Friday, October 30, 2015

Questions About Relevance?

Good writing and speaking is always done with an audience and a purpose in mind. In order to make your speech really strong, you need to accomplish your purpose. However, not all audiences are as easy to convince depending on their positions, their points-of-view, their attitude towards the topic, their biases, etc. People's behaviors (including listening) are impacted by their beliefs, attitudes and values. Even more, we all have filters (gender, age, political affiliation, socio-economic background, birth-0rder) that impact how we view the world.

We must understand and use this knowledge to help us communicate our ideas with those who differ from us. Audience analysis and the relevance statements that these cause us to consider, are vitally important tools in communication.

Relevance allows the writer/speaker to tailor communication for a specific audience. It's one of the most important ideas behind writing a great speech.

When we learned relevance in class, I had you toss an imaginary lasso around different sections of the audience. Remember? That is an example of what you should accomplish with good relevance. The relevance that you give should really LASSO that group in the audience to care about the topic. But it doesn't happen without you as a speaker. You must consider what it will take to capture/lasso their attention. Tell them why this topic is important to them. Tell them how this impacts their life. It's really easier than it seems. It requires you to think about how someone else might view a topic. REMEMBER, YOU NEED TO GIVE RELEVANCE TO MANY DIFFERENT GROUPS WITH DIFFERENT VALUES. That's why we're practicing having you speak to different audiences in the Opinion/Conviction Speech.


A Definition of RELEVANCE from Merriam Webster Dictionary

Main Entry: noun1 a : relation to the matter at hand b : practical and especially social applicability : PERTINENCE 2 : the ability (as of an information retrieval system) to retrieve material that satisfies the needs of the user.


Relevance in writing and speeches is/are the reason(s) we tell the audience that it is important for them to listen to the speech. In the opinion speech you know that you have six different groups in your audience:

FOR AN OPINION SPEECH TOPIC ON LEWIS CENTRAL you will be talking to students, parents, teachers, administrators, school board members & patrons/citizens of the community.

FOR A COUNCIL BLUFFS TOPIC you will be talking to students, parents, teachers, city council members, the mayor and other citizens of our community.

IN ANY SPEECH you need to figure out who your audience is and give us a reason to listen to the speech. So, before you begin the "Body" of the speech, you take a moment to give the audience reasons to listen.

To really build some good relevance for the audience, one neeeds to figure out how the topic impacts each of the audience member's reasons for listening. So, what makes people listen? You tie the topic, ideas and impact of your speech to that specific audience.

Ask yourself the questions: what does this sub-group value? how can I get them to care about this topic? how does this topic impact his/her daily life?

Once you've done this, you are ready to give them "lists" of reasons to listen.


In a speech on school lunch the different audiences may have different values to consider. Teachers want their students to be fed so that they can learn. Different foods really produce different results. Protein is good. Carbs are not so good. Parents want their students to be fed healthy lunches and have an investment in long term health. Students want food that tastes good and fills them up. Citizens want schools that they can be proud to call their own? Adminstrators and school board members are also concerned with cost as associated with the product. Many of the audiences share points of view with each other. Using this audience analysis will offer us the opportunity to address these various concerns in our speech.

A relevance statement for this speech might be: School lunch is not just providing students meals and a break at school. School lunch is fuel that allows students to learn. As an edcuational institution we need to make sure that we are providing students food choices that "teach" a healthy lifestyle, that maintain student health, that provide students the best fuel possible to learn. We all need to be concerned with this topic because it affects the children of our school's parents, their ability to learn and their long-term eating and health patterns.

More about RELEVANCE for Advanced Students

To understand how relevance works, you need to figure out what people need.

Instrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation &
Positive vs. Negative Reasons to Become Motivated

Instrinsic motivation basically means motivation that is internally driven. You do something because you want to, your driven to and you are doing it for your own personal satisfaction. Doing something because it is the right thing to do based on beliefs, attitudes and values is important. Most agree that intrinsic motivation is more difficult to coach but that it yields much greater results.

Extrinsic motivation basically means motivation that is driven by external reward or something that you get that is tangible: money, recognition, power, etc. People are extrinsically motivated to get something.

Positive motivation means moving towards a goal.

Negative motivation means moving away from a goal.

Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs
Abraham Maslow believed that people had many basic needs: physiological needs (food, drink, shelter); safety & security needs (they want to make sure that they continue to have what they need to sustain life and that they and their loved ones are safe and security); love & belongingness (everyone wants to be loved and to feel like they are a valued member of various communities); self-esteem (people want to feel good about themselves and their contribution to their own life goals, their contribution to their friends and families, their contribution to the greater good) and self-actualization (this one takes some explanation)...

The Greeks

The Greeks believed in using rhetoric (the art of using language effectively) to stir their audiences. They believed in the power of logos, pathos, philia, agape, eros and more. So, the Greeks would teach us that people are motivated by good reasoning and logic (logos--we'll talk about it later), people are motivated by emotional appeals (pathos--we'll talk about it later), people are motivated by love (philia, agape, eros--we'll talk about these later).


During the 1960s, relevance became a fashionable buzzword, first used by a famous doctor Jordan Belanger meaning roughly 'relevance to social concerns', such as racial equality, poverty, social justice, world hunger, world economic development, and so on. The implication was that some subjects, e.g., the study of medieval poetry and the practice of corporate law, were not worthwhile because they did not address pressing social issues.

A Definition of RELEVANCE from Merriam Webster Dictionary

Monday, October 26, 2015

An Explanation and Examples of Clinchers

Types of Clinchers:

1. Appeal to Specific Audience Action(s) or Actuation

Some argue that all communication is persuasive. If persuasion is the act of changing or reinforcing a belief, an attitude or a value, few could effectively argue otherwise. Actuation or an appeal to audience action is a vital part of any overtly persuasive speech. Often this appeal occurs in the conclusion of a speech or at least is restated there.
An effective appeal for action comes in the conclusion of this speech on the dangers of light trucks, vans, and minivans:

"The government and the industry are not looking out for us; we must protect ourselves. So often we take our mode of transportation for granted. We can no longer afford to be so foolish, especially when the price could be our lives. Only by examining the inherent dangers in these vehicles and who is responsible for them can we begin to establish safer transportation for everyone. So as you head home tonight look at the light truck you are in or those light trucks on the road beside you, consider what little protection there is, buckle up, and hope for a safe trip home."
Combining a call to action with a reference to his introduction, another speaker urged his audience to act on the issue of pesticide control. Note how the speaker uses fragments effectively to plant thoughts:

"The Pied Piper fooled his prey. We are also being fooled. Fooled by the Federal Gov­ernment and fooled by chemical lawn spray companies. There is no reason that 800 people should die or 800,000 people injured every year as a result of these chemical poisonings. One brief letter. One small action. These can help better insure that we are not led to our unsuspecting injuries or deaths. Meagan Connelley recovered from her chemical poisoning. Bur now she must hide from the Pied Piper of Pesticides as he plays on. She can only hope that legislation will be enacted to provide better control over the use of these pesticides in our lawns. For Meagan's sake, and for our own personal safety, can't we be that hope?"

