A Guide to Speech Workshop


A Guide to the Speech Workshops

This is a guide to the Speech Workshop, which is designed as an activity throughout a semester. Teachers may schedule two weeks between each workshop and arrange the Speech Marathon around the end of the semester. For example, Workshop 1 can be scheduled on Week 5, Workshop 2 on Week 7, Workshop 3 on Week 10, Workshop 4 on Week 12, Workshop 5 on Week 14, and the Speech Marathon on Week 15.

The duration of time of each workshop depends on how long the instructor allows students to discuss and do activities. The range could be from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours.

Workshop 1

The Main Goal of Workshop 1

To introduce “what a good speech is” and “how to select a topic”

The Steps in Workshop 1

  1. Using Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement speech as an example (transcript provided below), teachers may analyze the idea of what a good speech is and explain the essential elements of a good speech.
  2. Exercise: Students may practice selecting a point and developing it.
  3. Discuss how to select a topic: the general purpose of the speech.
  4. Exercise: Students need to think about their general topic
  5. Discuss how to come up with the specific purpose.
  6. Homework: Students should bring their topic and their specific purpose to Workshop 2.

* Reminder to the instructor: Teachers need to plan ahead to inform students of each speaker’s speech time, possibly from 4 to 6 minutes, depending on the numbers of students in the class.

Workshop 2

The Main Goal of Workshop 2

To introduce “how to develop the opening” and “how to draft the body”

The Steps in Workshop 2

  1. A quick review of workshop 1
    1. Exercise: Students may talk to their partners about their topics.
  2. Discussing how to open with a bang, teachers may give examples of strong openings and use J. K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech as an example (transcript provided below).
  3. Exercise: Students should practice their opening.
  4. Discuss how to draft the body.
  5. Exercise: Students need to develop their speech body.
  6. Homework: Students should think of their opening and speech body before Workshop 3.

Workshop 3

The Main Goal of Workshop 3

To introduce “how to conclude the speech” and “the use of transition”

The Steps in Workshop 3

  1. A quick review of workshop 2
  2. Exercise: Students should share their speech opening and body with their partner.
  3. Discuss how to conclude a speech: strong conclusions and suggested ways of closing.
  4. Exercise: Students need to develop their conclusion.
  5. Discuss the use of transition.
  6. Students ought to examine if their speech has proper transitions.
  7. Reminders: Make one’s words clear in the speech.
  8. Examples of good speeches: Why is Barack Obama a good speaker?
  9. Homework: Students should have the first draft of the speech before Workshop 4.

Workshop 4

The Main Goal of Workshop 4

To introduce “speech skills,” “vocal variety,” and “body language”

The Steps in Workshop 4

  1. Discuss useful tips of speech skills.
  2. Discuss the importance of vocal variety.
  3. Discuss the use of body language: movements, gestures, and eye contact.
  4. Exercise: Students should practice the use of body language.
  5. Discuss the draft.
  6. Exercise: Students should examine and review their partner’s draft.
  7. Homework: Students need to memorize their speech before Workshop 5.

Workshop 5

The Main Goal of Workshop 5

To remind students what to do when they deliver a speech

The Steps in Workshop 5

  1. Discuss how to be a more confident speaker.
  2. Reminders before the Speech Marathon
  3. Exercise: Using the Speech Peer Review Sheet, students should work with their partners to practice their speech. Time the speech.
  4. Homework: The Speech Marathon next time! Memorize the speech, practice, and make it natural.

The Speech Marathon

On the day of the Speech Marathon, every student will be given a score sheet of the Speech Marathon Evaluation Sheet. All students serve as reviewers/judges to give scores. Teachers may allow students some extra time to adjust the scores after they have evaluated the first three speakers. Teachers will also need to plan ahead for each speaker’s speech time, possibly from 4 to 6 minutes. If it is necessary, the Speech Marathon can be held in two consecutive weeks.

Materials Provided

  1. The transcript of Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement speech is to be used in Workshop 1.
  2. The transcript of the opening part of J. K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech is to be used in Workshop 2.
  3. The Speech Peer Review Sheet is to be used in Workshop 5 for students to practice and review.
  4. The Speech Marathon Evaluation Sheet is to be used in the Speech Marathon. Each student will be given one sheet and be a reviewer to evaluate and give the scores. The instructor may be one of the reviewers as well.

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