13 Start: Informative Speaking Assignment Sheet

Read carefully, it is essential to understand the assignment page. Creative Commons photo by pexel.com.

Informative Speech Assignment

This page shares a sample Informative Speech assignment sheet. You will check with your own instructor to determine the proper format for your class.

START:  Understand the Specific Purpose

“To Inform your Audience”

The PublicSpeakingProject.org identifies 4 types of Informative speeches: definitional, descriptive, explanatory, and demonstration. You may explain something, how to do something, how something occurs, or show us how to do it. As you can imagine, the list of topics is endless! This speech should be on any topic that you are comfortable with but should not tell us what we already know!

Understand the MN State Communication Pathways Learning Outcomes for this Assignment:

Students should be able to:

1.1 Demonstrate appropriate topic selection, audience analysis, organization, and content development in a speaker-audience setting.

1.2a Create and perform informative messages.

1.3 Practice effective verbal and nonverbal delivery techniques that are well suited to the occasion and audience.

1.4 Utilize appropriate research strategies to discover and ethically integrate supporting materials from diverse sources and points of view.

1.5 Demonstrate the ability to listen, analyze, and provide feedback on public discourse.

READ:  Read the Correlated Chapters and the Assignment Sheet 

  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter  7
  • Chapter 15

 

READ REQUIREMENTS

  1. Read, Watch and Brainstorm

Read Unit 2’s material and watch the videos posted in the content area to help you understand the process of public speaking.

  • Read Chapters Assigned
    • Examine the sample speech, sample outlines/notecards and complete “Unit 2” homework.
    • Now you are ready to begin to brainstorm for potential topics.
  1. Topic: The topic may be of your own choosing – it may be about a person, place or thing.  This speech can be one of the following: definitional, descriptive, explanatory, and demonstration. It is not a topic of controversy or persuasion. The topic should be adapted to the audience and not tell us something we already know. The topic must be engaging at a college level.

PRACTICE:

3. Time limit = 6 to 8 minutes Practice your speech while someone keeps track of time so that you are within the 6-8 minute time zone. (late penalty after 8 minutes).

DO:

4. Organization and Outline: a rough draft of the speech is due as noted in the syllabus – bring a copy to class as noted and add it to the correct drop box. The FINAL DRAFT is a TYPED full-sentence outline complete with parenthetical citations and typed works cited, goals area, and an audience analysis report as noted below and outlined in the worksheet.  Please bring a printed copy of your outline, bibliography, and audience survey report to class on the day of your speech presentation. **Remember you do not write an essay.

  •  Audience Analysis: You will also analyze your audience prior to writing your speech so that you write a more effective, better-adapted speech. The key to well-adapted speeches is “knowing your audience.” Also, you should avoid predictable topics where we all have a strong opinion already. Try to put your own spin on the topics.

 

  •     You will ask 3 questions related to your topic as outlined below and pass out the survey on slips of paper to members of our class.  You will use the class’s feedback in your audience analysis report due with Speech 2. NOTE — you may place a “No Comment” if anyone asks too personal of a question.

 

  •     About the survey:

1) Ask one “fixed response” question – where we can select the right response to gain more information on your speech 3 topics. For example:

“Do you think a person should be fined for not wearing his or her seatbelt in the front seat?”   Yes or No

OR, give limited fixed responses

How many speeding tickets have you had?

___ None

___ 1

___ 2-3

___ 3-4

___ More than 5

2) Ask “Likert scale question” — which measures the strength of a response on a “scale” concerning your speech 3 topic — For example:

On a scale of 1-5, how often do you wear your seatbelt?”

Never 1 2 3 4 5 Always.

*On this question, make sure to add the two anchors such as the “never” and the “always”

3) Ask an unbiased open question — which allows a free response on your Speech 3 topic, such as:

Why or why not should people be required by law to wear their seat belts?

Note: Try not to “change your mind” on your topic, as this will mean a new survey.

 

  • Write an audience analysis report and attach this to your outline & works cited materials, placing it in the Assignment drop box by the date indicated in the syllabus. In your audience analysis report include responses to these questions:

 

  1. What did you learn about our class from our postings in response to your questions?
  •         List the questions.
  •         Report the data. What was the “average” or “mean” response to the “fixed response” and the “ranked question?” You can find this out by simple division. If you need help, let me know. Summarize how the class responded to your open question.
  1.  What did you infer about your audience from this data?  In other words, what did you guess about us based upon your data?
  2.  How did you use the actual responses and you own inferences to adapt to your audience?   Address this thoughtfully in a paragraph. Be specific in your response.

