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Informative Speech Assignment

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Create a 5-6 minute presentation using PowerPoint visuals. Make sure your PowerPoint follows the guidelines discussed in class. The purpose of the presentation should be to inform the audience. Your presentation should reflect a topic, theme, or issue relevant to your major. For ideas of topics, you may consider looking at issues of Crains’ Chicago, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, cnn.com, The Huffington Post, NPR.org, Slate, Wired, or industry-specific papers/journals in your area of study.

Presentations should reflect a careful analysis of audience interest and be relevant. Presentations should also reflect the theory we discussed in class including structuring and supporting a presentation (introduction, body, conclusion; transitions/connectives; supporting information).

Students should be sure to meet the time guidelines; you will be stopped from speaking after 6 minutes, 30 seconds, even if you have not completed your speech. Point deductions will apply if speeches are less than 5 minutes or more than 6 minutes, 30 seconds.

Students will present in random sort order; therefore, everyone should be in class and prepared to speak on Tuesday, April 29th. If you are not called to present on Tuesday, you will present Thursday, May 1st. (See Syllabus: speaking dates are not “freebie” attendance dates).

You can use the moveable podium. You should also email a copy of the powerpoint presentation to yourself, and/or save it on a USB key/jump drive. You will also have access to a slide advancer/clicker to advance slides away from the podium, if you like.

Per course policies, “missing an assigned presentation time will result in a grade of ‘zero’ for that assignment with no opportunity for make-up” (p. 3). ** Note: every quarter, at least two students mentally “psych themselves” out and don’t show up to speak, thinking they will not do well. Fight the urge to do this, and be present. Do your best to prepare, because improving your presentation skills is about practice, practice, more practice, and sometimes not doing as well as we would like so we can learn what needs to get better, and improve. I reward effort as well as achievement, and we can all benefit from improving, so “suit up and show up!” **

You may use one (1) notecard for your speech and may write on both sides. You should not use a half-sheet of paper or other type of note paper. Notecards only! Try to incorporate at least 2 of the suggestions we discussed in class to make your notecard more effective (outline format, highlighting in different colors, keywords only, etc.)

What you need to submit HARDCOPY on the day you speak (should be fully done by Tuesday, April 29th): 1) A preparation outline – see Chapter 10, specifically page 235, for an example of an outline. Use the template provided on D2L and modify it as necessary for your presentation. 2) A bibliography with at least two credible research-based sources on the day of their presentations. The bibliography should be in either American Psychological Association (APA) or MLA format. You can find more information about these formats at: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ under the APA “References” section, and http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ under the MLA “Works Cited” section. NOTE: The bibliography should be the last section of your speaking outline. It does not need to be a separate document. 3) A printed copy of your PowerPoint presentation to the instructor on the day of your presentation; if you do not provide a hardcopy, you forfeit 20 points. You should submit this as a handout (2-4 slides per page). 4) Your notecard (remember: only one card may be used)

Pay attention to formatting on every document: for 1 and 2, use Times New Roman, 12-font, double-spaced. For 3, follow the guidelines for effective powerpoints (posted on D2L).

Speeches will be digitally recorded; Video links to access videos will be
emailed to your DePaul email within 24 hours after each speech. Everyone will receive all emails by Friday, April 30th. If you do not have all your group members’ videos by then, contact the instructor IMMEDIATELY.


Students will be randomly organized (by the instructor) in to “peer review groups” of 4 students for each group on the D2L Discussion Board. You will be told via email and in class when your groups are posted. Each student will be responsible for reviewing and critiquing each others’ videos, as well as their own, using the Peer/Self-Evaluation Guidelines (posted on D2L). Therefore, if you are in a group of 4 students, you will need to write 3 peer evaluations, and 1 self evaluation.

Peer evaluations will be done through comments posted to your Group Page on the D2L Discussion Board. Post your comments directly to your group’s page. Comments should be 10-12 sentences (2 paragraphs, or 5-6 expanded bulletpoints) for each peer and self evaluation.

Comments must be posted on your group’s discussion board on D2L BY THURSDAY, MAY 8th BY MIDNIGHT or every student in your entire group will receive no credit and forfeit 50 points each (1 letter grade).

Peer Evaluation Questions

Concepts to consider: Organization, flow, topic selection, transitions, presentation creativity, slide content/format/creativity/effectiveness, credibility, relevance to audience, delivery (voice – pitch, pace, tone, variety; eye contact; gestures; posture; body language/movement).

1. Was this speech informative? If so, what specifically did you learn about the topic from this speech? If not, what could the speaker have included or focused on to make it more informative?

2. How easy was it for you to follow this speech? Why? (Think in terms of delivery techniques, quality of the research/evidence, and the use of transitions throughout the speech. Did the speaker preview his or her main points?)

3. Was the speech well-organized? Did it have a robust introduction, a solid body with specific main points, and a conclusion? How was the time allotment for each section (too long, too short?) Were the times dedicated to each section appropriate? (Introduction and Conclusion: between 45 seconds to1 minute; Body: main points each 1:15 – 1:30)

4. What did the speaker do that was particularly effective in terms of at least two concepts from the above list? Please be specific and use examples from the speech to demonstrate your points.

5. Considering at least two of the concepts listed above, what do you think the speaker could work on for future speeches? Please be specific and use examples from the speech to demonstrate your points. Provide specific suggestions for improvement.

A constructive comment means you highlight what specifically went well, and what the speaker might do to improve. “Nice job” is not constructive; “You did a good job with the second step when you used a non-verbal gesture to reinforce the step. Next time, try to incorporate at least one gesture during each step” is helpful and specific because it focuses on a behavior and action.

“Your eye contact was good” is not constructive; “You really focused on the audience during your introduction – this helped us engage. You could try looking over to the right-hand side of the room more, because it seemed like you focused too much on the left and center” is helpful/specific because it focuses on a behavior.

It is also very helpful to reference your peer’s video in your evaluation (or your notes, if you took them during your peer’s speech). An example would be, “During your first main point, between 2:15 – 2:32, you did an excellent job with varying your vocal tone and pitch to get the audience engaged. I liked that you raised your voice slightly to emphasize the key point around the idea that the banking industry was in a free-fall, and combined it with strong eye contact that rotated around the room. This was not as evident for main point 3: around 4:25, you started to read too much from your note card and shifted your eye contact completely away from the audience, and then your pace got really rushed. You didn’t seem as confident or prepared towards the end of the speech.”

Self Evaluation: The process for the self-evaluation is exactly the same as the peer evaluation. You should post a comment about your own speech to your group’s D2L discussion board.

Your comment must be posted on your group’s discussion board on D2L BY THURSDAY, MAY 8th by MIDNIGHT or every student in your entire group will receive no credit and forfeit 50 points each (1 letter grade).

Self Evaluation Questions: Use the same questions as above, selecting at least two to discuss as a self-critique. You can also reference what you think improved from your Demonstration speech to this one – what did you do better? What do you want to continue working on?

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