6 Read: Special Occasion Case Study 2 – Sydney’s Tribute Speech to her Great Grandmother

Case Studies

Sydney in the studio.
Sydney in the studio! Photo from Lori Halverson-Wente

In this Case Study,  you’ll meet Sydney and hear her Tribute Speech given on her Great-Grandmother. You will review her outlines, notecards and self-critique assignment. Sydney’s work will parallel a speech assignment, worksheet, and self-critique your instructor may assign you.

Additional student work will be shared with sample speeches, outlines, and self-critiques in subsequent Chapters.

Meet Sydney!

Sydney is a student who invites you to travel together with her through her public speaking class. She will serve as a face of a true student, perhaps a “typical student” – she is a PSEO (post-secondary enrollment option) student in an entry level 1000 Public Speaking class at her local college. She enjoys hanging out with friends, her pets, and public speaking.

While she enjoys public speaking, she unreservedly shares that, unlike most, she would rather just get up and “wing it!” Her goals are to better prepare her extemporaneous delivery. She wants to reduce her fear of “losing her words!” She laughs that she knows what she is “supposed” to do in her speech prep, but tends to memorize or want to use the full manuscript of her speech. In this class, she is learning to trust her ability to become “planned, not canned” and to use “concepts, not words” in her preparation.

As you complete Unit 1, Sydney will share her ideas and experiences through reflective video clips and a video of her final product, her “Speech 1.” Additionally, you will read and analyze her completed assignments and written work. Her reflective video clips will explain what challenges she faced, what tips worked best for her, and how she evaluated her preparation process and speech delivery. Her speech was re-recorded outside of class in the college’s studio to increase audio and video quality.

Thanks, Sydney, for sharing your voice! Your ideas, opinions, and coursework will serve to represent the “best practices” of public speaking in Special Occasion settings for other students to emulate.

Sydney’s Speech and Commentary

Sydney’s Tribute Speech Delivery

TO BE ADDED – MEDIA SPACE DOES NOT COPY/PASTE
(see: https://mediaspace.minnstate.edu/media/Lori+H-W+01+DUb.mov/0_4b7fkor4)

Sydney’s Tribute Speech Outline

Special Occasion Tribute Speech Preparation Full Sentence Outline

Title: The Lessons my Great Grandmother didn’t know she taught me.

Specific Purpose: To pay tribute to my Great Grandmother

Thesis: My great grandma is worthy of tribute due to the hard life she lived. Today I will tell you first of her courage, second, her lack of understanding, and third, how she forced me to forgive.

OR – My Great Grandma taught how to express my courage, to understand, and to forgive.

Visual Aids:  Simple PowerPoint Presentation with photos of boarding schools from this time era.

Introduction

On December 11th 2014, I celebrated a life. A life that taught me how to express my courage. A life that taught me to understand, and a life that taught me to forgive. On December 11th 2014 I celebrated the life of my great grandma, for on December 11th of 2014, my great grandma passed away. I am sure each of you can relate to losing an influential loved one, for whatever reason that may be, and having the strength to celebrate their life. My great grandmother never had an easy life. She had many flaws. That is why I admire her, not for her good qualities, rather the qualities that made her an imperfect character. My Great Grandma taught how to express my courage, to understand, and to forgive.  Now that I’ve told you of my great grandma, let’s get to the details.

Body

I.  My great-grandmother taught me how to have courage.

A. My great grandma was a native American, in a time period when being native American came with tremendous pain and hatred.

B.  When she was a little girl, she was taken from her family and home. Sent away to a reform school, her entire life was flipped upside down. They took her name, her identity, her religion and the clothes from her back. They took her doll; the last thing from her family she possessed and had her watch as the burned it in a mass fire. All this in the attempt to make her “white.”

C. Despite the fear and the sorrow she felt, she was brave. She had enough courage for everyone in this room. Through the entirety of reform school, she held her head high and took her life and turned it beautiful. Even though she faced more pain, she faced it head on, courageously.

(Summary:  Now that I have covered courage.)

(Preview: Let’s move on to my lesson in understanding.)

II. My great grandma taught me about understanding through the fact that she never did.

A. Unfortunately, my great grandma was incredibly closed minded. She was raised a certain way, in a time when things were very black and white.

B.  My great grandma was born in 1912, was sent to a reform school ran by white men, and grew up before movements for change were called. Therefore, she was awfully closed-minded about gender, race, religion, and just about everything under the sun.

C.  Always being witness to the hate she voiced over controversial topics, made me aware of how little she understood others and their issues.

(Summary: Now that we covered understanding.)

(Preview: let’s discuss forgiveness.)

III. My great-grandmother taught me forgiveness inadvertently.

A. Now, my great grandma did not intend to teach me this lesson, and to be clear, it wasn’t really my great grandma who taught it to me, but more my grandma herself. Let me explain.

B.  Like I mentioned before, my grandma was very closed minded, very black and white. She was taught that women were incredibly inferior to men. My great grandma had two sons and one daughter, and that daughter, my grandma, was not treated very well. She was pushed so far over the edge, that she dropped out of high school, moved out at the age of 16, and ran away to Winona with a boy.

C.  My grandma was never able to forgive her mother (my great grandma) even up to her last breath. I have seen how this really only affects and harms my grandma. I see the pain she feels from the mistreatment and neglect she received from my great grandma and because of that, I have chosen to forgive her for my grandmother, in hopes that someday she will too.

Conclusion

Thinking about who we have lost will lead us to see all they have taught us. Even if they didn’t know they were teaching us anything. That is what my great grandma did, she taught me three lessons: to be courageous, to understand, and to forgive. Everyone has lost someone or something, not always concerning death, that has influenced us to the extent my great grandma influenced me. My great grandma made her fair share of mistakes, but those mistakes shaped who I am today.

