Communications Class

Purpose: This assignment gives you an opportunity to practice speaking before your classmates via a Discussion Board Forum video thread (not more than 4 minutes long) in which you demonstrate your ability to speak confidently to an audience and to use vocal variables, gestures, and eye contact to add meaning or impact to your speech. You also must view your classmates’ speech presentation exercise videos and then post responsive typed replies (no fewer than 3 replies) that provide substantive constructive feedback to classmates.

Description: Follow these instructions for this assignment:

Step 1: Choose a Speech Presentation Text from the List of Approved Options: See the “Discussion Board 3 Presentation Options” document for the eight text options that are approved for use in this exercise. Choose 1 of these.

Option 1: Isaiah 40:1–8 (NLT)
Option 2: Isaiah 40:9–17 (NLT)
Option 3: Isaiah 40:25–31 (NLT)
Option 4: Romans 8:31–39 (NLT)
Option 5: “The Gettysburg Address” (President Abraham Lincoln)
Option 6: “Youth” (Samuel Ullman)
Option 7: “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” excerpt (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)
Option 8: “Duty, Honor, Country” (General Douglas MacArthur)

Access these text options via this link.

Step 2: View Speech Presentation Tutorials: View Deborah Grayson Riegel’s three brief but excellent speech presentation tutorials—“The Importance of Vocal Variety in Presentations” and “The Importance of Body Language in Presentations” and “Overcoming Nerves When Giving a Presentation”—via these links. Make a record of her specific points and recommendations as you watch these. You will need these notes later in this exercise.

Step 3: Practice Using Your Voice, Gestures, and Eye Contact as You Present Your Text to an Imagined Audience: Implement Riegel’s advice by practicing your delivery of the chosen text option to an imagined audience. Focus on using your voice, gestures, and eye contact appropriately to add meaning, mood, and impact to the words as you present them. Bear in mind the following rules of thumb as you do so:

  • Voice: Use vocal variety (volume, pitch, tone), clear articulation and proper pronunciation, and meaningful pauses to add emphasis, mood, or impact to your words as you present.
  • Gestures: Use meaningful hand movements, when appropriate, to add emphasis, mood, or impact to your words as you present.
  • Eye Contact: Your goal, even when reciting a text to an audience, should be to maintain eye contact with audience members—your camera in the case of this assignment—at least 80 percent of the time, something you can achieve if you practice sufficiently before you present to your audience.
  • Confidence: Speak in a conversational tone and at a normal pace. State your words assuredly, clearly and completely. Avoid nervous mannerisms like purposeless sounds (e.g., “uh” or “um”) or purposeless movements (e.g., swaying, leaning, keeping hands in pockets).

Step 4: Record Your Presentation: Create a video presentation (not more than 4 minutes long) in which you present your chosen text option to your audience. Again, focus on using your voice, gestures, and eye contact appropriately to add meaning, mood, and impact to the words as you present them.

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