Day 3 of speeches

Overall, speech week is off to a great start! I’m really impressed with most of your efforts to share information about nonprofit and charitable causes. With so much negativity being portrayed in media daily, it’s really awesome to have this presentation shared that promotes all the goodness that still exists in our world.

I hope, too, that you are finding information that might be helpful to you about causes you may choose to support.

A couple of quick reminders for those of you who are finished with your presentations: just because a grade may be posted doesn’t mean that grade is final. As stated in the scoring guide, 10 points will be deducted from any grade for students who do not pay attention to others’ presentations. This includes absences, as well as working on (or reviewing) your own presentation notes during someone else’s speech.

Remember, it’s tough to get in front of the class already. Don’t make it harder by demonstrating disrespect to the person speaking. If we are talking about positive causes, it’s all the more reason to share a little good energy with others as they share their research with you. Help us help you!


Speaker Notes: Can-do extras!

I had a few students who asked me some questions that I felt might be best shared in this format. Please feel free to adjust your speaker notes accordingly, if these tips may help your comfort level!

As stated in class a couple of weeks ago, you can have a note card separate from your other counts with JUST citation information on them. This is for your initial oral citations, which must include (and pretty much in this order):

  1. Name(s) of the author(s) or source
  2. Credibility of the source (why should we trust them on this information?)
  3. Name of the publication (magazine, newspaper, journal, book, or website)
  4. Date the item was published

After the initial citation of a source, you should at least reinforce:

  1. Name(s) of the author(s)
  2. Title of publication OR date (if the same author has multiple publications)

You MAY also type out your key word notes/outline and hand-write only your delivery cues. However, IF you choose to do this, be sure that your text doesn’t go beyond the size of the 4×6″ note card.

Success reminders, again

One more reminder came to me as I was thinking about success… This graphic is pretty spot-on when it comes to my ideology:


Let’s be fair: some of us are not going to be medical doctors. Some of us COULD be, but that may not be where our passion lies. Others may WANT to be, but we don’t have the skills or talent for it.

I say this to actually tell you the basic, and difficult, life lesson I had to learn in undergrad: Not every class will be “easy.” Not every course will result in an “A.” Furthermore, an A-level effort in one course may work out to B-level in another.

Let’s be clear. I was the student who only had to do homework for all my classes in about 30 minutes each night. All my reading, all my math problems, all my science, and reviewing music for band or choir. ALL of it… 30 minutes a night. What resulted from that was a lot of high grades and a false sense of security when I moved on to college.

My first college test resulted in an all-essay exam that landed me an F. Not “kinda” failing, but FAILING. The problem was less that I didn’t understand the material or know how the concepts worked and more that I misread the chief question the instructor asked. I knew the principles. I had read and tried to grasp all that she had said. But I didn’t read the question the way she had written it, presumed half the question without really looking at what she asked for… and I failed.

But I only failed that test in the course. After I learned what the instructor wanted, I worked so hard the rest of the semester to study HER way. Not my way… not the way I had done in high school that helped me get by. I had to re-calibrate everything I had ever known about learning. As a result, I worked harder than I had ever worked previously, and my efforts were rewarded… I learned how to make a good grade in classes, even when I didn’t always make the best first impression.

All this to say: if you need to re-calibrate–now is the time to do so. With 400 points still remaining to be earned in this course, you can succeed, but it is ALL on you.

Keep studying. Keep working. Keep trying. As the picture above shows, it’s not just about going in a straight line. Sometimes you have to take a hard hit, cover things a second, third, and fifteenth time, retrace your steps, start over, and more, before you can get to success. But I have faith in you.

Speaker Notes: Dos & Don’ts

As speech week begins next week, I wanted to take a moment or two to help you remember some of my guidelines for writing your note cards…


  • Use lined, 4 x 6″ note cards
  • Label and number EVERY card
  • Follow Standard Outline Format
    • Parts and values (deeper indention each time)
      • ROMAN NUMERALS (I., II., III., etc.)
        • CAPITAL letters (A., B., C., etc.)
          • Arabic Numbers (1., 2., 3., etc.)
    • Breaking up an idea uses at LEAST 2 parts
    • No bullet points–just the above 3 options!
  • Focus on key words (just enough to “jog” your memory!)
    • The ONLY exceptions to key words (these MUST be written out as you plan to say them!)
      • Thesis
      • Preview Statement
      • ALL transitions
  • Include 3-5 delivery cues to help you present information better
    • Pronunciation of difficult words
    • Reminders to look at different people in the audience
    • Ways to ensure you gesture effectively
    • Breath marks and pauses
  • Put your name on the back of YOUR cards
  • Practice with your notes so you don’t rely on them for every word
    • Extemporaneous speaking style (see your Quick Study Chart!)
    • Work on eye contact and get in front of rooms
    • Use empty classrooms to rehearse (gets you used to the environment!)
  • Modify your notes until just before your class period


