Next, you will watch a speech and grade/critique it. I hope that, from this activity, you learn that the concepts from the course are important in real-world public speaking situations, and I hope you learn how important it is to make your points crystal clear to the audience. (Most students don’t repeat or stress their points enough.)
Read the questions and the grading criteria below before you watch the speech, so you know what to look for. As you’re watching, outline the speaker’s supporting points and evidence (questions six and seven). When the speech is done, go back and answer the rest of the questions below. Then, grade the speech using the grading criteria at the bottom. (Give the speaker a number grade in each of the listed categories.)
- Was the delivery mostly read, memorized, impromptu or extemporaneous?
- Did the delivery help the speaker make his or her point or did the delivery detract or distract from the message? In what ways? Give examples.
- What factors enhanced the speaker’s ethos?
- What factors detracted from the speaker’s ethos?
- What was the speaker’s thesis? Was the thesis narrow enough to be achievable in this context?
- What points did the speaker make?
- What evidence did the speaker use to support each point? (List them in full sentences.)
- What type of evidence was used in each case? (List each individual piece of evidence. Label each as, “story/example,” “statistic,” or “expert testimony.”)
- Which pieces of evidence help convince you of the point and which did not? (Pick two that worked well for you and explain why and one that did not work well and explain why.)
- Did the speaker use pathos effectively? Give a specific example.
- Did the speaker adapt his or her presentation to the audience? How? What could he or she have done better in this regard?
- Did the speaker anticipate the objections that an audience member might have to his or her points or thesis?
- Did the speaker choose his or her words well or poorly? Give an example.
Oral Presentation Grading Criteria
- attention getter
- preview points
- state thesis
_____/6 Organization clear
- audience can repeat points almost verbatim
- points are simply and similarly worded
- points all directly, logically, and obviously support thesis
- points are separate—do not overlap
- clear transitions between each point in the body
_____/6 PowerPoint Slides
- 16 or fewer words per slide
- free of spelling and grammar errors
- point at top of each evidence slide
- source at bottom of each evidence slide
- overall, slides increased effectiveness of presentation
- a story/example is used in conjunction with a statistic or expert testimony to help prove each point
- the source is cited in a way that helps persuade the audience
- the evidence convinces the instructor that the point is true
- Spoke conversationally
- Seemed confident with the material
- Good visual aids
- No distracting habits
- state thesis
- preview points
- end with a sense of finality
- seemed prepared and confident
- explained his or her background pertaining to the subject
- successfully used emotion to convince instructor of a point
_____/6 Anticipated Objections
- anticipated most obvious audience objections
- effectively answered audience objections
- showed basic respect
- changed speech to fit unique characteristics of audience
6 = excellent
5 = acceptable
4 = needs work
3 = missed point
0 = no attempt