Preparing to Speak

Author: Jill Torrey Emmons

Time: 1 period
10 minutes
Materials: Copies of the presentation plan handout

This mini lesson is meant to help students review the elements which must be present in their persuasive speeches. This is the final day before students will begin presenting their speeches as part of their final project. Time should be given in the students’ Social Studies classes to prepare the various maps and visual aids which they will use to supplement their presentations. Students will also be given some of this class period in order to put the final touches on their speeches (public advisory on arsenic contamination). The lesson will take approximately the first half of the class period.

Purpose – This goal of this lesson is to allow students to explain what they know about speech delivery in preparation for the presentation of their final projects

Students will be able to:

1. Articulate what elements must be present in a successful, persuasive speech by composing a “presentation plan.”

National English Education Standard
Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.

Teacher Background
The instructor should be familiar with all the requirements of the final project, as well as have developed the criteria with which to assess the final presentations (suggestions are provided in the previous and succeeding lessons).

Resource Websites
None for this lesson.


1. Before class begins, have copies of the Presentation Plan handout ready to distribute to students as they walk in the door.

2. When the class is settled, inform the class that the first part of today’s class will be spent on a speech preparation exercise and the second part will be for them to finish revising and practicing their final project speeches. For the activity, ask the students to carefully read over the questions on their handouts. By pondering and answering these questions, the students will create a presentation plan which will help them review all the components necessary for writing a successful speech.

3. After giving students sufficient time to thoughtfully answer all of the presentation plan questions, tell them to keep this sheet and refer to it as they prepare to deliver their speeches. These sheets should be collected the day of their presentations and assessed.

4. The remainder of the class period may be used to allow students to work on their final projects. Be sure that all are on task and do not misuse the time. Float around the room to aid students in their editing process.

Encourage students to quietly practice their speeches in class if they feel comfortable doing this, or perhaps practicing in the hallway if this is allowable. You may also suggest that students choose a partner to help them with the proofreading of their speeches.

Students will prepare their final projects to be presented the following day.

Embedded Assessment

Assess students “presentation plans” to monitor how well the students are prepared to deliver their final project speeches. This activity will also demonstrate how well students understand the objectives of the project.

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

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


Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694

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Last update: November 10, 2009
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