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Who Is Your Audience and What Do They Need To Hear?

Author: Catharine Niuzzo Honaman
With content adapted from the following web sites:
http://www.toastmasters.org/tips.asp 10 Tips for Successful Public Speaking
http://www.speechgems.com/persuaders.html A Guide to Persuasive Speech Techniques
http://www.eduref.org/cgi-bin/printlessons.cgi/Virtual/Lessons/Language_Arts/Speech/SPH
Delivering a Persuasive Speech
http://www.studyguide.org/cm101_persuasive_speech.htm A study guide for organizing a
persuasive speech



Time: 1 class
Preparation
Time:
1 _ hours to read lesson and explore web sites
Materials: Blackboard or large sheets of paper for recording ideas

 


Abstract
In preparation for the unit’s final project in which students will be making presentations concerning various forms of energy and their impact on multiple aspects of life, especially environmental health issues, students will brainstorm with you about the things that a person should and should not do when speaking publicly and what impression these behaviors create. Likewise, they will also identify the components that constitute an effective overall presentation.

Purpose – This is the Engage Lesson. Students will establish what to avoid and what to include in an effective public speaking situation.

Objectives
Students will be able to:
1. Identify word choices, sentence patterns, organizational formats, and verbal and non-
verbal behaviors that a speaker would use to create a strong oral presentation of a
text and mannerisms and speech patterns that a speaker should avoid.

Standards
READING
Strand 1: Concept 4: Vocabulary
PO 3. Determine how the meaning of the text is affected by the writer’s word
choice.
Strand 1: Concept 6: Comprehension Strategies
PO 4. Connect information and events in text to experience and related text
and sources.

Teacher Background
It would be very helpful to read the lessons on public speaking from the ninth grade unit language arts units, especially The Three Appeals in Rhetoric and The Powers of Persuasion.

Resource Websites
http://www.toastmasters.org/tips.asp 10 Tips for Successful Public Speaking
http://www.speechgems.com/persuaders.html A Guide to Persuasive Speech Techniques
http://www.eduref.org/cgi-bin/printlessons.cgi/Virtual/Lessons/Language_Arts/Speech/SPH Delivering a Persuasive Speech
http://www.studyguide.org/cm101_persuasive_speech.html A study guide for organizing a persuasive speech

 

 

Activity
1. It is suggested that this lesson be conducted in one class period. If your students need more reinforcement with the concepts, you could expand the activities into two class periods and reduce the Explore Lesson to three classes from four.

2. Ask the students to picture a speaker giving a presentation before a Congressional committee or a Presidential panel. Ask them to write down how that person should be dressed, how he or she should sit and what type of body language he or she should project, how that person should speak, and what he or she should avoid in order to create a responsible image of an expert, someone to be listened to and trusted on a matter, someone who knows what he or she is talking about and be able to persuade others that he or she is the authority on whatever issue is being presented. Give the students about ten minutes to record their ideas for the above categories.

3. Hold a class discussion to combine the ideas of the students into lists that you write up on the board or on large sheets of white paper. These will be used in the next lesson to help formulate rubrics for rating the effectiveness of an oral presentation before a government committee.

4. Here are some possible responses for the class discussion. Add your ideas onto these:

What To Do What To Avoid
How a person should be dressed:  
Neatly
In a business suit
Earth tones/conservative colors
Blue or black
Conservative hairstyle
Modest jewelry
Carry a briefcase
Disheveled
Casual or trendy clothes


How a person should sit and what type of body language he or she should use:

Sit up straight
Eye contact with the panel
Assured gestures
Try to relax
Try to create an appearance of responsibility and  trustworthiness
Slouching
Merely looking at notes
Shaking
Any indication of nervousness
Avoid acting haughty or arrogant

How a person should speak:

Loudly
Slowly enough for people to listen Comfortably
Speak in complete sentences
Use proper grammar
Use short, simple sentences for highlighting major  points
Vary the tone/intonation of one’s voice
Repeat key concepts
Use specific vocabulary

Use scientific vocabulary that is explained
Believe in your words
Use your information to persuade
Have a definite beginning and ending

Being too quiet/talking into one’s notes/papers
Racing through one’s text
Laughing (hysterically) as a sign of nervousness
Overly complex sentences that are difficult to follow
Too many short, simple sentences

Monotone

General word choice
Slang
Difficult scientific terms not adequately explained
Apologizing

Closure
Discuss with the students that it is not just the quality of one’s message, but also how that message is delivered that makes an impact.

Embedded Assessment
The quality and frequency of a student’s class participation is a good indicator of his or her engagement with this first lesson.

Homework
None

Embedded Assessment


PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:


an
NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award

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Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694


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Last update: November 10, 2009
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