In Spring 2019, I took Honors Public Speaking.
Public Speaking is an introductory course on communication skills, specifically focusing on oral presentations, listening, providing constructive feedback, and presentation making. Throughout the semester, we wrote and presented 9 different types of speeches, including informative, persuasive, demonstrative, and more. Each speech allowed us to explore a different style of speech each time, while also learning when they were most appropriate to use. With some of the speeches, research and bibliographies were required, which helped the class practice research skills through databases. The Honors component of the class included two “speeches about speeches”, where the class had to present a speech on a speech of our choice through analysis and relating it to our own public speaking strengths and weaknesses.
I loved this class because Dean Brent Roberts did an amazing job making us want to come to class and learn the art of public speaking. His humor and jokes made me laugh every day, and it honestly brought so much positivity to my semester. He was just as passionate as he was funny when it came to public speaking. He had so much experience and knowledge as a highly esteemed faculty member on the “do’s and don’ts” of public speaking, which made the class relevant. Because we gave a speech almost every week, I gained so much practice and experience with communicating in front of people. Before this class, I was comfortable with my public speaking abilities, however; I often got nervous. This class helped me move past the anxiety more, and I felt like I became a better speaker and communicator.
The artifact that I chose was my outline for my Informative Speech. I chose this because I felt like this was among my strongest speeches in the class. I was informing the class on the health impacts that fast food has on the body. I chose this topic because I was hungry at the time I was coming up with a topic, but it turned out to be an interesting research project. I broke up my speech into sections that Dean Roberts emphasized: the introduction, thesis, main points, conclusion. I made my outline concise with powerful words and phrases to jog my memory on what I wanted to say. My favorite part of my speech was my “hook”. Before I gave my speech, I played a “French Fry Guessing Game” with the audience. I displayed pictures of different french fries from different fast food restaurants, and the audience had to guess the restaurant. The purpose of this exercise was to emphasize that fast food has become a common part of American culture and is extremely recognizable because of that. I felt like this made my speech not only more creative, but stronger in delivery.