first work speech
During this 6 to 8 minute speech, you will convince your audience to support a policy to address a problem of common public concern.
As you invent your argument, you need to identify a policy problem, define it within a reasonable scope, and establish its impact. Additionally, you need to research and develop an account of why the problem exists, how it began, and what factors allow it to continue. Finally, you need to advance a policy proposal that could fix the problem—whether a new law, a regulation, a university requirement, or some other action that would be taken by a collective decision-making body. Draw from the Keywords on Public Policy, Causes, Evidence, and and Making Policy.
This speech also demands that you take care in finding effective evidence and assembling it into well-reasoned arguments. You do not have to create a policy of your own. In fact, it is recommended that you argue for a policy that has been proposed by a credible individual or a group, or one that has been adopted in another community or similar situation. (In other words, your goal is to discover, through extensive research, the strongest policy-based solution for the problem you’ve explained, and then to convince us that the policy is the best solution.) Quoting reliable sources and experts will improve your own credibility.
When you arrange the speech, it must include an attention-getting introduction, a focused conclusion, identifiable main points, and smooth transitions. The internal structure of the body needs to follow an appropriate policy speech structure, strategically selecting the best format for your argument: Problem/ Cause/ Solution, Cause/ Effect/ Solution, Problem/ Existing Plan/ Counterplan, or Need/ Plan/ Advantage. Additionally, the structure of the speech needs to account for other factors, such as balancing scope and depth and anticipating counterarguments. For more detail, see the Keyword on Arranging a Policy Speech.
For style, this speech uses a slightly more formal style than the speeches before it. Because you’re talking about a topic with a long history and potential technical jargon, there will be moments where you need to inform the audience. Effective use of metaphors, analogies, and other rhetorical devices will be key to ensuring peers’ understanding. Likewise, as your longest speech, you will need to think carefully about how to maintain vocal variety throughout. For instance, you may consider a somber or outraged tone for discussing the problem step, while adopting a more hopeful and uplifting tone for the policy step. Taking time to think through these stylistic elements (which apply to writing and delivery alike) will aid you in preparation.
Regarding memory and delivery, students sometimes struggle when transitioning from the This I Believe speech to this one. Whereas the TIB speech relied on personal stories you already knew (at least on some level), this speech involves sharing research that will be new to you. That means you need to spend more time internalizing it to talk about it well. Review the Keywords entry on Planning Spontaneity if you get stuck. It’s okay to use notes to keep track of challenging-to-recall information (e.g., the names of sources), but do not rely on the notes for remembering large blocks of text.
You have violated the genre if:
- Your speech focuses on shifting people’s deepest beliefs rather than convincing them to support a policy. While your speech will undoubtedly address either political or moral views in some capacity, it’s unlikely that you will change their position on a controversial issue in just eight minutes. A focus on policy allows you to set more reasonable goals and consider how multiple stakeholders, including people who disagree in principle, might respond to your topic. It also allows you to focus on more local or specific issues that tend to be less ideologically polarizing.
- Your speech pretends to speak to an imaginary audience. While your policy should be designed to be enacted by a particular authority (e.g., a state legislature), your audience—that is, the people you’re speaking to—should still be your classmates. After all, they’re the ones who will be watching and reacting to your speech; they’re the ones you need to convince that the policy is a good idea.
- Time limit: 6-8 minutes (see time requirements and penalties on grading rubric)
- Visual aids: Are required and should be part of your presentation (integrated with your recording through Kaltura Capture). The visual aids should be clean, organized, image-centric, use minimal text, and follow the principles outlined in the Keyword on Designing Visuals. Your visuals should complement your spoken message, not detract audience attention from you or your argument.
- Sources: The speech should include at least 6 sources collected from credible research outlets. These sources should be clearly, audibly stated out loud with enough information (e.g., name of newspaper and date) that a person could easily locate it by searching. This research should lend credibility to your argument by demonstrating the extent of the problem, identifying causes, and proving the viability of proposed policy solutions. Remember that your goal isn’t merely to meet the bare minimum number of sources, but to convincingly support any claims you make in the speech. The Keywords on Evidence and Conducting Research should both help you fulfill this requirement.
second work ; outline
Creating a thorough Policy Speech outline will help you to organize your ideas, plan your presentation, and ensure that your content is well-developed.
Remember that this outline is not the same as the notes you will use while delivering your speech. As you rehearse your speech at the beginning, you can use the outline to help you internalize major ideas. But gradually, you should move toward relying exclusively on note cards memory cues. By the time you record your speech, you should speak extemporaneously with only minimal presentation notes.
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