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How do you avoid being boring?. Developing your ideas for informative speeches. Advice # 1: A Good Start. Al Gore excerpt (attention step) Chili Peppers excerpt (full CARRP). Gaining Attention. Tell a story Establish common ground Use humor Refer to the speech situation or context

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how do you avoid being boring

How do you avoid being boring?

Developing your ideas for informative speeches

advice 1 a good start

Advice # 1: A Good Start

Al Gore excerpt (attention step)

Chili Peppers excerpt (full CARRP)

gaining attention
Gaining Attention
  • Tell a story
  • Establish common ground
  • Use humor
  • Refer to the speech situation or context
  • Use an analogy
  • Do an action
  • Do whatever you do with eye contact and confidence
  • Relate the topic to the audience
  • State the importance of your topic
  • Startle the audience
  • Arouse curiosity
  • Question the audience
  • Begin with a quotation
advice 2 consider the basics
Advice # 2 Consider the Basics
  • Clarity of Thought/Structure
  • Engaging Audience Interest
    • Supporting Materials
  • Chapter 14 Advice
    • Don’t overestimate what the audience knows
    • Relate the topic directly to the audience
    • Don’t be too technical
    • Avoid abstractions
    • Personalize your ideas
sample speech
Sample Speech
  • Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the uses of insects in our diet.
  • Central Idea: Insects have been, are and will continue to grow as an important part of the human diet because of their nutritional value.
sample speech7
Sample Speech

I. Insects are already a part of our daily diet.

II. Insects have been used by humans as a food source throughout history.

III. Insects have impressive nutritional value.

IV. Insects are likely to become a greater part of our diet in the future.

advice 4 use humor history intriguing science

Advice #4 Use Humor, History & Intriguing Science

And tell them something they can use

Scientific Monthly

1941 study took images of people sneezing at 1,260 frames a second

particles traveled anywhere from 61 to 94 feet per second!

introduction analysis
Introduction Analysis:
  • Attention: curiosity is aroused in #1-3 through vivid description.
  • Relating to Audience is limited to putting the listener into the speech with “you” and “your.”
  • Topic is clearly revealed in the first sentence of paragraph 4.
  • Credibility: personal experience? No expertise at all here, some goodwill?
  • Preview: clearly signals three main points.
structure of the body

I. Sneezing can be understood in terms of the superstitions surrounding it throughout history.

II. Sneezing can be understood as the body's complex reaction to a number of stimuli from pollen to strong emotion.

III. Sneezing can be understood as something that can be done safely and politely.

support materials
  • First Main Point, paragraphs 6-12
    • Extended Example: story of Xenophon from the Concise Dictionary of Ancient History--nice details
    • Extended examples across cultures: Zulu, India, western culture, (South Pacific--brief). All from Encyclopedia of Occult Sciences, Superstitions, and Folklore.
    • Also increased credibility with citation of info from Science magazine.
support materials16
Support Materials
  • Second Main Point, paragraphs 13-17
    • Stat. 104 miles an hour--no citation; problem
      • Fix it
    • Examples based on the discussion in the New York Times.
    • Example of June Clark--interesting, but no source cited.
support materials17
Support Materials
  • Third Main Point, paragraphs 18-19
    • Information in paragraph 18 is not cited.
    • Quote from Jane Brody in the New York Times.
language use
Language Use
  • Introduction:
    • "you," and "your"
    • preview is clear but not overly blatant.
  • First Main Point:
    • Concrete details and interesting word choices help to bring the story to life.
    • The strong word choices continue: "sneezing,” is called "the nose's most conspicuous function."
    • The language also continues to try to relate to the audience: "If you were walking down the dusty streets of Karim Nagar."
language use20
Language Use
  • Second Main Point:
    • He avoids getting overly technical; where it borders on technical he does it for humorous effect as in "overly active equilibriating mechanism."
    • Colorful word choice continues: "rampaging predators," and "banishing intruders."
    • Again, he addresses the audience: "If a man lunged at you with a knife.”
speaking well involves choosing the best words
Speaking well involves choosing the best words.
  • Accuracy means making sure you have the right word for the idea or object.
  • Clarity means making sure you have the right word for your audience in terms of their knowledge base and listening skills.
  • Appropriateness means that you have the right word for your audience in terms of their attitudes toward the situation, topic and speaker.
advice 6 use quality resources