5. Sources/Bibliography: you MUST use at least 3 CREDIBLE sources, cite (state) them aloud fully in the speech, cite them in your outline and in an ATTACHED BIBLIOGRAPHY which follows a standardized format (MLA or APA)….You need at least 3 sources. NO WIKIPEDIA, NO ONLINE DICTIONARIES, etc., USE GREAT SOURCES! I will help you understand if they are relevant and reputable during a pre-speech “check-in” via SKYPE.

When I say cite, I mean state: who, where and when — who said it, when they said it and where it was published.  If you are using a website – MAKE SURE IT IS CREDIBLE!  Hint:  if it is written by Billy Bob Joe, but you can’t find his credentials or even last name – that’s a problem. For more information on assessing the credibility of sources, see your text.  Check out https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ if you need help with APA style – this is my FAVORITE site.  You can also use https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ .

 

6.  Delivery: Extemporaneous – 5 note cards are allowed.

PowerPoint may be used. When effectively constructed, the PowerPoint slides often work as “notes” for the speaker as well as provide a visual representation of the materials for the speaker. If you elect to use PowerPoint, DO NOT READ from your PowerPoint Presentation. If you need help learning PowerPoint, please talk to me or email me and I am willing to work 1-on-1 with you to learn this. Also, do not hold cards and the PowerPoint clicker as it looks messy and is easy to fumble or drop. You may use 1 typed page of paper if you do not “touch” it – no joke, don’t pick it up if you would like to make a KEYWORD outline instead. I will check your notecards. If you have a script, I will ask for it.

6. Visual Aid The use of one visual aid is required. See advice in your text on visual aids. You may NOT pass around your visual aid. It must be large enough to see from the back of the room. You may use PowerPoint (but have a second version in your Dropbox or email). You may use online sites (but make sure that it will not link to an unwanted site after you are done – e.g., this often happens with YouTube sites). You can project an image/object even with the document camera in most rooms – just make sure that there is one and you know how to use it.


REFLECT:

7. A Self-Analysis Critique – We will record speeches in class and you will complete the Self-Analysis Critique after presenting this speech in the “Quiz” area as noted in the schedule. You will need to your own recording device (camera/iPad/phone/etc.) or bring a flash drive if you do not have a recording device (then I will videotape it and we can transfer the speech to your flash drive). I will ask that you set personal goals for your public speaking skills before the speech as well as after watching the speech–remember-you are the ONLY one who sees this video!!! However, you may make a meeting with your instructor to go through your speech video if you’d like.

8.  Basic Grading Criteria:

  1. I will look at how you organized the material. Does it follow a logical order?
  2. How did you introduce and conclude the speech?
  3. Did you have at least 3 sources? Were they indicated on the outline and the bibliography? Most importantly, are they credible sources?
  4. How did the audience respond? How did you adapt to us? What did you say about how you adapted?
  5. Did you use effective eye contact and facial expressions?
  6. How did you use your body and movement?
  7. How did you use your visual aid?
  8. Can we hear you…clearly…articulately…vividly?
  9. Did we understand the material?
  10. Was the material meaningful?

 

*Remember, if you only fulfill these requirements, your speech will be average. The excellent speaker goes beyond these criteria and brings herself or himself into the speech.

 

Informative Speech Worksheet

MN State Transfer Pathway Learning Outcomes for Public Speaking

Students should be able to:

1.1 Demonstrate appropriate topic selection, audience analysis, organization, and content development in a speaker-audience setting.

1.2a Create informative messages.

1.3a Practice effective verbal techniques that are well suited to the occasion and audience.

1.4a Utilize appropriate research strategies to discover and ethically integrate supporting materials from diverse sources and points of view.

Directions:

this is just a suggested outline format, you may personalize your speech, transitions, number of subpoints and sub-subpoints. Please upload a typed copy of this worksheet to D2L as noted in the schedule and class announcements.

Hand this in as directed in the schedule. THEN – after revisions, you will hand in a typed full-sentence (complete with your parenthetical quoted sources in the text) version of this worksheet along with your Works Cited page and your audience analysis on the day of your speech presentation as well as within the drop box online.  Bring a print copy to class as noted in the schedule.

 

Name:  _______________________________________________________________________

Topic: ________________________________________________________________________ 

Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about _____________________________________

 

ADD AUDIENCE ANALYSIS REPORT:

  1. What did you learn about our class in response to your questions?
  • List the questions.
  • Report the data. What was the “average” or “mean” response to the “fixed response” and the “ranked question?” You can find this out by simple division. If you need help, let me know. Summarize how the class responded to your open question.

 

2.  What did you infer about your audience from this data?  In other words, what did you guess about us based upon your data? Address this thoughtfully in a paragraph. Be specific in your response.

 

3.  How did you use the actual responses and you own inferences to adapt to your audience?   Address this thoughtfully in a paragraph. Be specific in your response.

ASSIGNMENT GOALS:

  1.  What is one practice tip you will use from the online readings or videos?

 

 

2. What did emotional, physical, and or mental response you experience when presenting last speech? How did you feel after? What would you like to change how you feel when you give a speech?

 

 

3. What are 3 goals you have for your speech 2 content (Content=what you say)

 

 

4. What are 3 goals you have for your speech 2 delivery (Delivery= How you say it).

 

 

OUTLINE WORKSHEET

(Remember, you can have 2-5 main points)

INTRODUCTION

The introduction serves to spark the interest of the audience and thus draw us into your speech. To facilitate this, write responses to the questions below in a short paragraph:

 

Attention Material (try a simple story, refer to the occasion, refer to recent or historical events, refer to previous speeches, refer to personal interest, use a clever quote, use a startling statistic,  use an analogy, cite a definition, use a music/video clip, use of suspense, ask a question, etc.):

 

Gain Goodwill of the Audience (tell us how this relates to us, for this type of speech it is helpful to share who we can use this information in our daily lives, professional lives, etc. Give the audience a reason for listening.):

 

Credibility Material (Generally, in this area, you’ll establish external credibility by stating why you care, why you can be trusted, or how you know your materials, etc. For this type of speech, show us you are sincere, tell us why you chose the topic, how you know this, any training you’ve had, etc. External sources are especially important to establish your external credibility.):

 

Thesis & Topic Preview:
Your thesis is a simple declarative sentence that captures the “point” of your speech. Write it here: _________________________________________________

The preview outlines your speeches main points:

Today we’ll explore, first ______________, second _____________ and third ______________.

 

(Transition into Body of Speech, e.g. Now that _______, or, Let’s go to ____________.)

 

BODY

 I. Main Point #1 (The first aspect, point, or idea about what you are speaking upon – write a simple full sentence here): (Two to five main points may be used. Generally, three is a great number. You may adapt the number of points for your purpose…):

A. Sub-point #1: Sub-sub points are generally your “support materials.” This is where testimony (lay, expert and personal) examples (real or hypothetical), narratives (short stories), statistics (verifiable facts in numerical expressions, from valid sources), are used. A general “golden rule” often shared by public speaking instructors is to: appeal to the head with logos with a “fact” or “statistic;” appeal to the heart with pathos or emotional stories/narratives and examples; appeal to the gut with ethos or testimony, then think about mythos – a sense of community, sharing how this information is useful to the listeners).

 

B. Sub-point #2:

 

C. Sub-point #3:

 

(Transition’s Summary: _______________________________________________________)

(Transition’s Preview :_________________________________________________________)

 

 II. Main Point #2 (second aspect, point, or idea about the topic)

A. Sub point #1

 

B. Sub point #2

 

C. Sub point #3

 

(Transition’s Summary: _______________________________________________________)

(Transition’s Preview :_________________________________________________________)

 

III. Main Point #3 (third aspect, point, or idea about your topic, etc.):

A.  Subpoint #1 

 

B. Subpoint #2

 

C. Sub-point #3

 

(Transition to the end… ______________________________)

CONCLUSION

(Write a short paragraph of what you will say; include all of the following functions of conclusions):

Signal an End (Signals to the end often begin with terms such as “in conclusion,” but of course we can be more creative, e.g. “Today we’ve….” or “So many lessons can be learned by…” “Now you can see why I am fascinated with…” “As you begin to make your own decision about the topic of…”):

Summary (please review in the order covered, as the summation should match your thesis):

Goodwill Audience Tie (tell us again how we benefit from knowing this, show the connection between you and the audience):

Concluding Clincher (never, ever end on something abrupt, e.g. “that’s it” — plan out the end, better yet, tie back in some fashion to the attention device used in the introduction):

 

Works Cited

If you do not know how to do this, see:

Grading Rubric

This did not “paste well” – will be updated.

Informative Grading Rubric Explained for ratings 1-4

Competency Excellent (4) Good (3) Fair (2) Unsatisfactory (1)
Competency 1:
Narrows Topic and Thesis Appropriately for Audience and Occasion
Excellent

Topic focus and speech thesis are exceptionally appropriate for:

·         General Purpose (e.g., persuasive speeches employed persuasive strategies and were not merely informative in nature; informative speeches were informative and not persuasive.).

·         Time Constraints (speech was within the time limit).

·         Audience
(speech clearly indicates that the speaker has adapted  to the audience).

·         Occasion

Satisfactory

Topic and focus are mostly appropriate for purpose, time constraints, and audience.

 

Overall:

·         General Purpose was clear to distinguish but not as effective had the speaker employed additional rhetorical strategies.

·         Speaker was slightly rushed or slightly under the time limit.

·         Audience analysis was obvious but the approach to the speech did not fully capitalize on the analysis.

 

Fair

Topic and focus are appropriate for only 2 of the following:  purpose, time constraints, and audience.

 

Overall:

·         General Purpose was less clear to distinguish but not as effective had the speaker employed additional rhetorical strategies.

·         Speaker was rushed or under the time limit.

·         Very few references to the audience were made.

 

Unsatisfactory

Topic and focus are not appropriate for either purpose, time constraints or audience.

 

Competency 2:

Supporting Material is Appropriate based on Audience and  Occasion

 

Excellent

Supporting material is exceptional in quality, variety, and relevance from diverse sources and points of view.

·         Support was used (e.g., narrative, statistics, testimony, and examples) and relevant for each main point.

·         Sources of support were identified and were credible (e.g., lacked bias, recent, etc.).

·         Demonstrated critical thinking and avoided logical fallacies with use of evidence.

 

Satisfactory

Supporting material is appropriate in quality and variety but could have been from more diverse sources and points of view.

·         Support was used for most, but not all main points (e.g., narrative, statistics, testimony, and examples) and was most relevant to the main point.

·         Most often sources were identified and were mostly credible.

·         Demonstrated an above-average level of critical thinking and mostly avoided logical fallacies with use of evidence.

Fair

Some supporting material was used, but mostly the speaker did not identify the source of the support or depended upon personal experience only.  More use of diverse sources and points of view should have been used.

·         Support was used in some cases but generally needed more relevance and diversity in type (support was not diversified between statistics, testimony and examples).

·         Few sources were identified and the credibility of the sources was unclear.

·         Some logical fallacies were present.

Unsatisfactory

Supporting material is inappropriate in quality and variety.

Competency 3:

Organizational Pattern is Appropriate to Topic, Audience, Occasion, and Purpose

Excellent

Exceptional introduction and conclusion; the body was exceptionally clear and included a logical progression within and between ideas.

Introduction Included:

·         Effective Attention device

·         Tie to the audience

·         Credibility statement

·         Thesis

·         Overall preparation for the body of the speech

Body included:

·         Discrete and distinguishable 2-5 main points

·         Main points organized in a discernable pattern appropriate for the speech purpose

·         Logical and coherent arguments complete with supporting materials

·         Transitions were used that reviewed the previous idea and previewed the next point

 

Conclusion:

·         Indicated End

·         Reviewed Main Points

·         Tied back to the audience

·         Included a Memorable End

Satisfactory

Appropriate introduction and conclusion; reasonably clear and logical progression within and between ideas.

 

 

Introduction Contained at Least:

·         Attention device

·         Goodwill relevance & Credibility

·         Thesis

 

Body Contained at Least:

·         2-5 main points that are distinguishable

·         An identifiable organizational pattern

·         Transitions that indicate movement but might not both preview and review adjoining ideas

·         Some use of support in logical argumentation

 

Conclusion Contained at Least:

·         Indication of an end

·         Reviewed points but perhaps not in the order articulated in the speech

·         Clear end but perhaps not quite memorable

 

Fair

Some indication that an introduction and conclusion were used but did not include a full development of these areas; less clear progression within and between ideas.


Introduction Contained at Least:

·         Indication of a planned beginning

·         A sense of goodwill

 

Body Contained at Least:

·         2-5 main points

·         Some distinction between the main points

·         Some indication that the idea was shifting from point to point

·         Some sense of logic in the construction of the order and arguments

 

Conclusion Contained at Least:

·         Indication of the end and a restatement of the goals of the speech

·         A final statement was made to indicate the speech was complete

Unsatisfactory

Hard to distinguish a beginning, middle or end. No development of an introduction or conclusion; no clear, logical progression within and between ideas.

