12 March 2008

What do you fear most? Public speaking? You're not alone

Throughout the film Dead Poets Society, Mr. Keating teaches his students the importance of finding their own voice - a lesson that Todd Anderson took to heart. In the spirit of the film, you have been assigned to make a speech to the class on one of three topics. (See assignment here)

Unfortunately, getting up in front of an audience - especially your classmates - is not as easy as it seems on the big screen. The fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobias that people have, right up there with death and divorce.

To prepare for next week's speech we will discuss some of the different characteristics of effective presentations. We will talk about what makes a speech good, what kind of preparation can be done, and how we can work to improve our public speaking. Read this article from The Guardian newspaper and this one from Forbes magazine, both of which deal with the fear of public speaking and how to overcome it.

What can we do to make our speeches strong and memorable? What are the criteria of a good speech? Develop a list of five criteria of a good speech. Briefly describe each one and be ready to present it to the class so we can use it to develop a scoring rubric for the speeches. Remember, speeches start Monday, March 17.

photo credit: Public Speaking for Success by wardomatic on Flickr

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