Speeches classes and teachers have been notorious in using "write your congressman/woman" as a means of actuation. This is an effective appeal. However, audiences of today have grown accustomed to many requests for action. These range from buying a product on television to opening a piece of "junk mail." The effective speaker offers his/her audience a buffet of possible actions which reflect the audience member's commitment to the issue. In a speech on environmental awareness and recycling, one speaker effectively chose the following clincher statement for her audience:

"Our landfills are filling up at a record-breaking pace. Our water is being polluted intentionally and unintentionally. Each of us can do small things to protect our environment for those that follow. What can each of us to help protect our environment? There's plenty of choices for each of us.
The most obvious is to not litter in our community. Even the best of us is guilty of occasionally littering. It is a sad state of affairs when our quick personal needs infringe on the rights of others. Or the next time that the convenient store clerk tries to place two items in a sack, carry them in hand. Or if the bagger at the superma rket asks you "paper" or "plastic" choose paper. Paper biodegrades in landfills much more quickly than plastic.
The same is true for protecting our water supply. Take, for example, brushing your teeth in the morning. If everyone in the United States would simply fill up a glass of water vs. leaving the water running, we could preserve 26 million gallons of water a year. Paying attention to our cities and municipalities when it comes to watering our lawns in the dead heat of August, we would save almost 400 million gallons of water a year. Both of these require little effort on our part and imagine the benefits we could gain as a society.
And for those of you who really want to help in a more active way, please consider joining Green Peace. I have brought membership applications with me today and stamped envelopes. All you need to do is fill out the form and drop it in the mail in one of the stamped envelopes I'm providing this morning. As a member of Green Peace, 96% of your donation will be used to make our planet a cleaner place to live.
And for those of you who want to really help out in our community, please join us this Saturday morning as we take our turn in walking a two-mile stretch of highway and cleaning up the mess that others have left for our children. We always have donuts and coffee for our volunteers--bring your own cup--and usually go do something fun after we're done. This weekend we'll be going to see the movie Pay It Forward.
Only with a strong commitment from individuals, single households and citizens with good conscience can we stop this problem once and for all.
One wise man said that 'the environment is not ours, we are borrowing it from our children." For our children's sake, I hope you join this worthwhile cause."

This speaker has given the audience all kinds of choices in the above clincher. She has made the choices easy for members of her audience to choose depending on his/her level of commitment. There are also some "hidden" or "implied" benefits to adopting the speaker's plan of action. One is a relief from "cognitive dissonance" or the guilt we might feel for our own poor choices in the past. Another is the chance to become a part of a valued group.

Although writing our congressman/woman or senator are still important with some issues, there are other more "meaty" and realistic ways to use actuation.

Depending on audience, occasion, and your own interests and purposes, you can effectively and memorably end your speech by drawing on an effective clincher.

2. Reference to the Introduction: Bookends

Reference to the Introduction. In our discussion of closure, we mentioned referring to the introduction as a way to end a speech. "Finishing a story begun in the introduction, answering a rhetorical question posed in the introduction, or reminding the audience of the startling fact or statistic you presented in the intro­duction is each an excellent way to provide closure. Like bookends at either side of a group of books on your desk, a related introduction and conclusion provide unified support for the ideas in the middle."

The following speaker's topic dealt with personal problems caused by the current farm crisis. She had opened her speech with an illustration of an Iowan named Dale Burr, whose anguish had led to a murder-suicide. Her conclusion was this:

"Just think . . . if someone had helped Dale Burr cope with the stress he was facing, maybe he and three others might not have died on that cold December day."

Another speaker had begun his speech on the need for catastropic health insurance by quoting Robert Browning an explaining the significance of the quotation to the audience:

"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, The last of life, for which the first was made."
He concluded his speech by referring to that Browning quotation which by that time in the speech had gained a new significance to the audience. His clincher statement was:

"Robert Browning tells us the last of life is as precious as the first. While the future will always hold uncertainty, with catastrophic health insurance we can more fully prepare for whatever is yet to be."
A third speaker had introduced his speech by talking about the downfalls in­evitably suffered by the heroes of Greek mythology. He drew an analogy between the risks they faced and the risks inherent in the use of antibiotics-the dangers of overuse. Here is how that speaker ended his speech:

"The demise of Medusa carries with it one final message. With her death, Perseus received two drops of blood. One drop had the power to kill and spread evil; the other, to heal and restore well-being. Similarly, antibiotics offer us two opposite paths. As we painfully take stock in our hubris, in assuming that we can control the transformation of nature, we may ponder these two paths. We can either let antibiotics do the work of our immune systems and proper farm management which may return us to the times when deathly plagues spread across the world, or we can save these miracle drugs for the times when miracles are truly needed."

3. Inspirational Appeal or Challenge
Although summarizing a speech is a fairly straightforward task, reemphasizing the thesis in a memorable way, motivating the audience to respond, and providing effective closure to the speech may require more creative thinking and planning.
Any of the methods of introduction discussed earlier can help you conclude your speech.

Startling statistics, startling facts and a fear appeal are used in this conclusion on emissions from motor vehicles:

"I'm frightened. Frightened that nothing I could say would encourage the 25% of emissions tampering Americans to change their ways and correct the factors that cause their autos to pollute disproportionately. Frightened that the American public will not respond to a crucial issue unless the harms are both immediate and observable. Frightened that the EPA will once again prove very sympathetic to industry. Three simple steps will alleviate my fear: inspection, reduction in lead content, and, most importantly, awareness."

Quotations, for example, are frequently used in conclusions, as in this speech on geographical illiteracy:

"For in the words of Gilbert Grosvener, President of the National Geographic Society, 'A knowledge of geography-where you are in relation to the rest of the world is essential for an understanding of history, economics and politics. Without it, the prospects of world peace and cooperation, as well as a grasp of human events is beyond our reach. With it, we not only understand others, but we can berter understand ourselves.'"

You may also turn to illustrations, personal references, or any of the other methods of introduction to conclude your speech. Go back and look at them. Although considering audience, purpose and occasion are vital, you are really only limited by your own imagination. "The sky's the limit."

Monday, October 19, 2015

Purposes of a Good Conclusion

Purposes for the Conclusion:
1. Signaling the End of the Speech

Verbal techniques for signaling the end of a speech include using such
transitions as "finally," "for my last point," and "in conclusion." Speakers need
to be careful in their use of signals in their conclusion. For one thing, such a
cue gives an audience unspoken permission to tune out. Notice what students
do when their professor signals the end of the class session. Books and
notebooks slam shut, pens are stowed, and the class generally stops listening.

The challenge for a good speaker is to let the audience know that they've
reached the end of a speech and still hold the audience's attention. This takes
some craft for the speaker.

2. Summary of the Major Ideas or Main Points
Summarize the Speech Remember the golden rule of public speaking: "Tell them what you're going to tell them; tell them; then tell them what you've told them." Conclusions fulfill the final third of that prescription. They are a speaker's last chance I to repeat his or her main ideas for the audience. Most speakers summarize their speech as the first part of the conclusion or perhaps even as the transition between the body of the speech and its end. The summary is to the conclusion what the preview statement is to the introduction. It is important in both the preview and the summary to allow present your main points with a point-of-view. The point-of-view should be stronger in the conclusion than it is in the introduction.

One speaker summarized his speech on emissions tampering in an effective way, casting the summary as an expression of his fears about the problem and the actions I that could solve his fears:

"I'm frightened. Frightened that nothing I could say would encourage the 25 % of emissions tampering Americans to change their ways and correct the factors that cause their autos to pollute disproportionately. Frightened that the American public will not respond to I a crucial issue unless the harms are both immediate and observable. Frightened that the EPA will once again prove very sympathetic to industry. Three simple steps will alleviate my fear: inspection, reduction in lead content, and, most importantly, awareness."
3. Restate the Thesis in a Memorable/Strong Manner
Restate the Thesis in a Memorable or Strong Manner. Speakers
frequently leave this portion of the conclusion out of their speeches. If he/she
has done his/her job in the speech, this should be a portion of the speech that
is a cinch to include. After providing the main points, reasoning, support and
all of the other fantastic elements of their speeches, what would possess them
to leave this powerful step of the process out.

Imagine how successful an attorney would be in his/her closing statements if
he/she left out the vital statement in their concluding remarks that, "John Doe
is a ruthless and cold-blooded murderer." If he/she has done his/her job well,
it should be a natural progression for them to restate the main idea of their
entire case in front of the jury.

