Goals for student learning:
- Distill and organize ideas
- Speak cogently and persuasively
- Understand importance of addressing a specific audience
Be aware that:
- Students may require extensive preparation and practice to give an oral presentation or speech that is more than a simple recitation of material.
- Performance anxiety is a real but not insurmountable obstacle.
To encourage active, deep, and honest engagement:
- Define the purposes of the speaking assignment for your students.
- Develop a grading rubric that evaluates form as well as content. Do you expect students to make eye contact with their audience, speak at a reasonable rate, use notes or PowerPoint, or adhere to a time limit, for instance?
- Request help from experts. Speaking well requires physical attentiveness to stance, breath, and volume; your students may benefit from the Peer Speaking Tutor Program (see below).
- Public speaking assignments are also occasions to teach your students how to be a good audience: to listen carefully and attentively, to ask appropriate, on-target questions, etc.
Assignment types and examples:
- Oral presentation
- Research presentation
- Role-plays, simulations
- Oral exam
Resources for faculty: