Learning Outcomes for Public Speaking

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Learning Outcomes will vary by institution and, indeed, the implementation of the agreed upon Common Course Outline will vary by instructor. This manual follows the Minnesota State Transfer Pathway Learning Outcomes. Subsequent chapter materials will highlight the Learning Outcomes associated with the materials shared.


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.

1.2 Create and perform informative and persuasive 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.


Basic Advice to Start

Basic Advice comes from Lori Halverson-Wente, Essy Sims, and Ren Olive — this video was one of the first we created, and still use it in class. It offers 15 Tips for Effective Public Speaking (https://youtu.be/NfEwnVCgwHo)



15 Tips for Effective Public Speaking

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Advice to get you Started

15 Tips:

  1.  Please do not think that simply writing everything out on note cards and reading your speech from them is acceptable. Instead, it is best to practice the concepts, distilled from your written outline, and put them on a few note cards. Still, you must practice, practice, practice.
  2. Move away from the podium — the podium must not be a barrier between you and your audience; it may be a barrier, as well, between your message and the audience’s reception of it.
  3. Often it is a good idea to literally talk yourself through the process of writing out your speech. If you hear it out loud, it is often easier to gauge its quality. Moreover, reading it out loud further familiarizes you with your speech in preparation for its actual delivery. If you hear it, you may make certain it sounds good.
  4. It is a good idea to write out your speech by hand, practice it probably no more than three or four times, and get to intimately know the content. Do go through it to get an accurate estimation of time limits, cutting and editing as needed. Above all: DON’T MEMORIZE IT.
  5. Do take the time to go through your speech and work on parts of the speech that you are most unfamiliar with. (intro, transitions, quotes, etc.). In other words, work on pieces of your speech (keeping in mind how the pieces fit into a whole) so as not to be intimidated by certain parts of your speech.
  6. Again, regarding the use of note cards, keep in mind that you don’t want to deliver your speech with a note card. Thus, less is more. Work more with the few crucial concepts of your speech instead of reading off the minutiae of your speech from your note cards.
  7. Note concepts, not words. Do not fall in love with any particular fancy (or “academic”) word or phrase because your speech should be “planned not canned.” In other words, keep your speech conversational.
  8. Please try to make citations easy. Put your source(s) on your powerpoint. and glance at it. Do not read your speech from your powerpoint boxes.
  9. Again, powerpoint should not be used as note cards or manuscript. Whether on powerpoint or notecards, a good rule is 5 words x 5 words — keep it brief.
  10. Remember that powerpoints are but visual aids. Use a black background so you don’t get “eyeshine.”
  11. Remember to always have a back-up when it comes to technology. It is the case that powerpoints do not always work. So, be prepared to ditch them if necessary; or, email the powerpoint to yourself so you do have a back-up ready to go.
  12. Regarding bodily movements, do practice and plan out your movements. Also, consciously set aside occasions while delivering your speech to breathe. This will help your body make it through this stressful situation.
  13. Also, do practice before a mirror. practicing general movements and facial expressions.
  14. Perform your speech before a friend who doesn’t talk back. In other words, find supportive friends to listen to your speech, and then, once done, give feedback.
  15. Finally, in the spirit of “planned, not canned,” do not over practice your speech. And, especially, if all else fails: “fake it till you make it.”




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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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