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Discussion Forum

Activity: Creating Information Hunger

Review what information hunger is (p. 383). Watch a news broadcast that contains reporters telling stories. The nightly news on any of the major networks will work, especially national nightly news. Take notes on how the news program itself creates information hunger. What techniques are they using to get you to stay tuned? How do the individual reporters in their stories (called packages) keep you tuned in? What specifically do they do that makes you want to know more? Finally, could you use any of these techniques with an audience? Which ones would work, which ones wouldn't, and which ones could you modify for your purposes?

Activity: Analyzing a Professional Speaker TED

Go to www.ted.com, which is the website of a small nonprofit organization that began in 1984 as a way to bring people from technology, entertainment, and design together, hence TED. TED is no longer small, and no longer limited to technology, entertainment, and design. The website houses the TEDTalks video site. Professionals from all over the world and from all different backgrounds give twenty-minute speeches on topics they are passionate about. You can browse for a speech by clicking on speakers or by typing the name of a person in the search box. Three people to try are JJ Abrams, the producer of the TV series Lost, who talks about "The Mystery Box"; Malcolm Gladwell, the author of Blink, The Tipping Point, and other best sellers who talks about "Spaghetti Sauce"; and Isabel Allende, the novelist (The House of Spirits), who talks about "Tales of Passion." You will notice that these speakers may be professionals in their field, but they are not necessarily professional public speakers. In your analysis, note the organizational structure each speaker uses. List the supporting material they use and note whether or not it is effective. Remark on their delivery style and the strengths and weaknesses of their delivery.

Activity: Analyzing Visual Aids

    Remind yourself of the "rules for using visual aids" on page 393.
  1. Starting at the beginning of any chapter (Chapter 1, p. 1 or Chapter 5, p. 131) flip through the chapter, stopping at any picture, graph, model, or cartoon. Imagine using this picture, graph, model, or cartoon as a visual aid in a speech. Answer the following questions:
    • Does it follow the rules? (Is it simple? Could the entire audience see it?)
    • Are there any new rules you came up with from analyzing this potential visual aid?
    • If you decide you couldn't use any picture, graph, model, or cartoon as a visual aid in your speech, could you modify it for public speaking purposes?

Activity: Reviewing Elements of Speech Practice

http://www.hawaii.edu/mauispeech/html/public_speaking.html This is a web page on the University of Hawaii's educational system. On the left side you will see a menu that includes course information, and right in the middle are four really helpful buttons for anyone preparing a speech: Preparation, Speech Research, Speech Tips, and Speech Practice. The Preparation button gives you a ten-step checklist in chronological order for preparing a speech. The research button lists places to find research (most school libraries provide their students with access to a number of research databases). Clicking the Speech Practice button will give you a list of "do's" and "don'ts" as you rehearse for your presentation. In the Speaking Tips section, real-life speakers give you advice about Speaking Day. Go through the website and make your own checklist of areas that you can use to prepare for your own speech.

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