Advice #6 Use Quality Resources

Take a hint from Stephen Colbert, Wikipedia is not always reliable

evaluating internet documents
Evaluating Internet Documents
  • Identify author
  • Identify sponsoring organization
    • if you can’t identify author or sponsoring org., don’t use the document!
  • Determine recency
    • copyright date
    • publication date
    • date of last revisions
    • Will using this source help or hurt my credibility?
goals for your speech
Goals for your speech:
  • Build on the sense of structure developed in the Paired Perspectives Speech
  • Find engaging materials--examples are especially helpful
  • Integrate them nicely into the presentation
  • Use language that is clear and lively
  • Develop a delivery style to enhance the material you have prepared.
how do i pull it all together in my speech

How do I pull it all together in my speech?

What are the components of good visual aids and delivery and how do I improve mine?

use visual aids to help communicate
Use Visual Aids to Help Communicate
  • Visual aids can add a great deal to the speech when nicely integrated.
    • But don’t let your visual aid substitute for the speech.
  • Visual aids can add attention and interest, but they can also distract.
    • Never pass around a visual aid during a formal speaking engagement.
    • Show it while talking about it; but leave it up long enough for all listeners to take in
    • Use common sense (no fires, weapons, live animals, no graphic images, etc..)
example of a visual aid line graph
Example of a Visual Aid:Line Graph


Movie-industry revenues


TV & home video



Box office

Percent of movie-industry revenues







Ch. 13-5

more visual aid tips
More Visual Aid Tips
  • Aim for a professional look.
    • Make sure whatever aid you use is large enough for all to see.
  • Practice delivery with it.
    • Know how you can best refer to it while you speak.
    • Practice the mechanics of it.
  • Additional tips in T ch. 13 and W p. 35.
example of a visual aid drawing
Example of a Visual Aid:Drawing






Ch. 13-4

visual aids in speech examples

Visual Aids in Speech Examples

Roller Coaster Speech (video)

Gore speech (PowerPoint+)

sample informative speech
Sample Informative Speech

I. Roller coasters offer a thrill that American’s love.

II. Roller coasters have had an up-and-down history.

III. Roller coasters at today’s parks offer a wide variety of designs and thrills.

IV. Roller coasters of the future will feature new developments like the pipeline.

clarity and structure
Clarity and Structure
  • Preview:
    • “Today I would like to discuss America’s addiction to the thrill of roller coaster riding and then present to you the past, present and future of the roller coaster….”
  • Connectives
    • Thrill-seeker or not, the question most of us ask ourselves as we are nearing the top of a coaster’s incline is, “Who would ever build such a contraption?” (transition)
clarity structure and substance
Clarity, Structure and Substance
    • “Let’s take a look at some of today’s hottest rides.”
      • “First,” “Next we travel,” “Now we venture,” “Finally,” (signposts)
    • “So far we have seen….” (internal summary)
    • “In conclusion…”
  • Support Materials
    • Smithsonian Magazine; Professor Farley; leading designer of roller coasters; and video
additional choices by speaker

Additional Choices by Speaker?