The same should be true for you in your speech. Whether you're letting us know that Jane Smith is a funny person that is a great asset to the school or that Council Bluffs curfew is outrageous and causes more problems than it solves, whether you're letting us know that making a piƱata at home is cheap, easy to make and fun or that we can't live without the new and improved X-14 Modulator, it is something that any good speaker needs to include as part of his/her conclusion.

4. Motivate the Audience to Respond

Motivate the Audience to Respond. One of your tasks in an effective speech introduction is to motivate your audience to listen to your speech. Motivation is also a necessary component of an effective conclusion-not motivation to listen, but motivation to respond to the speech in some way.

If your speech is informative, you may want the audience to think about the topic or to research it further. If your speech is persuasive, you may want your audience to take some sort of appropriate action-write a letter, buy a product, make a telephone call, or get involved; in a cause. In fact, an action step is essential to the persuasive organizational strategy which some of you will use in your final persuasive speech using Monroe's Motivated Sequence.
In a speech on auto mechanic fraud, the speaker motivated her audience to wield their consumer power to stop the abuse:

". . . with every dollar we spend, we're telling Mr. Badwrench that it's good to be bad. If we close our wallets and start spending some common sense, we can say goodbye to Mr. Badwrench. . . and get the monkey wrench out of our lives."

Another speaker ended a speech on protection of child witnesses with this motivational conclusion:

"Given the increased frequency with which children appear in trials, our chance of personal involvement is likely. As relatives of children who may need to testify in court, we need to help them as they prepare for what may be a traumatic event. As potential jurors, we need to understand that a child witness can provide accurate, essential information. By protecting the child witnesses and accepting vital information they may present, we can achieve a more complete justice."

Just as the conclusion is your last chance to reemphasize your main idea in a memorable way, so is it your last chance to motivate your audience to respond to your message.

5. Provide Closure with a Clincher

Provide Closure. Probably the most obvious purpose of a conclusion is to let the audience know that the speech has ended. Not only should the audience know that they've reached the conclusion, once the final words are spoken, speeches have to "sound finished." A speaker can attain closure both verbally and nonverbally.

Nonverbal closure can be achieved by such means as a pause between the body of your speech and its conclusion. You can also slow your speaking rate, move out from behind a podium to make a final impassioned plea to your audience, or signal with falling vocal inflection that you are making your final statement. The most effective closure is both verbal and nonverbal. The bottom line is, make sure your speech sounds finished.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Opinion Speech Packet

Your Opinion Speech Packet

In order to be eligible to give this speech, students need to have all pieces of their packet completed. Missing any major speech will disqualify students from performance and constitute a late grade will be issued.

Opinion Speech Survival Kit: Rubrics, PSB-->
Purposes of Conclusioib Clinchers 

Relevance = 

(1) Your Topic Must Be Listed in the Google Doc that we issued in class.
(2) The Opinion Speech Speaking Block (please see the blog posting on this topic for the Opinion Speech)
(3) You also need to show your Audience Analysis by completing Bulletin Boards for each of your arguments, claims, main points
(4) You also can access a template to these note cards at
(5) A manuscripted Introduction following the criteria taught in class.

(4) Your graphic organizers that demonstrate your Order of Importance Organization of this Speech.

(5) A Manuscripted Conclusion of Your Speech Showing All of the Arguments and Support.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Extra Credit Opportunity--Leave a Comment Here

Congratulations for showing the initiative to earn some extra credit in your Speech I class. That's the way to start!

You need to go down to the pencil icon on the bottom of this post. Click on it and leave a comment after you take a look at the blog. Let us know what you think about it.

Please make sure that you leave your full name and the class period that you are in. I am excited to have you in class. Just already have an "A+". Way to go.

Mr. McLaughlin

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Now Hear This!

Teaching to Build Better Listening Skills
Listening is an important skill to cultivate. It helps you learn, develop friendships, and show your good manners by being attentive and sharing the talking time.

But not everyone has the same idea of what good listening behavior is.

This article offers some ideas for building better listening skills. As you read them, think about how you teach good listening practices in your classroom. If you teach in a multicultural classroom, you probably teach some of these ideas with sensitivity because for some of your students, some of these practices are actually considered bad listening practices. In fact, bad manners.
Read the article and then tell us what you think.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What is an essential question?

When learning with an essential question, you have to think critically. Instead of simply looking up answers, you must study, conduct independent research based on what interests you, you must think, and create original answers that are meaningful to you. An essential question:

1. provokes deep thought.

2. solicits information-gathering and evaluation of data.

3. results in an original answer.

4. helps students conduct problem-related research.

5. makes students produce original ideas rather than predetermined answers.

6. may not have an answer.

7. encourages critical thinking not just memorization of facts.

More on the meaning and purpose of essential questions through the eyes of assessment guru Grant Wiggins on the Authentic Education Website HERE.

Scholastic explains the essential question HERE.
be found

Listening Inventories with Improvement Plans

Listening Self-Analysis Part I

______1. I have always considered listening an automatic process not a learned behavior that I could work to improve.

______2. When I think a topic is uninteresting, I stop and think about something else.

______3. I react so emotionally to certain topics that it is hard for me to listen to speeches about them.

______4. Certain words trigger extreme responses in me.

______5. I am easily distracted by noises or movement in the room where someone is speaking.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ice-Breaker Speech Day 1 we one...sigh and it's time for one of those ice-breaking activities that many of us love so very much...  Whether you like them or not, hopefully you understand that the purpose of activities like this is to get to know each other a little, build a few new relationships, build community and understand our role in helping the group succeed.

Tonight you will think about the rubric that was handed out and created in class today.  You will  come up with:

(1) three things you do everyday that not everyone else does every day [could be play three hours of video games, eat six meals, brush your horse, babysit you twin sisters, etc];

Understanding Checks and Tickets Out the Door

Many teachers struggle with closure. It’s always a challenge to stop the lesson in time at the end of the period to sum up the day’s learning and reflect on whether or not we have achieved our desired outcomes. One powerful strategy for gathering data about student learning at the end of a learning episode is the exit ticket. An exit ticket gives me formative data about where you--the student learner-- are in their learning and should inform choices I make as a teacher about subsequent lesson plans. 

Here are some great Exit Ticket templates that I may use:

And here is a Pinterest board that I've used to inspire my daily checks:

The Frayer Model: A Concept, Definition, Vocabulary Learning Strategy

Frayer Model
Word Categorization

The Frayer Model is a type of graphic organizer that helps students develop relationships and categories associated with vocabulary. It provides students an opportunity to explain and elaborate with examples their understandings of a concept, issue or word. The concept or word is entered into the central circle and supporting examples, explanations, etc and written into the boxes. The example below uses categories of definition, characteristics, examples and non-examples. This can be modified with other categories appropriate to the concept.
Here is an example of a Frayer Model as it might be used in a math class to learn the concept of "Democracy":

Here is an example of a Frayer Model as it might be used in a math class to learn the concept of "Composite Number":

Here is an example of a Frayer Model used to understand the idea behind a sonnet in an English class:

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Mobile/Show & Tell Speech

The Mobile/Show & Tell SpeechGetting to Know Some of Your Stories & Learning How to Use the Podium

What You Need: Two Hangers, Some Creativity, Five Objects & Five Stories
Helpful Hints: Bring Your Objects on Time, Stay Away from Lists of Facts, Have Fun

The Mobile Speech is the second different speech you will give. You have already given the first and second day Ice-Breaker Speeches. Most have you spoken at least three times already. Nice work.

You will build a mobile and hang objects that represent different aspects of you. You should work to choose objects that are creative and unique. Please keep valuable items off of the mobile. The mobile will be built entirely in class.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Communication Cycle

Why Communications Skills Are So Important:

The purpose of communication is to get your message across to others clearly and unambiguously.

Doing this involves effort from both the sender of the message and the receiver. And it's a process that can be fraught with error, with messages often misinterpreted by the recipient. When this isn't detected, it can cause tremendous confusion, wasted effort and missed opportunity.

