Projects

Project #1. Ice breaking speech

For your first speech project, you will introduce yourself to your fellow club members and give them some information about your background, interests and ambitions. Practice giving your speech to friends or family members, and strive to make eye contact with some of your audience. You may use notes during your speech if you wish. Read the entire project before preparing your talk.

OBJECTIVES: 

– To begin speaking before an audience. 

– To discover speaking skills you already have and skills that need some attention.

Time: Four to six minutes

Project #2. Organize Your Speech

Good speech organization is essential if your audience is to follow and understand your presentation. You must take the time to put your ideas together in an orderly manner. You can organize your speech in several different ways; choose the outline that best suits your topic. The opening should catch the audience’s attention, the body must support the idea you want to convey, and the con­clusion should reinforce your ideas and be memorable. Transitions between thoughts should be smooth.

OBJECTIVES: 

  • Select an appropriate outline which allows listeners to easily follow and understand your speech.
  • Make your message clear, with supporting material directly contributing to that message.
  • Use appropriate transitions when moving from one idea to another.
  • Create a strong opening and conclusion.

Time: Five to seven minutes

 

Project #3. Get to the Point

Every speech must have a general and a specific purpose. A general purpose is to inform, to persuade, to entertain or to inspire. A specific purpose is what you want the audience to do after listening to your speech. Once you have estab­lished your general and specific purposes, you’ll find it easy to organize your speech. You’ll also have more confidence, which makes you more convincing, enthusiastic and sincere. Of course, the better organized the speech is, the more likely it is to achieve your purpose.

OBJECTIVES: 

  • Select a speech topic and determine its general and specific purposes.
  • Organize the speech in a manner that best achieves those purposes,
  • Ensure the beginning, body and conclusion reinforce the purposes.
  • Project sincerity and conviction and control any nervousness you may feel.
  • Strive not to use notes.

Time: Five to seven minutes

As you plan a speech, you must be absolutely clear about what you want the audience to do or know at the end of your talk. Your speech must have a purpose. Once you know your purpose, all other decisions relating to the speech – what information to include, organiza­tion and delivery – are easy to make, since you will measure them against their helpfulness in achieving your purpose.

There are two types of purposes: general and specific.

Project #4. How to Say lt

Words are powerful. They con­vey your message and influence the audience and its perception of you. Word choice and arrangement need just as much attention as speech organization and purpose. Select clear, accu­rate, descriptive and short words that best communicate your ideas and arrange them effectively and correctly. Every word should add value, meaning and punch to the speech.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Select the right words and sentence structure to com­municate your ideas clearly, accurately and vividly.
  • Use rhetorical devices to enhance and emphasize ideas.
  • Eliminate jargon and unnecessary words. Use correct grammar.

Time: Five to seven minutes

Project #5. Your Body Speaks

Body language is an important part of speaking because it enhances your message and gives you more credibility. It also helps release any nervousness you may feel. Stance, move­ment, gestures, facial expres­sions and eye contact help communicate your message and achieve your speech’s purpose. Body language should be smooth, natural and convey the same message that your listeners hear.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Use stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact to express your message and achieve your speech’s purpose.
  • Make your body language smooth and natural.

Time: Five to seven minutes

Project #6. Vocal Variety

Your voice has a major effect on your audience, A lively, exciting voice attracts and keeps listeners’ attention. A speaking voice should be pleasant, natural, forceful, expressive and easily heard. Use volume, pitch, rate and quality as well as appropriate pauses to reflect and add meaning and interest to your message. Your voice should reflect the thoughts you are presenting.

Time; Five to seven minutes

Your voice is the link between you and your listeners. It is the primary medium for conveying your message. What kind of voice do you have? Is it rich, exciting and easy to listen to? All speakers should work to develop a voice that enhances their words and attracts listeners’ attention. A good speaking voice has several qualities. It is:

  • Pleasant, conveying a sense of friendliness.
  • Natural, reflecting the true person­ality and sincerity of the speaker.
  • Forceful, conveying vitality and strength, even when it isn’t especially loud.
  • Expressive, demonstrating various shades of meaning, never sounding monotonous and emotionless.
  • Easily heard, as a result of proper volume and clear articulation.

If listeners can’t hear you, or if they find your voice annoying, they will not pay attention and your message will be lost.

Project #7. Research Your Topic

Your speech will be more effective if you can support your main points with statistics, testimony, stories, anecdotes, examples, visual aids and facts. You can find this material on the Internet, at a library and in other places.

Use information collected from numerous sources and carefully support points with specific facts, examples and illustrations, rather than with just your own opinions.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Collect information about your topic from numerous sources.
  • Carefully support your points and opinions with specific facts, examples and illustra­tions gathered through research.

