Week 10: Last Rehearsal

This is it!  One more week of speech practice and then performance.  Practice in front of a mirror at home.  Change any clunky wording.  Say the whole thing again.


By Thursday Apr 19:

  • Make yourself note cards
  • Prepare any visuals



Week 9: Wait, people are going to be looking at me

So as you now know, you will be presenting your talks in front of your classmates and their families.  This week we will learn and practice presentation skills.  You got this!

B&T http://www.bandt.com.au/marketing/find-out-if-you-really-know-your-audience-with-yahoo7-insights-2

For April 12:

  • Email me your latest draft incorporating changes we discussed today by Wednesday, April 11 at noon
  • If you are adding visuals bring them in or email them to me. Penelope, please share those two photo sites in the comments.


I had visions of us watching a TED talk every week.  As you know that has not worked out.  Here are a few I really liked:

Spring Break Homework


No class for the next two weeks.  In the meantime there is lots to do.  After last week I believe your talks are in the order you want.  Now the task is to string them together with smooth transitions.  For a talk you always want your listener to know where you are and where you are going.   With written work a reader can always glance back a sentence or two but that is not an option for your audience.

First, you need to identify where you need transitions. I’ll help you  – every paragraph.  Every one will need a transition.  That is mostly because of the structure of your talks.  You have at least two  – not necessarily sequential – paragraphs about your personal connection to the topic.  Two paragraphs of research or studies and one additional explanatory(stretcher) paragraph.  Each paragraph then is either making a similar point to the previous one or expanding in a different direction.  A single word at the start of a sentence can tell us where you are headed. Explore pages 304-305 in They Say, I Say for some directional word suggestions.  Transition sentences can come at the end of your paragraph, the beginning or both and will help us put your next bit of information in the appropriate context.

While transition sentences will help smooth out the entire talk.  There may also be some sentences and phrases that need a little polishing.  It is easy to just read over clunky bits and keep going.  But if you are reading your words out loud the clunky bits will bring you to a stutter, pause and stop.  When that happens you need to fix it by tweaking the word choices, word order or sentence lengths to get it right.  Spend some time shining up your prose!

As always email me with any questions.  And I will be around for most of the two weeks so let me know if you need to meet.

To Do By April 5:

  • Re-order written version per changes you made last week.  Use checklist to see that all elements are present.  Note in the categories you choose an option or two – you do not need to have all the checklist elements in your talk.
  • Review your talk with the TED Draft Reflection Focus primarily on “State your TOPIC” and “Choose a type of ENDING”
  • Polish your talk:
    • Read aloud to yourself – notice any clunky bits – fix it
    • Record yourself reading it aloud.  Play it back and follow along with your written version. Notice any clunky bits – fix it.
    • Read it aloud to a loving friendly listener, maybe a classmate, sibling, parent.  (Not your dog or horse – must be a creature that can give you feedback.)  Accept comments and fix what needs fixing.
  • Email Donna full polished written version of your talk by TUESDAY APRIL 3

Week 6: The Full Talk

Another use for Post-Its

You should now have all the elements of your talk: personal connection, research, studies, data, definition of terms, and a stretcher.  This week we will continue where we ended last time – putting our talks into a story structure.  We will be finalizing the outline of your full talk (not to be confused with The Full Monty).

Once the structure is in place we will begin to polish the edges.  Smoothing out your talk will be done by adding in transitions, humor, and rhetorical devices.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Spring Break – no class – Mar 22 and Mar 29

For Mar 15:

Resources (mostly from last week):


Week 5: Your Story Another Way

Like the chances of finding the same birthday in a room of 75 people, the chance of finding your theme in someone else’s story is nearly 100%.  But why bother sharing it?

We love to learn new things, according to Carmine Gallo in Talk Like TED.  And we learn best with a personal connection to the material.  So bolstering your experience with a similar story or citing a study or referring to statistics, will deepen the appeal of your story, teach your audience something new and ensure your speech lasts six minutes.

In class, this week we will gather all the elements of your talk.  We’ll examine each for relevance, completeness and punch.  I’ll provide the post-it notes.

For Thursday:


Week 4: Building on Your Story

pic: http://blogs.nature.com/naturejobs/2013/02/17/how-to-communicate-your-work-through-stories/


Now you all have a solid personal motivation for your talk.  What we need to do now is expand on it.  We will find other examples, data, maybe a study or two.  Such support will reinforce the theme in your story and help others relate to it.  Showing the impact of an issue through data can also help your audience appreciate the importance of the issue.

By Feb 22:

  • Polished personal story – print out to hand in!  Use a rhetorical device.
  • Bring a laptop, ipad or device for doing a little research

Resources from last week:

Rhetorical devices – http://americanrhetoric.com/rhetoricaldevicesinsound.htm,




Gettysburg Address


I Have a Dream



Pleasing soft sounds – Euphony 

Look at the use of analogy in this article  – Is it really a bloodbath?  Then why say it?

Eleven tennis balls near a tennis court



Finessing your personal story

Today you helped each other work through your topics.  And you all observed that the underlying themes were similar: Be yourself; work hard; don’t worry about what other people are doing; be nice to animals. We just need to throw in the Golden Rule and we have covered most philosophical rules.  But that is exactly why we are drawn to these themes.  Just because we know them doesn’t mean they are easy to follow.  So a reminder or a re-frame from you is great!

For Feb 15:

  • A draft paragraph (or two) of you personal connection to your topic.  For you TED Talk this will turn into your opening hook and probably part of your conclusion.


Five Whys and the Lincoln Memorial

Five Whys and a Personal Problem