In fact, communication is only successful when both the sender and the receiver understand the same information as a result of the communication.

By successfully getting your message across, you convey your thoughts and ideas effectively. When not successful, the thoughts and ideas that you send do not necessarily reflect your own, causing a communications breakdown and creating roadblocks that stand in the way of your goals – both personally and professionally.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Active Listening & Improving Listening

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Academic Dishonesty Policy

Academic Dishonesty
Academic dishonesty occurs when a student uses or attempts to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam; or submits as his or her own work themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, or other products prepared by another person; or knowingly assists another student in such acts or plagiarism. Such behavior is abhorrent to the university, and students found responsible for academic dishonesty face expulsion, suspension, conduct probation, or reprimand. Instances of academic dishonesty ultimately affect all students and the entire university community by degrading the value of diplomas when some are obtained dishonestly, and by lowering the grades of students working honestly.

Examples of specific acts of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to:

a. Obtaining unauthorized information. Information is obtained dishonestly, for example, by copying graded homework assignments from another student, by working with another student on a take-home test or homework when not specifically permitted to do so by the instructor, or by looking at your notes or other written work during an examination when not specifically permitted to do so.

b. Tendering of information. Students may not give or sell their work to another person who plans to submit it as his or her own. This includes giving their work to another student to be copied, giving someone answers to exam questions during the exam, taking an exam and discussing its contents with students who will be taking the same exam, or giving or selling a term paper to another student.

c. Misrepresentation. Students misrepresent their work by handing in the work of someone else. The following are examples: purchasing a paper from a term paper service; reproducing another person's paper (even with modifications) and submitting it as their own; having another student do their computer program or having someone else take their exam.

d. Bribery. Offering money or any item or service to a faculty member or any other person to gain academic advantage for yourself or another is dishonest.

e. Plagiarism. Unacknowledged use of the information, ideas, or phrasing of other writers is an offense comparable with theft and fraud, and it is so recognized by the copyright and patent laws. Literary offenses of this kind are known as plagiarism.

One is responsible for plagiarism when: the exact words of another writer are used without using quotation marks and indicating the source of the words; the words of another are summarized or paraphrased without giving the credit that is due; the ideas from another writer are borrowed without properly documenting their source.

Acknowledging the sources of borrowed material is a simple, straightforward procedure that will strengthen the paper and assure the integrity of the writer. The Student's Guide to English 104-105, provides guidelines to aid students in documenting material borrowed from other sources, as does almost every handbook on writing style.

Academic dishonesty is considered to be a violation of the behavior expected of a student in an academic setting as well as a student conduct violation. A student found responsible for academic dishonesty or academic misconduct is therefore subject to appropriate academic penalty; to be determined by the instructor of the course in accordance to his/her course policies” (“Academic Dishonesty”).

Students who are guilty of academic dishonesty will receive and "F" for the paper and the course. Please seek clarification if any of the material you use and how to properly cite it, falls into question.

“Academic Dishonesty.” 2005-2007 Courses & Programs: Iowa State University Catalog. Iowa State
University. 15 Jan 2007 .

6 Trait Writing: Great Writing is Intentitional, It's No Accident

There is absolutely no better way to understand the 6+1 Trait® Scoring analytical model than to use it yourself. Whether you are a teacher or a student, this instructional tool will help you better understand each of the six traits of writing.

You will first have to select which area of writing you want to focus on. Select from the list below to further study an individual trait.


The Ideas are the heart of the message, the content of the piece, the main theme, together with all the details that enrich and develop that theme. The ideas are strong when the message is clear, not garbled. The writer chooses details that are interesting, important, and informative–often the kinds of details the reader would not normally anticipate or predict. Successful writers do not tell readers things they already know; e.g., "It was a sunny day, and the sky was blue, the clouds were fluffy white …" They notice what others overlook, seek out the extraordinary, the unusual, the bits and pieces of life that others might not see.

Click here to learn more about IDEAS, the heart of the message, the interior decoration of writing

How to Make a Handout

Making Handouts

Have you ever created a handout at the last minute before teaching a session? We often hastily prepare them without considering what elements make them most effective, but a first-rate handout can make a successful session even better.

Why should you make handouts?
Help students remember your presentation long after it is over.

Present information visually, which meets the needs of visual learners.

Allow students to concentrate on your presentation rather than trying to write down everything you say.

Provide students with a guide to help them with future research.

Give you something to refer back to when planning future sessions.

When should you create them?

Handouts should be created at the same time that you are planning your session. This ensures that the information you include will be tailored to that specific course. It's a good idea to make copies of your handouts ahead of time to avoid problems such as copier jams five minutes before your session begins.

When do you hand them out?
Opinions differ on when to pass out your handouts - some think it's best to give them out at the beginning or end of the session, and others prefer the point at which the information is most relevant. Just remember that your students will probably look at them right when they receive them and will miss whatever you say in the next several minutes.

What information should you include?

An outline of the key ideas in your presentation.

Specific information from your session to which your students will want to refer in the future.

Further information or a bibliography for further research.

Illustrations, charts, graphics, etc.

Make part of your handout an activity guide that provides directions, steps or a worksheet.

Remember, say no more than what is necessary - the urge to say too much can ruin a good handout.

What are some design tips?
Recommended Font Size for

14-16 point
Subtitles/subdivisions 12-14
Body 10-12

Set off distinct parts of the handout using italics, shading, bolding, boxed headlines or underlining.

Bullet lists to make them easier to scan and understand.

Leave at least a .75" margin on every side.

Try organizing information into a two-column format.

Serif fonts (such as Times New Roman) are more distinctive in print than sans serif fonts (such as Arial).

Use no more than three fonts in a single handout.

Make sure to leave plenty of white space to avoid confusion.

If you do have multiple handouts, make them distinguishable from each other by using multiple colors.

When you are done, look at your handout and ask yourself the following questions:
Does the information flow?

Is the handout visually appealing?

If a student were to forget everything you presented, would the information included in the handout help him/her recall the main ideas?

Is your contact information included?

Are helpful Websites or tips for finding additional information needed/included?

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE. Wallace, Marie. "Guide on the Side: Why and How to Avoid Trashy Handouts." May 1999. 10 Mar 2003.

Friday, August 14, 2015


Putting the Pieces Together

You've given your Mobile Speech and probably have learned who in your small group is your partner. Now it's time to put your first prepared speech for the entire class together. You'll remember the picture of the crazy tree from class? One branch grew watermelons, one branch grew cherries, one branch grew plums and one branch grew cherries. Remember?

Well, that's a comparison of a good speech and a good piece of writing. Each main point is like one of the tree branches. Although each branch grows fruit, it is a different type of fruit (a main point). Your job is to choose the two best pieces of fruit (supporting information stories) for that main point. Remember, it's your job to choose THE BEST fruit for your audience. Whenever, we speak, we are preparing something for someone else to eat (hear/process).

Use the skills of delving, open ended questioning, wait time, rephrasing and rapport skills to gather the other stories you need to harvest the best pieces from this tree (person).

Here are the pieces that you will need to be eligible to speak:

Checklist and PreSpeaking Block.doc

Peer Biography Checklist & GP SP AAS.doc

Teacher Peer Biography Evaluation Sheet.doc

Peer Biography Student Self Evaluation.doc

Here is what you will be allowed to carry up to the podium with you. Your partner will sit to your right. Go the link below the picture for a full page electronic version of this.

