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Oral Presentation Assignment: Tips and Guidelines


Oral Presentation Assignment 

1. Every student is required to deliver one 3-3 ½ minute speech on a topic related to a co-culture (see below). It is worth 10% of your course grade. Refer to Blackboard for the due date. You will upload your speech video through the MindTap (Bongo) assignment link that you will find in the Oral Presentation Assignment Link on the left-hand tool bar in Blackboard.

2. You will also submit an outline of the speech. The outline score is included in the overall speech evaluation rubric. I strongly suggest that you follow the template I provide for your outline (see below). You will upload your Outline in the same assignment where you upload your speech, in Bongo. Important note: The outline is NOT an essay. It is written in an outline format. See below.

3. Your speech will be graded using the Departmental Scoring Rubric (review on Blackboard). Additional assignments related to the oral presentation: (see syllabus/Learning Modules for due dates) You will be providing your classmates with feedback (peer critiques) in Bongo. These peer critiques are included in your overall assignment score. Failure to do them will reduce your overall speech assignment grade by 10%.

Speech Topic
Choose a co-culture that you identify with (refer to Chapter 1, Section 1-4c). As stated, examples of co-cultures include: age (e.g., teen, young adult, adult, senior) activities and interests (e.g., fashion, gamer, biker, runner, poker club, tennis player, etc.) co-nationality (e.g., Cuban American, Dominican American, African American, etc.) sexual orientation (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, etc.) physical disability (e.g., wheelchair user, hearing-impaired, etc.) religion (Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, evangelical, atheist, agnostic, etc.) occupation (health care, education, science, social work, veterinarian, dental, clerk, etc.) and so many others…Choose three specific, unique “things” or qualities about this culture. These three “things” become the main points of your speech.

For example, you might select basketball as a co-cultural activity. Your three main points might be:
I. How to find a pick-up game in New York City. 
II. Some distinctive ways basketball players interact with each other while on the court. 
III. The importance of having the right basketball shoes to play the game well.

As you can see, you can be quite creative with your topic, and I encourage you to be creative! If for example, you chose “holiday culture” and tell us about Christmas, we’re likely not to listen since most of us (including non-Christians) know a lot about it already. So, ask yourself, “What will my audience find interesting about my co-culture?” And “What information is reasonable to share in 3 minutes?” 

Speech Topic

Research Requirement
The main points you select are up to you and the entire speech should be worded by you (not directly from a source, not plagiarized and not written by anyone else). But you will need to find and cite one piece of research somewhere in your speech. The research you cite should provide an interesting example, or statistic, or testimony to clarify an idea; to add interest to something beyond common knowledge.
Watch out for plagiarism! Suppose you find a great article about your co-culture and you copy/paste the information into your outline and present it to us. Is this plagiarism? YES! Never copy/paste information and have us believe the information is something you wrote.

How do you know when you need to cite someone? Is the information common knowledge? If so, you don’t need to cite a source. For example: George Washington was the first president. Oranges are a type of fruit. The primary colors of light are red, blue, and green. Is the information something someone said directly? If yes, then you need to cite it. “As Abraham Lincoln famously said, ‘Four score and seven years ago…’” Is the information someone’s idea or the result of someone’s research? If yes, you need to cite it. According to research from the Pew Research Center… Researchers at the University of Maryland found… How do I organize my speech? Once you select your three main points (the three specific things you want to tell us about related to your co-culture), you’re on your way to organizing the speech. All speeches have an Introduction, Body, Conclusion.

How do I present/deliver my speech? A good presentation style keeps your audience engaged and listening through “conversational quality.” This requires:  A lot of practice! You’ll want to come close to memorizing your speech, but you also need to sound spontaneous (conversational and upbeat) rather than sounding monotone or like you’re reading to your audience.  Use vocal variety (changes in volume rate, pitch) to create an expressive, engaging vocal style. Use your hands naturally to help convey your ideas Maintain eye contact with your video recording device—so your class audience will feel engaged as they watch your speech video.

Organizing Your Speech:
Use this template to arrange your speech!

    I. Gain Attention (do not begin with “Hello my name is and my topic is…”)
    II. Relate to audience
    III. Provide a thesis (a single sentence where you reveal the topic)
    IV. State your personal relationship to the topic (credibility statement)
    V. Preview the three main points you’ll be discussing, in one clear sentence. 

 I. First Main Point
 A. Sub Point
 1. sub-sub point
 B. Sub point
 1. sub-sub point

 II. Second Main Point
 A. Sub Point
 1. sub-sub point
 B. Sub point
 1. sub-sub point


III. Third Main Point
 A. Sub Point
1. sub-sub point
B. Sub point
1. sub-sub point

I. Signal the ending 
II. Restate the main points you just discussed
III. End with a clincher

On the next page, you will see an example of how to use this template for your own speech.

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