 

hands
Creative Commons @ pexels.com photo

Speech 1 Speaking Outline Excluding Introduction and Conclusion

Body

I.  My great grandmother taught me how to have courage.

  1. Native American during time of pain.
  2.  Reform School took her identity, religion, clothes with mass fire.
  3. Fear, sorrow yet brave.

(Summary:  Now that I have covered courage.)

(Preview: Let’s move on to my lesson in understanding.)

II. My great grandma taught me about understanding through the fact that she never did.

  1. Closed minded thinking.
  2. Born 1912 in “her era” – gender, race, religion.
  3. Witness to the hate.

(Summary: Now that we covered understanding.)

(Preview: let’s discuss forgiveness.)

III. My great-grandmother taught me forgiveness inadvertently

  1. Unintended lesson grandma taught.
  2. Grandma was not treated well by great grandma (dropped out at 16 and ran away to Winona with a boy).
  3. My grandma was never able to forgive her mother, but I can.

 

Sydney’s Sample Tribute Speech Note Cards 

1. 

December 11th, 2014 – Celebrate life

 

Courage

 

My Great Grandma taught how to express my courage, to understand, and to forgive.

 

2.

I.   Courage

Native American  — Reform School — Courage

 

 II.    Understanding

Closed minded — 1912 / gender, race, religion  —  Witness hate.

III.   Forgiveness

Unintentional – Grandma 16 Winona — I can forgive for her

3

Lost / Lessons unintended…

 

That is what my great grandma did, she taught me three lessons: to be courageous, to understand, and to forgive.

 

Great-grandma mistakes…

 

 Shaped who I am today.

 

 

Sydney’s Self Critique

woman's hand on mouse
Creative Commons @ pexels.com photo

Speech 1 Self Critique

Directions: After you give your speech, ASAP, watch your video one time without stopping it. Next, watch it a second time and answer the questions below, rewinding, stopping and playing, etc. as needed. Answer the questions honestly. Use specific examples to support your responses in short paragraphs. Remember to use APA or MLA to correctly quote the materials you use from the online book to support your replies as directed in the question. Note Sydney’s sample replies for an idea of the amount and type of content you might use. A nice, careful job here will help bolster your overall course grade.

  1.  How did you practice for this speech (honestly)? What went well in your preparation and what will you do differently for your next speech? Answer fully below in two short paragraphs:
  • [Sample Reply from Sydney: I had slowly written my speech from the first day of class up until the weekend before I gave it, double and triple checking to make sure my dates, stories, and examples were 100% accurate. I read it out loud as I wrote it and reread it at several points while still writing it. I practiced it to my dog, my mom, my dad, and several of my closest friends. I tried to practiced natural movements, but I doubt any of my movements looked so calm while I presented.In one of the power points, a specific slide taught the 4 types of speech delivery, extemporaneous being the type we would use. I feel like I memorized most of my speech, not all of it, but there were parts that felt over-practiced. In my next speech I may not practice as much with the hopes my speech doesn’t sound rehearsed.]

 

  1. Describe your emotional, physical and mental responses you experienced when presenting your speech. How did you feel after it?
  • [Sample Reply from Sydney: I was scared to give my speech. I was confident with my words, but I was worried they would upset others. I felt like I was the “white” girl up in front of everyone speaking about oppression. I am Native American, but more Irish; one look at me would scream “white”. That fact made me extremely nervous. I wanted to avoid eye contact, but knew I couldn’t which just made everything worse. I also became very stiff and awkward because I was sure at least one person must have been thinking, “What do you know about oppression?”After the speech I realized that yes, at the start people were probably thinking this has nothing to do with her, but by the end I had opened their minds to a whole new type of oppression. The one focused on Native Americans.]

 

 

  1. Watch your speech carefully. Now describe your greatest strength concerning the CONTENT of your speech (content is “what” you said, delivery is “how” you said it; be careful not to mix these up). ALSO, for this question, include a specific example from your speech to illustrate your response (yes, quote yourself and describe the delivery of that quote); explain why this is a strength and include a quote and citation from the textbook to support your explanation.
  • [Sample Reply from Sydney: My greatest strength in content was my choice of words. a few examples include, “tremendous pain and suffrage”, and “forced me to forgive”. This is a strength because I made the audience feel the deep connotation that went with my words. The textbook states “Delivering a tribute and commemorative speech involves careful attention to language” (p. 17-5). I was very careful when choosing my words so that the audience felt what I felt.]

 

  1. Now watch your speech carefully and describe your greatest strengths concerning the DELIVERY of your speech (delivery is “how” you said it, content is “what” you said). ALSO, for this question, include a specific example from your speech to illustrate your response (yes, quote yourself and describe the delivery of that quote); explain why this is a strength and include a quote and citation from the textbook to support your explanation.
  • [Sample Reply from Sydney: My greatest strength while delivering was pausing. I tried to pauses after every bit of information that was hard to hear or process. For example, after I told the story about the burning of my great grandmas doll, I paused before stating, “this was all in an attempt to make her white.” I then paused again. The textbook states, “…you will encode and deliver a message which will then be decoded by audience members.” on page 1-10. My pauses were in places that I felt the audience needed a little extra time to decode my message.]

 

  1. What is your tentative topic for the Informative Speech? Why did you decide upon this topic? Where will you look for research for this topic?
  • [Sample Reply from Sydney: I wish to inform my classmates on the importance of owning a pet and what it can do for your emotional, mental and physical health. I decided on this topic because, first, I love animals and I actually hope to get my vet tech degree and one day become a wildlife rehabilitator, and second, because my pets, even the fish, have done so much for me. I will most likely look online in the library’s Academic Search Premier (or other) database for experiments concerning the correlation between health and being a pet owner.]

 

 

 

 

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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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