CLICK HERE for Graphic Organizer Large Note Card for Peer Biography Speech.doc

Demonstration Speech Packet Materials


Electronic Version of Handouts that You'll Receive in Class

Here's a check list to help you prepare for your speech. CLICK HERE for a Demonstration Speech Checklist for Students Master.doc

Pre-Formatted Outline Made Easy

We've made doing an outline easy. These don't need to be typed, but you can use this if you need extra help and choose to type your outline. It's really easier to use this tool.
CLICK HERE for a Demonstration Speech Pre-formatted outline.doc

CLICK HERE to view the Demonstration Teacher Evaluation, page 1.doc

CLICK HERE to view the Demonstration Teacher Evaluation, page 2.doc

Your Self-Evaluation

CLICK HERE to view Demonstration Student Self-Evaluation.doc
Teacher Evaluation Form

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Purposes of a Good Introduction

Purposes for Good Introductions

1. Introduce/Reveal the Topic of the Speech

Introduce the Subject. Perhaps the most obvious purpose of an introduction is to introduce the subject of a speech. Within a few seconds after you begin your speech, the audience should have a pretty good idea of what your speech topic. Do not get so carried away with jokes or illustrations that you forget this basic purpose. There is not much point in telling a joke or a story and thcn failing I to relate it to your topic. Few things will frustrate your audience more than having to wait through half your speech before figuring out what you are talking about!
The best way to ensure that your introduction does indeed introduce the subject of your speech is to include a statement of your central idea in the introduction. In the introduction to a speech on geriatric medicine, the speaker left little room for doubt about the subject of her speech: After opening the speech with an illustration about her grandfather's poor health care at the hands of a doctor who misdiagnosed the disease, the speaker said that:

"Doctors have simply not been provided with proper medical training in the care of the elderly."

In a speech on the importance of listening, another speaker offered this statement of her central idea near the end of her introduction:

"Listening is the interpretation and evaluation of what we hear. Today I'd like to talk about listening…"

In both cases, the speakers made certain that the subjects of their speeches were announced in the introductions.
In short, don't get so carried away with trying to open with an interesting, creative, empathetic, or funny introduction that you forget the foremost purpose of the introduction: It should introduce the subject of your speech.

2. Gain Favorable Attention

Gain Favorable Attention. You are exposed to countless verbal messages every day, both from the media and from other people. For you to focus on anyone message, something about it has to grab your attention and put you in a receptive mood. So a second purpose of the speech introduction is to gain favorable attention for your speech. This concept is called several different names including attention getter, lead and hook.

Think about how long it takes you to decide whether to watch the channel you're on or to surf further. Think about how long it takes your parents to sort through junk mail. The people who design these mailings spend millions of dollars on "favorability gimmicks" to get their audience to read. Think about how long it takes you to decide if today's class is going to be fun or a bust.

Because listeners form their first impressions of the speech quickly, if the introduction does not capture their attention and cast the speech in a favorable light, the rest of the speech may be wasted on them. The speaker who walks to the podium and drones, "Today I am going to talk to you about. . ." has probably lost most of the audience in those first few boring words. Your peers will be discussing some of the ways to specifically gain favorable attention. Most people can be "hooked" by a good illustration, humor, a startling fact or statistic, or one of the other methods we will discuss.

Why do we emphasize favorable attention? For one very good reason. It is possible to grab an audience's attention but in so doing to alienate them or disgust them so that they become irritated instead of interested in what you have to say. For example, a student began an anti abortion speech with a graphic description of the abortion process. She caught her audience's attention but made them so uncom­fortable that they could hardly concentrate on the rest of her speech.

Another student gave a speech on the importance of donating blood. Without a word, he began by savagely slashing his wrists in front of his stunned audience. As blood spurted, audience members screamed, and one fainted. It was real blood, but not his. The speaker worked at a blood bank. Using the bank's blood, he placed a device under each arm that allowed him to pump out the blood as if from his wrists. He certainly grabbed his audience's attention! But they never heard his message. The shock and disgust of seeing such a display made that impossible. He did not gain favorable attention.

3. Preview the Body of the Speech

Preview the Body of the Speech. The second purpose of a speech introduction is to preview the main ideas of your speech. As you saw in Chapter 8, the preview statement usually comes near the end of the introduction, often immediately fol­lowing a statement of the central idea. It outlines for the audience what the main ideas of your speech will be. The preview statement "tells them what you're going to tell them." It allows your listeners to anticipate the main ideas of your speech, which in turn helps ensure that they will remember those ideas after the speech. After opening with an illustration, a speaker talking about political prisoners of conscience offered this preview statement:

"I'll begin with a definition of a prisoner of conscience. I'll present a rough outline as to their numbers and locations. I'll examine some of the reasons for their abuse; and finally, I'll offer some solutions to ease their suffering."

This preview statement makes clear to the audience what the main points of the speech are going to be.

An effective introduction not only introduces the subject of the speech, but it also previews the main ideas that will be presented in the body of the speech.

4. Motivate the Audience to Listen--Relevance

Establish a Motivation or Relevance for Listening. Even after you have captured the attention of your audience, you have to give them some reason to want to listen to the rest of your speech. An unmotivated listener quickly tunes out. You can help establish listening motivation by showing the members of your audience how the topic affects them directly.
Relevance is the concept that listeners will be most attentive to information that affects them directly. Relevance is important in­ introductions because most people decide very quickly if a presentation applies to them and their lives. "This concerns me" is a powerful reason to listen. Notice how this speaker involves her audience with the problem of toxic silver dental fillings:

"It's estimated that 90% of the American population has silver fillings. That's some 225 million Americans with mercury in their teeth. Because this number is so large and many of us are counted in this number, I'd like to tell you about mercury, the toxic poison, and show you why we must escape its contamination."

Yes, the significance of the statistics is attention-getting, but it also motivates her audience to listen further by pointing out their personal susceptibility to the potential dangers.

After introducing the problem of unfair political asylum, another speaker ob­served:

At this point, you are probably asking yourself: "Why should I be concerned about a problem involving only foreigners?" First of all, our government makes the decisions--­it represents us. As a nation, we assumed the responsibility of political asylum. Therefore, we must deal with it, however complex. Finally and most importantly, the problem deserves our attention, because the policy serves humanity. We know that it is only right to correct the inconsistencies within the system."

In this passage, the speaker made an impersonal problem-political asylum-morally relevant to her listeners. She motivated her audience by placing on them a burden of personal responsibility; she told them why the problem-should be of interest to them. Demonstrating that your topic is of vital personal concern to your audience is an effective motivator.

5. Establish Credibility

Establish Your Credibility. Credibility is the attitude listeners hold toward a
speaker. A credible speaker is one whom the audience judges to be a believable authority and a competent speaker. A credible speaker is also someone the audience believes in and can trust.

You should be mindful! of your listeners' attitude toward you. When thinking of your listeners, ask yourself, "Why should they listen to me? What is my background with respect to the topic? Am I personally committed to the issues about which I am going to speak?" Many people have so much admiration for a political or religious figure, an athlete, or an entertainer that they sacrifice time, energy, and money to be members of an audience to which one of these admired persons is speaking. When Pope John Paul II came to the United States during the summer of 1987, people traveled great distances and stood for hours in intense heat to celebrate Mass with him.

Most people cannot take their own credibility for granted when they speak. If you can establish your credibility early in the speech, it will help motivate your audience to listen. One way to build credibility in the introduction is to be well prepared and to appear confident. Speaking fluently while maintaining eye contact does much to convey a sense of confidence. If you seem to have confidence in yourself, your audience will have confidence in you. A second way to establish credibility is to tell the audience of your personal experience with your topic. If you are an expert on your topic, don't let modesty keep you from letting the audience know. Instead of considering you as boastful, most audience members will listen to you with respect. Notice how the following speaker opened his speech on Boy Scouting:

"I come before you today representing one out of fifteen million people in over 67 countries throughout the world who belong to a very special organization, an organization designed I to help prepare youth for their future life. The organization is Boy Scouting, the world's best known youth movement."

