Persuasive Speaking Assignment

Assignment at a Glance

--6-8 minutes in length

--at least two visual aids are required

--at least three oral citations

--a full sentence outline containing an introduction, body, conclusion, transitions and a bibliography is due prior to the delivery of your speech. See your GA for details.

--you may use no more than three 3" x 5" or 4" x 6" index cards for notes while speaking but remember, the speech should be delivered extemporaneously

--no makeup is available on this assignment without prior approval of your GA and/or Prof. Burnett. Speeches are tightly scheduled in the labs, so please be on time.

This presentation requires that you attempt to persuade or convince an audience about a business related topic. Again, the topic should be something of interest to the immediate audience (your lab section). You should stay away from topics that are the equivalent of persuading people that it is a good idea to breathe—that is, the speech should persuade the audience to do something or believe something that they may not presently believe. There is no real challenge to convince someone that they need to think about retirement, be to aware of sexual harassment, or to understand the value of education. Consider topics that present more of a challenge—why it’s not a good idea to invest in internet stocks, why managed care is good for your company, why twenty-somethings need life insurance. It might also be challenging to consider doing a speech on a topic that you know your audience may be hostile toward…why labor unions are unnecessary, why executive pay should be limited to a modest multiple of the lowest paid employee of the company, or why companies should be forced to give notification of plant shut downs or operation shifts. This speech needs to be researched, you need to spend time in the library or on the internet finding expert sources or research to back up what you are saying.

Remember that your lab section is the audience for your speech, not some fabricated group for whom you might like to be speaking. In choosing a topic, use your own talent, interests and experiences, BUT be sure that you recognize that part of this assignment is understanding this particular audience and what information would be relevant to and significant for them. Even a topic that you are familiar with needs to be thoroughly researched and outlined prior to the speech.

In lab sections, you will be given a day on which you will be delivering the speech. On days that you are not speaking, your attendance in the lab is equally important. It is critical for you to be a good audience to your colleagues, and you will also be required to complete a number of peer review evaluations of your classmates’ speeches.

If you have any doubts about the appropriateness of the speech topic for this class, please consult your lab section GA.

Note: Classrooms will have overhead projectors, but no other technology is guaranteed to be available. Please do not assume that you will have computer access for PowerPoint presentations.