Critique strengths and weaknesses

elocutionary movement 18 th 19 th century
Elocutionary Movement 18th-19th century
  • A scientific approach to delivery
  • Gilbert Austin’s Chironomia,1806
  • Elocutionists had rules for
    • Stance
    • Broad gestures
    • Fingers
    • Eyebrows
  • Delsarte’s system introduced in the 1880s kept this alive
nonverbal delivery matters
Nonverbal Delivery Matters
  • The Speaker’s Body Matters
    • Personal appearance is important.
    • Physical stance is important.
    • Gestures, eye contact and facial expressiveness are important.
    • “People trust their ears less than their eyes.”
nonverbal delivery matters40
Nonverbal Delivery Matters
  • The Speaker’s Voice Matters
    • Pitch, rate, pauses, inflection, pronunciation, and articulation are the critical terms.
    • Paralanguage refers to the manipulation of these variables to make a single sentence have a variety of meanings.
practice advice
Practice Advice
  • Rehearse the speech out loud with the preparation outline.
  • Develop a speaking outline (see workbook pp. 29-31)
  • Practice aloud using the speaking outline (and put it down too)
practice advice42
Practice Advice
  • Polish and refine your delivery by practicing with others or recording your performance.
  • Arrange for a dress rehearsal so you are familiar with your space.
  • To do all of this requires two things
    • finish developing the speech content early
    • working with anxiety
courage is resistance to fear mastery of fear not absence of fear

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”

Mark Twain

Pudd’nhead Wilson, 1894

speech anxiety
Speech Anxiety
  • is very common
    • James McCroskey, a leading communication apprehension researcher, finds that 70-75% of American’s say they experience anxiety
  • is typically a response to the release of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol
    • an adrenaline rush should feel good and be useful
    • as adrenaline gives out and the stressor remains cortisol rises as adrenaline falls and there we have some physical and mental discomfort
  • is triggered by OLD brain wiring
    • “fight or flight” response
    • Speech trainer Mary Fensholt says: “The fear of public speaking is more than anything a fear of being eaten”
techniques for dealing with nervous energy
Techniques for Dealing with Nervous Energy
  • Think positively
    • Use visualization: imagine your success
    • The goal is communication, not perfection
  • Prepare
    • Work on content early; choose something you know
    • Work especially hard on introduction
  • On your speaking day, be proactive.
    • Do simple muscle relaxation
    • Create an outlet for extra energy before or during
    • Take slow deep breaths
    • Bring some water to drink
    • Use Visual Aids
    • Use eye contact with members of the audience
cognitive restructuring overturn your mental landscape
Cognitive Restructuring: Overturn your Mental Landscape
  • I can do __X__ well.
  • A little nervousness can help!
    • It is a source of energy
  • My audience wants me to succeed.
  • I have prepared well and will give my best.
  • I can share what I know.
  • I don’t have any strengths as a speaker.
  • I’m too nervous to do well.
  • THEY will think I’m stupid (boring, inarticulate)
  • I don’t have anything important to say.
  • It has to be a perfect performance.

They want you to succeed!

  • They feel your anxiety
  • They are eager to listen and learn
  • They hope to be taken by your enthusiasm and excitement about the topic
cognitive restructuring for your ideas about your audience
Cognitive Restructuring for Your Ideas about your Audience.
  • They want you to succeed!
  • They feel your anxiety
  • They are eager to listen and learn
  • They hope to be taken by your enthusiasm and excitement about the topic
goals for your speech49
Goals for your speech:
  • Build the skeleton first [the outline]
    • What’s the big goal, the take away idea?
    • What are the main points everyone should know?
    • How can you structure your ideas to make them easier to follow and retain?
    • What kinds of connectives can drive the points home?
  • Find engaging materials—examples are especially helpful
    • Integrate them nicely into the presentation
    • Use language that is clear and lively
  • Develop a delivery style to enhance the material you have prepared
  • Use Positive Preparation
you ll know you are mastering fear when you can think as you speak
You’ll know you are mastering fear when you can THINK as you speak
  • The thinking speaker is able
    • to respond to feedback
    • to adjust to the situation and interference
    • to achieve conversational delivery
    • to help the audience think that this is what the speaker want to be doing right now
eleanor roosevelt

“I believe anyone can conquer fear by doing things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experiences behind him.”

Eleanor Roosevelt