Learning that the speaker was someone who was actively involved in scouting undoubtedly helped motivate the audience to listen to his point of view. Another student opened her speech with this personal illustration:

"Within the last year, two members of my family were diagnosed by their doctors as having skin cancer, caused by the sun. In my mother's case, she had purposefully, although naively subjected herself to the sun, laying out, tanning in tanning salons, etc. In my, grandmother's case, she was diagnosed by her doctor as having skin cancer from her I normal exposure to the sun. This woman had never sought the sun. Both of these cases made me realize that even though I don't subject myself as my mother does; I certainly get more unintentional exposure than my grandmother. So, I came face to face with the fact that I too could contract this disease."

Because she revealed her personal involvement with the topic, the speaker undoubtedly gained authority in the eyes of her audience. Her listeners would probably say to themselves, "She really knows what she's talking about." By enhancing her own credibility, the speaker established a strong motivation for the audience to listen to her.

A speaker should not take for granted some variables in his or her control. One of these considerations is personal appearance. Like it or not, how we dress plays a role in how people listen to us. Take, for example, the student who shows up in tattered jeans and a "holey" t-shirt to talk about a serious social issue. It might be difficult for the most objective listener to fully overlook this type of dress. The person simply hasn't considered how he/she is presenting themself. In like fashion, take the example of the man who shows up in a full suit to apply for a job in dry-wall installation. The foreman interviewing him and the other on-lookers might have quite a chuckle at his expense. Dressing for audience, occasion and purpose are always important considerations if the speaker is to be taken seriously.

The audience's speaking experience begins much sooner than when the first words come from the speaker's mouth. Some speakers underestimate their audience(s). Audiences are very observant and smart. By enlarge, they want speakers to succeed. However, certain behaviors seem to stick with the audience and their perception of the speaker.

Take, for example, the Olympic medal winner who was caught "picking his nose" in front of an auditorium of high school students before he spoke. Weeks after the speech when a teacher made reference to his speech, one of the students chimed in, "you mean the guy who kept picking his nose." Audiences use all sorts of information to judge a speaker. We need to be aware of our behavior and our dress when we are in front of an audience.

Speech introductions, then, should introduce the subject, preview the body of the speech, gain favorable attention for the speech, establish a motivation for listening, and establish your personal credibility. All this-- brevity too-may I seem impossible to achieve. But it isn't!

Types of Attention Getters

Types of Attention Getters, Leads, Hooks

1. Personal Reference

Personal Reference. A reference to yourself can take several forms. You may express appreciation at having been asked to speak. You may share a personal experience. Or you may reveal your authority on the subject of your speech.
British statesman Winston Churchill, whose mother was American, used this personal statement of appreciation to open his address to the U.S. Congress shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941:

"Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives of the United States, I feel greatly honored that you should have invited me to enter the United States Senate Chamber and address the representatives of both branches of Congress.

The fact that my American forebears have for so many generations played their part in the life of the United States, and that here I am, an Englishman, welcomed in your midst, makes this experience one of the most moving and thrilling in my life, which is already long and has not been entirely uneventful.

I wish indeed that my mother, whose memory I cherish across the vale of years, could have been here to see. By the way, I cannot help reflecting that if my father had been American and my mother British, instead of the other way around, I might have got here on my own. In that case, this would not have been the first time you would have heard my voice. In that case, I should not have needed any invitation; but, if I had, it is hardly likely that it would have been unanimous. So perhaps things are better as they are."

Reminding his audience of his own American roots helped Churchill to establish a strong common bond on which he drew as he urged the cooperation of Congress in the war effort.

Here is an example of a personal anecdote meant to arouse audience empathy:

"As I was working my way through the public school system, I, like my peers, believed that I was receiving a fine education. I could read and write, and add and subtract-yes, all of the essentials were there. At least that's what I thought. And, then, the boom lowered: 'Attention class-your next assignment is to present an oral report at your paper in front of the class next week.'

My heart stopped. Panic began to rise up inside. Me? In front of thirty other fourth graders giving a speech? For the next five days I lived in dreaded anticipation of the forthcoming event. When the day finally arrived, I stayed home. It seemed at the rime to be the perfect solution to a very scary and very real problem. Up to that rime, I had never been asked to say a word in front of anyone, and, more importantly, had never been taught anything about verbal communication skills."

The third type of personal reference, that which establishes your authority, was illustrated earlier in this chapter by the introduction to the speech on Boy Scouting. In another example, a speaker draws on his military experience to establish his credibility:

"After 20 years in the army during peace and war, and after having made master sergeant twice and been busted back to buck private three rimes, I think I learned something about military discipline. Let me tell you, it's irrational."

Personal references, then, can serve a variety of purposes. But what they do most of all-in all circumstances-is establish a warm bond between you and your au­dience.

2. Rhetorical Questions, Q&A, Questions

Questions. When raising a question to open a speech, you will generally use a "rhetorical question," the kind you don't expect an answer to. Nevertheless, your listeners will probably try to answer mentally. Questions prompt the audience's thinking process. This speaker opened a speech on geographical illiteracy with a series of question:

"Can you name the states that border the Pacific Ocean? What country lies between Panama and Nicaragua? Can you name the Great Lakes?"

And another speaker opened his speech on teenage suicide with this simple question:

"Have you ever been alone in the dark?"

Using just one or two questions, though, is not enough. It is best to use a series of questions if used by themselves. Questions are commonly combined with another method of introduction. In fact, the last speaker went on to tell a poignant story about a young suicide victim and, after that, to relate some rather startling statistics about the problem. Another speaker opened a speech on the inadequacies of our current driver's license renewal system with three startling brief examples followed by a question:

"In 31 states a blind man can be licensed to drive. In 5 states, just send in your check and they will send back your renewed license, no questions asked.

In 1916 my grandfather got his license for the first time. No exam was required; no exam has been required since. Ever wonder why our highways seem a bit unsafe today?"

Either by themselves or in tandem with another method of introduction, ques­tions can provide effective opening for speeches.

Attention Getters, Leads or Hooks:
Making the Audience Smile, Chuckle, Laugh

3. Humor

Humor, handled well, can be a wonderful attention getter. It can help
relax your audience and win their goodwill for the rest of the speech. The following anecdote, for example, could be used to open a speech on the importance of adequate life insurance:

"If you were to lose your husband," the insurance salesman asked the young wife, "what, would you get?" She thought for a moment, and then ventured: "A parakeet."

Humor need not always be the stuff of Drew Carey's "Whose Line is it Anyways?" routine or a Jim Carey slapstick comedy. It does not even have to be a joke. It may take more subtle forms, such as irony or incredulity. Here is another quietly humorous opening of a speech on deception in education:

"Sassafras Herbert proudly displays her certificate from the American Association of Dietary Consultants. This certificate entitles Herbert to a listing in the Official Directory of Nutrition and Dietary Consultants and special rates on malpractice insurance. She'll probably need those rates. Sassafras Herbert is an ll-year-old poodle."

Humor can be used in many circumstances and for many topics, but certain subjects do not lend themselves to a humorous introduction. It would hardly be appropriate to open a speech on teenage suicide, for example, with a funny story. Nor would it be appropriate to use humor in a talk on certain serious crimes. Used with discretion, however, humor can provide a lively, interesting, and appropriate introduction for many speeches.

4. Quotations/Using Explaining Famous Words on the Topic

Quotation Using an appropriate quotation to introduce a speech is a common practice. Often a past writer or speaker has expressed an opinion on your topic that is more authoritative, comprehensive, or better stated than what you can say. In a speech on the proliferation of "super babies," one speaker turned to Scripture to introduce her speech:

"'Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding, for the wisdom is more profitable than silver, and the gain she brings is better than gold.' This quotation, as taken from the New English Bible, Proverbs, Chapter III, is the cry that was uttered to the children of the earth. Today, the cries are coming. . . from the mouths of parents."

The passage quoted possesses both poetic beauty and scriptural authority, providing an interesting and effective introduction to the speech.

A different kind of quotation, this one from an expert, was chosen by another speaker to introduce a similar topic, the disappearance of childhood in America:

"As a distinctive childhood cultUre wastes away, we watch with fascination and dismay." This insight of Neil Postman, author of Disappearance of Childhood, raised a poignant point. Childhood in America is vanishing."

