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:

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:


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



Week 2 (catchy titles this year)

By the end of class Thursday, you will have your topic and your personal story relating to that topic.  A powerful talk will come from an idea/event/theme that is meaningful to you.  If you don’t care about your topic, neither will your audience.

To dig down deep into your psyche we are going to use a troubleshooting technique used by manufacturing plants around the world.  We are going to use the 5 Whys. It is exactly what it sounds like and we will play around with the idea in class.  Just bring your topic ideas.

Think First, Organize Later.

Hobart Swan Teaching Village

For Feb 8:

  • 1 (or 2 or 3) mind maps of the topic or topics you are considering.  This can be what you did in class last week, a revision of that or a brand new mind map.


Mind Map examples from LifeHacker, using mind maps for brainstorming research paper topics, detailed instructions from Hobart Swan