Time: Five to seven minutes

The most challenging part of preparing a speech is gather­ing the material. If you want to convince an audience, you need the facts to support your message. But how do you find the informa­tion you need?

In Project 2 you learned about the different types of support material:

  • These are numerical ways of conveying information about incidents, data and events.
  • These are quotes or opinions from people with expertise on a particular subject.
  • Examples, stories or anecdotes. These relate an event that happened to you or someone you know, or someone you’ve read about.
  • Visual aids. These could be diagrams, charts, pictures, models or other objects. (More information about using visual aids appears in Project 8.)
  • Facts are verifiable information.

Lots of resources offer these types of information. Your chal­lenge is to find the ones that will help you with your presentation.

Project #8. Get Comfortable with Visual Aids

Your speech will be more effective if you can support your main points with statistics, testimony, stories, anecdotes, examples, visual aids and facts. You can find this material on the Internet, at a library and in other places.

Use information collected from numerous sources and carefully support points with specific facts, examples and illustrations, rather than with just your own opinions.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Collect information about your topic from numerous sources.
  • Carefully support your points and opinions with specific facts, examples and illustra­tions gathered through research.

Time: Five to seven minutes

The most challenging part of preparing a speech is gather­ing the material. If you want to convince an audience, you need the facts to support your message. But how do you find the informa­tion you need?

In Project 2 you learned about the different types of support material:

  • These are numerical ways of conveying information about incidents, data and events.
  • These are quotes or opinions from people with expertise on a particular subject.
  • Examples, stories or anecdotes. These relate an event that happened to you or someone you know, or someone you’ve read about.
  • Visual aids. These could be diagrams, charts, pictures, models or other objects. (More information about using visual aids appears in Project 8.)
  • Facts are verifiable information.

Lots of resources offer these types of information. Your chal­lenge is to find the ones that will help you with your presentation.

Project #9. Persuade with Power

The ability to persuade people – getting them to understand, accept and act upon your ideas – is a valuable skill. Your listeners will more likely be persuaded if they perceive you as credible, if you use logic and emotion in your appeal, if you carefully structure your speech and if you appeal to their interests. Avoid using notes because they may cause listeners to doubt your sincerity, knowledge and conviction.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Persuade listeners to adopt your viewpoint or ideas or to take some action.
  • Appeal to the audience’s interests.
  • Use logic and emotion to support your position.
  • Avoid using notes.

Time: Five to seven minutes

Today we are bombarded by persuasive messages. Adver­tisements try to persuade us to buy a particular brand of soft drink, coffee or antacid. Salespeople try to persuade us to buy an auto­mobile, a personal computer or a cellular telephone. We do it too, by trying to persuade our spouses to vacation in the Bahamas, per­suade a salesclerk to refund our money, or convince our boss that a certain proposal is better.

People who can speak persua­sively have a great deal of influ­ence. The ability to get others to understand, accept and act upon your ideas is a skill you can use every day at home, at work and in the community. It is also a characteristic of a good leader. Throughout history people have rallied around those who can speak persuasively.

 

Project #10. Inspire Your Audience

An inspirational speech motivates an audience to improve person­ally, emotionally, professionally or spiritually and relies heavily on emotional appeal. It brings the audience together in a mood of fellowship and shared desire, builds the audience’s enthusi­asm, then proposes a change or plan and appeals to the audi­ence to adopt this change or plan. This speech will last longer than your previous talks, so make arrangements in advance with your Vice President Education for extra time.

OBJECTIVES:

  • To inspire the audience by appealing to noble motives and challenging the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievement.
  • Appeal to the audience’s needs and emotions, using stories, anecdotes and quotes to add drama.
  • Avoid using notes.

Time: Eight to 10 minutes

In Project 9 you learned about the three types of persuasive speeches: those that inspire, those that convince and those that call listeners to action. This project focuses on the first type, speeches that inspire.

The purpose of an inspira­tional speech is to motivate an audience to improve personally, emotionally, professionally or spiritually. It encourages listeners to experience greater success, adopt higher goals or ideals, or contribute to the success or goals of an organization. The most common inspirational speeches are commencement addresses, speeches to motivate business or sports teams, political rally speeches and religious sermons.

An inspirational speech brings the audience together in a mood of fellowship and shared desire, builds the audience’s enthusiasm, then proposes a plan and appeals to the audience to follow this plan. The inspirational speech relies more heavily on emotional appeal than on the logical appeal found in the other types of per­suasive speeches. It strives to:

  1. Connect with listeners’ feelings, fears or goals at this particular time and occasion.
  2. Explain why and how the situa­tion is changing or why these feelings, fears and goals may be inadequate or counterproductive.
  3. Motivate and challenge listeners to adopt higher, nobler feelings, values and goals, including the benefits of doing so.