us on the trip with you. Take us up to the point where you or the person you are describing was able to return home. This type of speech is called chronological because it follows a time line and lets the audience follow the narrative as realistically as possible. Create your outline of events that unfolded in your hospital experience.