How-To Speech Assignment

In this video we'll discuss the assignment that anchors our work for

this entire class, the information speech.

So, let me start off by just responding to the question.

What is the assignment, and why are we doing it?

Well, this course is about working on a set of public speaking skills,

we're finding these skills works best when you're working with actual content, right?

When you have to wrestle with actual decisions.

What's go where, how do you explain this concept or an example,

you got to have content to do that.

So, the informative speech just gives us a way to practice these things.

Now, the genre that we're working in here is presenting information.

This is probably one of the most common types of speeches that you'll give in

professional life.

So you're doing informational speaking when you give an update to your office or

when you're explaining new research.

When you're explaining a new program to the public if you work in the public

sector, right?

These are all informative speeches.

They're just simply timed where you have information and

you want others to understand that information.

So that's what this assignment is, that's what this course is all about.

Normally, the topic for your presentation is pre-selected, right?

So, if you have to provide training to your office on new well,

that's your topic.

You don't get to pick.

You don't get to show up to that talk and be like, I want to talk about honey bees.

Hm, I think they're neat, right?

You don't get to do that.

Now this is a class, this is a speech class.

So you do get to pick your topic.

But the chief constraint for us is audience.

So your audience might be from the other side of the globe in this class.

So we want a speech topic that stays pretty general.

Okay I want you to work on something that's professionally relevant to you,

but honestly a speech on a software update that is only relevant to your

landscape design office, well that's not really doable for us, okay.

None of the audience in this class would understand that.

So I think, you want to stay general.

What's some interesting stuff that you can share with us?

And that still lives a ton of potential, fascinating ideas.

You might think about this speech as your TED talk moment.

You can talk about things.

That's a topic idea, things.

I saw a great speech on maple syrup, what it is,

how it's harvested, who eats it the most.

You can talk about history.

I live in Seattle and I think the history of the city is interesting.

If I was going to do an informative speech on it,

I would talk about the great Seattle fire of 1889.

Big event, it totally shaped what Seattle became.

You can talk about places or travel destinations.

So I saw an online speech that talked about three places to visit in Tokyo.

What they are, why they're important, and a little bit of their history.

I saw a really interesting online speech about legislation.

So the speaker went through what the legal rights are for

transgender people in the Republic of Ireland.

You can explain organizations,

I saw someone talk about the Indian steel industry.

I did not know much about that topic before that speech.

You can talk about systems,

I saw a good one explaining how Chinese media is organized.

Maybe you just explain an idea, I saw one on the evolution of money.

I saw a talk that simply explained what big data is and how it's analyzed.

You can talk about a process that you know a fair bit about.

I saw a talk on tire maintenance, man that's a helpful talk.

I don't know much bunch about tire maintenance and that helps me out.

And the list goes on and on.

Your speech for this class is going to be between 5 and 12 minutes so

that might influence your topic selection.

Obviously a detailed history of Brasil is not going to be doable in 12 minutes but

idea is to use this speech as a practice space, to refine the skills

that you're going to use in short and long and informative presentations.

We're going to spend a fair bit of time in class talking about slide design and use.

Now it is up to you whether or not you use slides in the final presentation right?

It might be good for your speech, but it might not be possible for

you to do the slides, right?

You might not have the technical capacity to speak and upload slides.

In that case?

Don't include slides, that's totally fine.

It might be that your talk doesn't need slides,

and that the slides would detract more than they would add to the presentation.

So you can include slides if you are able and interested but

slides are not required for this assignment.

Let's go ahead and

walk through the rubric we're going to be using in the informative speech.

Now, each item on this rubric reflects good speaking habits, but

they also reflect what we're going to be doing in this class.

Now, the rhetorical cannon shape the instruction for the informative speech.

And they shape the design of the rubric, we're going to evaluate in terms of

invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery.

So, the informative speech assignment anchors this entire class.

Each item on that rubric is a discrete skill,

it's something you need to be able to do with a speaker.

We're going to spend time working through each item on that rubric in this class,

as we're working on your speech.

The idea being that you learn these skills better if you're actively

working on a speech project.

You're actively working with content.

The final assignment anchors our discussion here.

And though the skills themselves are transferable.

You can use these skills any time you need to present information


  • To add a Speech Assignment: Click add assignment (A) on your Section Home page. Then click speech (B) from the list of assignments.

  • This is the speech assignment setup page. First, enter a name for your assignment, then decide how much the assignment is worth, and whether you want to make it available to your students now or later (now means once you’re finished creating the assignment). Select how you want to assess your students’ speeches: in class (as each speech is delivered in the classroom) or online (you will watch video recordings of each speech). Next, set the date and time your students will need to have posted their speech videos.

  • To turn on the student self review, click the on-off switch. Choose a rubric for your students from the drop-down menu. To edit a rubric, select it from the menu and click view/edit rubric. To turn on the student peer review, click the on-off switch. Enter the due date and time for the completed peer reviews, and select a rubric for your students. If you want to edit a rubric, click view/edit rubric. Select the number of students you want in each peer review group. Groups will be created for you, but if you want to rearrange the students in each group, click view/edit group. Next, select who will be allowed to view the peer review comments and rubrics.

  • Select the rubric you want to use as you grade. To view or edit a rubric, click view/edit rubric. If you don’t want to review or grade this speech assignment, turn instructor review/grading off using the on-off switch. If you see a lock next to the instructor review/grading on-off switch, it’s because you decided to review the speeches in class, and therefore can’t turn this option off. Next, include a message for your students in the textbox, or attach a file (optional). Then click next: review & assign. TIP: If you turn self-review and peer review on and turn instructor review/grading off your students can use Connect to practice their speeches, view them, and get peer feedback as practice prior to delivering the speech in class. Any such “practice” speech will be scored automatically, resulting in full points for any student who submits a video and 0 points for students who do not submit videos.

  • Here you’ll review the selections you made. If you want to make any changes, click set up your assignment (A) to go back to the previous page. When you’re finished reviewing, click assign. That’s it!

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