  • Use a whole sheet of paper for your notes
  • Write a manuscript of your speech
  • Read to the audience
  • Delay writing your cards
  • Put everything in one color on the cards
  • Work on your notes during others’ speeches

I’ll have another post tomorrow to help you with some of the “Can” and “Cannot” aspects, so you can be sure your presentation is tip-top!

A couple of reminders on success


As I got to thinking more about your test, I realized that a lot of students seem to have this false understanding that minimal effort will yield maximum rewards when it comes to college. For some classes, you may be able to “get by” on your existing study habits from earlier experiences: review a few terms once or twice before, regurgitate information, and move on.

For other classes, though, it’s not that easy. It isn’t just time invested, as I said the first week of class. It’s time and the TYPE of effort you invest. Maybe you just reviewed the terms that I covered in class–but those terms only made up 5% or so of the exam. Instead, that means 95% of the test was parts of the book that weren’t covered in class.

So, why would I do that!? Why on earth would I expect students to know material that wasn’t explicitly covered in class every day? 

Well, let’s start with the basics: you’re in college. Sometimes, you have to make sense of more basic information before moving on. If I covered all the “basics” in class, then left you to your own devices on the more complicated stuff, I’m doing you a disservice. In life, if you don’t understand something someone says, it’s on you to ask questions. If you don’t “get” a term that someone uses, you have to ask them what it means (or look it up on your own!).

So it is with my course. I presume that students have read a basic amount of information BEFORE arriving to class. Keeping that in mind, again, if I focus on the basics, we can’t get to the more challenging–and usually, far more interesting–stuff! Spend time on the easy and basic stuff before you get to class, and you may find that the discussions get more interesting. You may understand those challenging things the teacher covers.

When you begin studying, you may keep this image in mind: It is WAY closer to what I think about when I talk about success…


Test #4, other notes…

As I do my best to help you better prepare for this last unit test, you might want to spend some extra time reviewing the 7 components of the communication process outlined in chapter 1. If I were a nicer instructor, I would tell you that it’s vital to know these 7 components of the communication process… but I’m not a very nice instructor.

I’d also suggest that you pay very close attention to the questions on the exam. You need to actually read the material very carefully and know terms, definitions, concepts, ideas, and examples of everything. This is not “new.” In fact, it’s been the structure all along.

Further, if you have paid attention to any of the previous tests and exams, you know that reading the book is fundamental to your ability to excel on these tests. You also may have noticed, if you take the quizzes on the electronic version of the book, a lot of questions overlap between being online and in your test.

Please do what you can to prepare and study effectively. I want you to succeed, but it does take effort on your part first. Keep studying and you can see your score improve!

Test #4, chapter 14

The last chapter of the textbook!!! Ladies and gents, you made it through an entire college-level reading experience. Now, you just need to be able to accomplish the following goals toward earning that last grade before your presentation and the final.

When completing your reading of 14.1, you should be able to:

  1. Identify two reasons most experts agree we use communication technologies (HINT: see about midway through section!!!)
  2. Identify two reasons we should study interactive media

Upon reading 14.2, you should have the ability to:

  1. Define social media
  2. Distinguish between various forms of social media

After completing 14.3, you should have the ability to:

  1. Define and distinguish between synchronous and asynchronous communication
  2. Explain media richness theory and provide a case why face-to-face (ftf) communication is considered the richest form of communication
  3. Describe social presence theory

When you have finished reading 14.4, you should be able to:

  1. Distinguish between lurkers, trolling, spam, and phishing
  2. Describe cyberbullying
  3. Make a case that relationships deriving from online means may have both benefits and challenges not otherwise associated with relationships that do not derive from online efforts
  4. Describe and provide examples of catfishing


One more post about the test will come up tomorrow. For those of you who want a little extra guidance, you might want to spend some time on it.