|This assignment supports the following lesson objectives:
- Demonstrate knowledge of methods used in evaluating speeches
- Apply common techniques for accepting and managing listener feedback
Assignment Overview This writing assignment explores providing objective and valuable suggestions for improving a speech, as well as the thought process related to learning from feedback received through a critique.
- A one- to three-page paper (12-point font, 300 to 400 words) written in a word processor, such as MS Word
In this activity, you will watch a video clip of a speech. You will apply effective methods of critiquing a speech to prepare written feedback that you would provide to the person who delivered the speech. You will also evaluate your feedback in terms of how the person receiving it could best respond to it to improve his or her next speech.
Perform the following tasks:
Step 1: Review the information presented in the lesson about the elements of a speech that are commonly evaluated. These include:
- Speaker Commitment to the Subject
- Suitable to the Occasion and Audience
- Clear Purpose
- Fresh Point of View
Step 2: Select one of the following informative speeches to view and critique. These speeches are also available in the Multimedia Library for Chapter 3 on the Course Compass website.
Step 3: As a starting point for writing your critique of the speech, copy the table of evaluation criteria below and paste it into your word processing document.
You will use this table to determine and organize your feedback.
||Question to Ask Yourself
|Speaker Commitment to the Subject
||How important is the subject to the speaker?
|Appropriateness for Audience and Occasion
||Is the topic and delivery relevant and useful to the audience?
||Can you identify the goal(s) the speaker has for delivering the speech?
|Fresh Point of View
||Does the speech challenge the audience to think about something in a new way?
||Does the speaker tell the truth and have the best interest of the audience at heart?
||Does the speech content provide new information supported by facts, statistics, and so on?
||Is the flow of information given in the speech well organized so the speech flows from one topic to the next?
Step 4: Enter the title of the speech you selected in the Speech Title row at the top of the table.
Step 5: Watch the speech, pausing as necessary, and enter any initial thoughts that may be useful in writing your critique of the speech.
Step 6: Review the information in the lesson that covers strategies for giving effective feedback.
The recommendations given in the lesson include:
- Begin the critique by making a positive statement.
- Focus on select areas for improvement.
- Make your comments in an organized fashion.
- Provide specific feedback about what needs to be improved.
- Be honest but respectful and tactful in your comments.
- Personalize comments by indicating how you were influenced by the content or behavior, using “I” instead of “you.”
- Stress the positive aspects of the speech.
- Offer specific suggestions on how to correct a problem.
- Provide a plan of action for how to improve the next speech with examples.
- End the critique with a positive statement.
Step 7: Use your speech evaluation table and guidelines for giving effective speech feedback to write a critique of the speech you selected.
Strive to include feedback on as many aspects of the speech as possible and to structure the feedback in a way that would make it valuable and understandable to the person delivering the speech.
Step 8: Review the information in the lesson that provides guidelines for handling feedback you receive from others.
These guidelines include:
- Be sure to focus on what is being said about your speech and your presentation, not how it is being conveyed to you.
- Avoid taking the feedback personally or emotionally.
- When feedback is general or vague, seek out specific problems and suggestions from the feedback source.
- Evaluate the feedback provided using your critical thinking abilities.
- Prepare a plan of action for improving your speech and presentation skills prior to delivering the next speech.
Step 9: Put yourself in the shoes of the presenter whose speech you watched and critiqued.
Imagine that you are the speaker who received the critique that you wrote. For each guideline you reviewed in Step 8, write a sentence or more that documents your thoughts about the critique comments and observations. How would you use the information, observations, and suggestions in the critique to deliver your speech more effectively?