Because the expert was not widely recognized, the speaker included a brief statement of his qualifications. This authority "said it in a nutshell"--expressed in concise language the central idea of the speech.

It is vital that the speaker tie the quote to the topic if it is not so obvious. I'll never forget the speech where the young man began his speech in the following manner:

"'Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, and wealthy and wise.' Those of you with chips in the windshield of your car should get it taken care of immediately."

There are several questions that one should ask this student: (1) Is this the best attention getter for this topic?; (2) What does this quotation have to do with chipped windshields?; (3) Who said this? Speakers must explain the relevance of the quotation with the audience. They must also always tell the audience where the quote originated. If they don't, they are guilty of "academic dishonesty."

After asking these questions, the student came up with the following attention getter:

"'Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, and wealthy and wise.' I'll bet Ben Franklin never thought his quote would be used in a speech on car maintenance. When Franklin penned these words, he was really telling us to be more prepared and proactive in our daily lives. He was telling us that by being prepared for the unexpected, we really save ourselves lots of time and money. In 2005, one way to save your money is to make sure that you practice 'preventative maintenance' on your vehicles. Those nasty little chips in your windshield are one example of a small problem that can quickly become a large one if you're not careful."

Although a quote can effectively introduce a speech, do not fall into the lazy habit of turning to a collection of quotations every time you need an introduction. There are so many other interesting, and sometimes better, ways to introduce a speech that quotes should be used only if they are extremely interesting, compelling, or very much to the point.

5. Startling Statistic/Series of Facts

Startling Fact or Statistic. One method of introducing a speech is the use of a series of startling facts or statistics. Startling an audience with the extent of a situation or problem will invariably catch their attention as well as motivate them to listen further to what you have to say. This opening of a speech on teenage pregnancy must have caused the audience to sit up and take notice:

"There's a disease lurking in this country. A disease that quietly strikes one American teenager every 30 seconds--over one million a year. A disease that could be controlled . . . hasn't been; a disease that could be eliminated. . . isn't. It will affect 40 percent of today's 14-year-olds at least once before they reach 20. It's not contagious, not incurable; but once you catch it-you'll suffer from its effects for the rest of your life. What is it? The disease is teenage pregnancy."

The statistical information on teenage pregnancy is indeed startling. In addition, the speaker employed the technique of suspense, withholding the topic until she had relayed the statistics. Almost in spite of themselves, audience members must have found themselves guessing the cause of such alarming figures. And because they invested mental energy in thinking about the answer, the speaker had their attention. A similar example comes from a speech on the common cold:

"Americans get 500 million per year. This disease makes us lose 32 million days of work and makes us spend 105 million days in bed. We spend over 1 billion dollars in over ­the-counter drugs to help alleviate its symptoms, which include a sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, high temperature, and headaches. What is it? It is the oldest and most common ailment own to man-the common cold."

Like the methods of organization, the methods of in­troduction are not mutually exclusive. Very often, two or three are effectively combined in a single introduction. For example, the following speaker combined the methods of illustration and startling statistic for this effective introduction to a speech on geriatric medicine:

"Although my grandfather continued to struggle against dying, he did not go gentle into that good night. He died in an Arkansas hospital of what doctors officially termed as 'old age.'My grandfather was a member of one of the fastest growing groups in America: those over 65. Between the years 1900 and 1980, the number of people over 65 has tripled. By the year 2040, most of us will not be short of companions our age, because by then the elderly population will be at least 45%."

6. Illustration

Illustration. Not surprisingly, since it is the most inherently interesting type of supporting material, an illustration can provide the basis for an effective speech introduction. In fact, if you have an especially compelling anecdote that you had ­planned to use in the body of the speech, you might do well to use it instead in your introduction. A relevant story often effectively introduces a subject. An in­teresting illustration invariably gains an audience's attention. And a personal an­ecdote can help establish your credibility. Here is how one speaker opened a speech on the problems associated with diplomatic immunity:

"In 1982, Jane Doe was raped at gunpoint in her apartment. Three weeks after the incident, Ms. Holmes identified her offender as he walked down the street, and she then notified the New York police while her boyfriend subdued the man. After 45 minutes of questioning, Manuel Aryee, the accused assailant, was released a free man."

This story has drama, is relevant, and arouses the indignation of the audience. In short, it is an effective way to open the speech.An inherently poignant illustration was offered by this speaker in the opening of a speech on organ donation:

"On October 28, 2002, doctors told Jamie Fiske's grief stricken parents that their 11 month-old daughter could not survive until Thanksgiving. Jamie's hope lay in finding a suitable human liver donor. Only a liver transplant could save Jamie's life.

Some of you may remember the name, Jamie Fiske. You may even recall the dramatic televised appeal which her father, Charles Fiske, made to the American Academy of Pediatricians that day in October. For me, and I hope for some of you, the real hero of the Jamie Fiske saga was not the famous transplant surgeon but a baby boy named Jess Bellon. Why? Because less than a week after Charles Fiske's plea for an organ donor, Jess Bellon's liver was successfully transplanted to Jamie Fiske."

Here is a final example of an illustration, this one used in an introduction to a
speech on the value of autopsy:

"My middle name should have been Imelda. Mother always gave her children the middle name of a godparent. Instead, I became Mary Beth. I thought of my mother's naming system when my godmother and aunt, Imelda, died last summer, an event the family viewed as a blessing. Imelda had suffered throughout her adult life from insanity. Intensive work with psychiatrists and the latest drugs failed to offer Imelda help. No one in our family really understood her plight-we only knew that she was crazy.

We finally understood Imelda-after her death. Doctors performed an autopsy and found that Imelda had suffered from a rare disease in which her body's muscles grew uncontrollably, cutting off blood circulation to her brain, causing her insanity. We felt guilty about the way we had treated Imelda. We were also relieved to discover that her illness was not hereditary."

This personal Illustration captured the attention of the audience. In addition, the speaker established her own involvement and expertise in the subject.

7. Curiosity

Curiosity. There is an old saying, "Curiosity killed the cat." There's even a reference to being to curious in the Bible. Lot's wife was told not to look back, but she couldn't follow that simple instruction and was turned into a pillar of salt. Perhaps with these examples you might want to think twice about using curiosity as an attention getting device. However, keep in mind what's behind both of these examples: that there is an innate curiosity in all living things. We want to know what's going on, we enjoy figuring things out for ourselves. An attention getter that appeals to most of the audiences curiosity is a good thing.

Take, for example, this informative speech given in a Kansas classroom:

"This crop is the number two cash crop in the state of Kansas. This crop's value per bushel is more than soybean, corn and wheat's values combined. Many have seen this crop as an answer to their problems. This crop has saved many family farms. This crop is also viewed as evil by many others. There are many farmers who would rather burn this crop than see what its evil effects could do to their families. This crop is illegal. Growing this crop can land you in prison. This crop is marijuana."

Notice how each time the speaker refers to "this crop" that you try to figure out what it is in your head. In this instance curiosity is used masterfully to focus the audience's attention to the topic at hand, an informative speech on farmers who've resorted to illegal means to keep their family farms.

8. Guided Imagery

Guided Imagery. Asking an audience to close their eyes and imagine something is used frequently as a way to begin speeches. Just make sure to ask them to open their eyes again. Believe it or not, many speakers forget to do this and the audience is confused after the "guided imagery" has finished and the speaker continues.

In this attention getting device the speaker creates an image that he/she guides the audience members through. It can be used more effectively than visual aids as our imaginations can produce far more vivid images than even most films can be.