Competency 4:
Language is Appropriate to Topic, Audience, Occasion and Purpose

 

Excellent

Language is exceptionally clear, vivid, and appropriate.

·         Identified with the audience:
lacked bias, offensive language choices, over-used jargon and inappropriately technical language

 

Satisfactory

Language is reasonably clear, vivid, and appropriate.

·         Mostly Identified with the audience and included at least 3 of the listed areas:
lacked bias, offensive language choices, over-used jargon and inappropriately technical language

 

Fair

Language is mostly clear, sometimes vivid, and generally appropriate.

·         Mostly Identified with the audience and included at least 2 of the listed areas:
lacked bias, offensive language choices, over-used jargon and inappropriately technical language

 

Unsatisfactory

Language is unclear or inappropriate.

Competency 5:

Effective Vocal Delivery for Audience, Occasion, and Purpose

Excellent

Exceptional use of vocal variety in a conversational mode including:

·         Variety in Rate, Pitch, and Intensity to Heighten and Maintain Interest.

·         Exceptional Articulation, Pronunciation, and Grammar.

Satisfactory

Acceptable use of vocal variety in a conversational mode.  Acceptable articulation.  Very Few pronunciation or grammatical errors. Some overuse of vocalized pauses.

Satisfactory

Some hint of vocal variety in a conversational mode but more monotone is evident.  Much evidence of articulation errors.  Many of pronunciation or grammatical errors. Vocalized pauses were excessive.

Unsatisfactory

Failure to use vocal variety or a conversational mode.

Unacceptable articulation, pronunciation or grammar.

Competency 6:
Effective Visual Delivery for Audience, Occasion, and Purpose

Excellent

Exceptional posture, gestures, bodily movement, facial expressions, eye contact, and appearance. Physical Behaviors Support the Verbal Message.  Visual aids enhance the message.

Satisfactory

Acceptable visual aids, posture, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, and appearance.

Fair

Some effort made to use visual aids, posture, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact and appearance in delivering the message, but improvement is needed.

Unsatisfactory

Unacceptable visual aid use, posture, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact or appearance.

 

 

INFORMATIVE SPEECH GRADING RUBRIC (SHORT FORM)

Name: ___________                                     Percent: _______                   Final Score out of 200 Possible: ____________

 

Competency 1: Narrows Topic and Thesis Appropriately for Audience, Occasion &Time Comments:
1 2 3 4
  • Adaptation
1 2 3 4
  • Time
Competency 2: Supporting Material is Appropriate based on Audience and  Occasion Comments:
1 2 3 4
  • Use of Current Sources that were academic in nature (balanced, not just .com or .org)
 
1 2 3 4
  • Explanations were Clear
 
1 2 3 4
  • Oral Citation 1 (Who, where, when)
 
1 2 3 4
  • Oral Citation 2 (Who, where, when)
 
1 2 3 4
  • Oral Citation 3 (Who, where, when)
 
Competency 3: Organizational Pattern is Appropriate to Topic, Audience, Occasion and Purpose Comments
1 2 3 4
  • Attention Device
1 2 3 4
  • Tie to the Audience/Credibility
1 2 3 4
  • Thesis
1 2 3 4
  • Organized Body
1 2 3 4
  • Transitions (reviewed and previewed)
1 2 3 4
  • Brakelight
1 2 3 4
  • Summary
1 2 3 4
  • Tie Back to the Audience
1 2 3 4
  • Memorable End
Competency 4: Language is Appropriate to Topic, Audience, Occasion, and Purpose Comments:
1 2 3 4
  • Effective Language Use
Competency 5: Effective Vocal Delivery for Audience, Occasion and Purpose Comments:
1 2 3 4
  • Clear tone with minimal Vocalized Pauses (umms, ahhs)
1 2 3 4
  • Effective Rate/Pace
1 2 3 4
  • Conversational Style (does not sound memorized or read)
Competency 6: Effective Visual Delivery for Audience, Occasion and Purpose Comments:
1 2 3 4
  • Strong Eye Contact
1 2 3 4
  • Minimal use of Notes/PowerPoint
1 2 3 4
  • Use of Gestures
1 2 3 4
  • Use of Body Movement
 
1 2 3 4
  • Use of Visual Aid (referred to it when used, put away when not, was not distracting, etc.)
 

License

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The Public Speaking Resource Project by Lori Halverson-Wente and Mark Halverson-Wente is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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