Saturday, September 29, 2007

Opinion Speech Workshop

Opinion Speech Partnered Workshop

Students completed the Opinion Speech workshop with a partner today. Students took out the begin speeches of their Opinion Speech--including their "new and improved" thesis that does not include the beginning phrase "Today I will GP you that..." See the post for January 03, 2006.

Pre-Speaking Blocks: Brainstorming & Drafting

They also took out their pre-speaking blocks. Common mistakes in checking the work included (1) having a GP that was longer than two words long; (2) having a SP that did not include "so that the audience will" section with the desired audience action; and (3) having underwritten audience analysis statements.

One-on-One Opinion Speech Workshop: Sharing

Students double-checked each others pre-speaking block and worked with each other to discuss his/her topic and each of the five reasons that he/she has arrived at his/her opinion.

We then moved to perhaps the most important part of today's workshop: gathering "personal experience" or "life experience's" of other people (friends, parents, teachers, relatives) that support this opinion.

It is important to realize that this speech is not to be researched on the internet or in books. Instead, it is to be supported with stories and life experiences. This is how most of our daily opinions about everthing from restaurants, movies, books and classes are formed.

Like always, our "filters of perceptions", biases and slants all have an impact on the forming of these opinions.

Homework: Revision/Independent Practice

Students are to choose three of the five reasons that he/she developed and work on supporting those opinions with actual "personal experiences" or "the experiences" of others to prove that the reason(s) that they have chosen are valid. These are to be put in the form of a T-Chart.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Speech Weekly Summary 10/1-10/4/2007

Monday 10/1 Complete LATE Peer Biography Speeches. Follow-up reading from Friday in Glencoe's SPEECH book pp. 354-377 on persuasive speaking. Review key vocabulary for the persuasive speaking. Topic brainstorming and selection of Opinion Speech topics. Discuss audience analysis bulletin boards for Opinion Speech. Portfolio preparation for P/T Conferences. Reminder to have students communicate Mr. McLaughlin's availability for conferences: Monday 10/1 from 4:00-6:15 PM and Thursday 10/4 from 6:30-8:00 PM. Homework: Brainstorm three possible topics. Get a head start on the bulletin boards for Opinion Speeches.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The SPEECH (NOT ENGLISH) THESIS Made Easy: Fill in the Blanks


The thesis statement is what you prove in your speech. It's not that difficult to write one. This should have your subject, your opinion of your subject and provide an overview of how you will improve your opinion.

Remember, a thesis for a piece of writing and a thesis for a speech are different. You will never want to put "In this paper I will..."

Part I: THESIS SIGNAL/SALUTATION (Choose one for a speech, never choose one for a paper!)

In this speech I will OR
Today I will OR
In this morning's remarks I will OR
or write your own so it is appropriate and it sounds like you

Part II: THESIS BASE/STEM (Subject and opinion of subject)

__________________________________ (your general purpose verb) you

that ______________________________________________ (subject & opinion of subject)

PART III: PREVIEW OF MAIN POINTS (How you will prove your opinion)

by _________________-ing

(keep each MP short—bumper sticker”ish”...make sure that your MP has a point of view)


Monday, September 10, 2007

Audience Analysis in a Speech

AUDIENCE ANALYSIS STATEMENT: Several (at least three) sentences that analyze your audience and predict your success or failure in accomplishing your goal. Predict what the audience thinks of the subject and how they will react to the speech and/or your opinion of the speech. In the advanced stages of AAS you will need to consider the “simulated audience” that you are assigned to speak. This may include clients in a Sales Speech or a community forum including parents, students, teachers, administrators and school board members in the Opinion Speech. Different audiences require us to construct our messages differently. Consider these questions. You don’t have to answer all of them but should consider these questions, people’s “filters of perception” when analyzing your audience.



What does this audience think of this topic?;
How will the audience react to the information in my speech?;
How is it that I will accomplish my GP & my SP with this diverse group?;
What might get in the way of me accomplishing my goals?;

What motivates this audience when it comes to this topic?;

What sort of evidence will "move" this audience toward my desired goals?;
What prejudices, biases, filters or previous experiences might get in the way of the audience agreeing with me?

Examples of this might look like the following:

I believe that this audience believes that school spirit is pretty good at Lewis Central High School. However, when I share examples with them that demonstrate the behaviors of students at LC during concerts, plays and some athletic events that they will understand that they should support the students who try to represent our school with pride. Some students who show great school spirit can find some value in this speech by having an influence on their friends. Students who are unattached to our school in terms of competitions, performances and pep rallies need to understand that these activities are a positive reflection on all of us. Hopefully, after hearing about the time and commitment that their fellow students demonstrate in these activities they will be inspired to demonstrate more school spirit.

I believe that this audience believes that year-round school is a bad idea because they really don't understand the idea. By informing students that year round school actually has as many days off as our current calendar, students might reconsider their opinion. I also think that the research that I share with them will prove to them that year-round school will improve their learning, their skills and make them more competitivie for scholarships, boost their ACT scores and improve retention The major prejudice that students have with this topic is that they enjoy the long break at summer. However, several breaks during the school year will be really appealing to some of them. Getting them to reconsider their opinion on this topic is really what I'm out to achieve.

© Thomas V. McLaughlin Jr., 2006--for permission to use this document for purposes other than classes taken with Mr. McLaughlin, please contact Mr. McLaughlin at or