One student used a set of cymbals and guided imagery in a great informative speech of "The Big Bang Theory." She opened here speech in the following manner:

"Close your eyes. Come one, everyone close your eyes. Now imagine you are weightless. There is no gravity and you find yourself suddenly out of your chair. Your friends are next to you and they're weightless too. You decide to investigate and push yourself out the school door, you float up past the flag pole, past the trees, you find yourself in the middle of a cloud. You keep moving upward….You find yourself in space, floating towards the stars and all of the sudden a group of asterorids race toward you. You try to avoid them, you weave in and out, they are getting thicker and thicker, one is headed your way (she takes out the cymbals and creates a loud clang, audience members jump out of their seats). That is how some people say the planet Earth was created…"

The speaker craftfully and slowly involved her audience in a topic that some might wave off as boring or murmur, "Oh no…". Instead, as she started her informative speech on what might be chalked off as an boring, topic there were laughs from the audience and adrenaline racing in their veins.

Imagine in just how many situations you can ask your audience to place themselves before speaking. There are many great applications for this type of attention getter.

9. Hypothetical Example

Hypothetical. A hypothetical is a type of anecdote. Usually they are a "composite" sketch of what is known about topics ranging from shark attacks to child abductions, from identity-theft to getting to know people. Much like guided imagery, they ask audience members to imagine some sort of scenario. Unlike guided imagery they do not ask audience members to close their eyes and imagine. Speakers who use a hypothetical may or may not let the audience know that it is an imaginary situation before disclosing it.

One young man described with graphic detail the situation that a childe abuse victim dealt with on a daily basis. The picture that he created was a composite of situations he had researched in a speech on the same subject. His attention getter focused the attention of the issue on their school. He also masterfully used curiosity and questioning to get the audience fully submerged in the topic.

"He shows up to school everyday. He never misses. He's thin, pale and almost invisible to many of us. He doesn't talk much in his classes. I'll bet that many of you even know him. He doesn't appear to take very good care of himself and rarely has his homework done on time. You'll notice him sitting alone at lunch. He always seems angry and doesn't mind telling other kids what he thinks of them. Little do we know, though, that he goes home to uncertainty every night. Once last week his dad, drunk again, got up from the dinner table, threw his plate against the wall and punched him in the face. Last week his father pulled him out of bed and kicked him for15 minutes. How many of you think you know who this kid in our school is? (waits for a response) Well, although he's just a hypothetical example of an abused kid, his story is all too familiar to teachers, counselors and law enforcement. That is, if he's discovered in time."

10. Reference to a Recent News Event

Reference to Recent News Event. If your topic is timely, a reference torecent news event can be a good way to open your speech. An opening taken from a recent news story can take the form of an illustration, a startling statistic, or even a quotation, gaining the additional advantages discussed under each of those methods of introduction. Moreover, referring to a recent event will increase your cred­ibility by showing that you are knowledgeable about current affairs.

"Recent" does not necessarily mean a story that broke just last week or even last month. An occurrence that has taken place within the past year or so can be considered recent. Even a particularly significant event that is slightly older than that, such as the 1989 removal of the Berlin Wall, can quality. Here is how one speaker used an anecdote drawn from a contemporary news story to open a speech

"It was another beautiful day at the amusement park. Warm sunshine, the smell of cotton candy, the kids, and the rides surrounded all those who ventured out for a day of fun. The roller coaster's whooshing 60 mile per hour speed was accompanied by the familiar screams of delight from kids of all ages. Another ride, the Comet, was flying gracefully through the heavens when suddenly a chain broke flinging one of the gondolas 75 feet into the air before it crashed, killing a man and seriously injuring his son. This accident, on May 26 in Pontiac, Illinois, was just one of many in 2004--one that many that could have been avoided."

Another speaker turned to a news story for some startling statistics on kidnapping by parents: I
"The October 23rd, 2005, issue of the New York Times reported some startling facts. It reported the findings of the Gallup Poll Organization that there are about 500,000 incidents each year in which kids are kidnapped from one of their parents by the other parent. That's a half million parental kidnappings per year."

The first speaker delivered his speech in 2004; the second, in 2003. These events were only several months old and therefore fresh in the minds of people who knew them. They also pointed up the fact that the problems discussed in the speeches were current and urgent ones.

11. Reference to Occasion

Reference to Occasion. Instead of referring in your introduction to a historical event, you can refer to the occasion at hand. This way of introducing your talk is especially well suited to occasions that are noteworthy and are the reason you were asked to give your talk. For example, when a neighborhood elementary school celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary, its first principal might open her remarks this way:

"It is a special joy for me to be here this afternoon to help celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Crockett Elementary School. How well I remember the excitement and anticipation of that opening day so many years ago. How well I remember the children who came to school that first day. Some of them are now your parents. It was a good beginning to a successful twenty-five years."

References to the occasion are often used at weddings, birthday parties, dedi­cation ceremonies, and other such events. It is customary to make a personal reference as well, placing oneself in the occasion. The audience at the school probably expected the principal to do just that. The reference to the occasion can also be combined with other methods of introduction, such as an illustration or an opening question.

Attention Getters, Leads or Hooks:
Referring to a Moment in History

12. Reference to an Historical Event

Reference to an Historical Event. What American is not familiar with theopening line of Lincoln's classic Gettysburg Address:

"Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal"?

Note that this opening sentence refers to the historical context of the speech. You, too, may find a wav to begin a speech by making a reference to a historical event. Every day is the anniversary of something. Perhaps you could begin a speech by drawing a relationship between a historical event that happened on this day and your speech objective. How do you discover anniversaries of historical events? Three sources should prove useful. First, consult Jane M. Hatch's American Book of Days; this resource lists key events for every day of the year and also provides details of what occurred. Another source, Anniversaries and Holidays, by Ruth w. Gregory, identifies and describes key holidays. Finally, many newspapers have a section that identifies key events that occurred on "this day in history." If, for example, you know you are going to be speaking on April 6, you could consult a copy of a newspaper from April 6 of last year to discover the key commemorative events for that day.

We are not recommending that you arbitrarily flip through one of these sources to crank up your speech; your reference to a historical event should be linked clearly to your speech purpose. Note how Carl Sandburg began a speech on March 4, 1961, the hundredth anniversary of Lincoln's first inaugural:

"Here one hundred years ago to the day were 10,000 people who hung on the words of the speaker of the day. Beyond this immediate audience were 30 million people in 34 states who wanted to know what he was saying. Over in the countries of Europe were more millions of people wondering whether the American Union of States would hold together or be shattered into fragments."

Attention Getters, Leads or Hooks:
Referring to a Previous Speech

13. Reference to Preceding Speech

Reference to Preceding Speech. Referring to an earlier speech is the sole im­promptu method of attention getter. This method occurs most often when your speech is one of several being presented on the same occasion. The occasion might be speaking day in a speech class, a symposium, or a lecture series in which your talk is one of many on the same topic.
­You must decide on the spot whether referring to one of these previous speeches will be better than using the introduction you originally prepared. As a rule, you are better off sticking with your planned intro­duction. Occasionally, however, a reference to a previous speech may work well, either by itself or in combination with the prepared introduction. And sometimes it is a virtual necessity.

Few experiences will make your stomach sink faster than hearing a speaker just ahead of you speak on your topic. Worse still, that speaker may even use some of the same supporting materials you had planned to use. When this situation happens, you are better off to acknowledge the previous speaker's efforts than to "play ostrich".

Another time when it might be wise to refer to a preceding speech occurs when another speaker has spoken on a topic so related to your own that you can draw an analogy. In a sense, your introduction becomes a transition from that earlier speech to yours. Here is an example of an introduction delivered by a student speaker under those circumstances:

"Kate did a fantastic job of telling you about problems with the reauthorization of the Patriot Act. She was 'right on the money' when she told you how our civil liberties are at risk of being lost once and for all. The Patriot Act is just one of the many "wolves in sheep's clothing" that I plan on sharing with you this afternoon. The decay of our civil liberties is easily wrapped up in the American flag. However, that flag is the very reason that we as responsible Americans must put our feet down and say 'enough is enough.'