Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Types of Posts

This is just a reminder post that I'm asking on behalf of those of you who wanted a reminder about the blogging requirement for this class. I'm requiring that you write a minimum of three posts a week. Each post should be a couple or more paragraphs long -- nothing too scary, right?
You're free to write about whatever you wish that's relevant to our course, but here are the three categories of posts that we've discussed in class. Use these as a reminder of what you can and should write about when you're stuck:

1. Research-related posts. These are posts that share information that you're learning or questions that you're having as you research. These might be questions for the class, or for me, or thoughts about the sources that you're discovering. Remember to link to the sources that you talk about in these posts. If you're writing about an offline source, make sure to include enough information about that source so that we can find it to follow up.
2. Speech-class content posts. These are posts concerning the ideas and tips and content we're discussing in class. You might want to write about how you think you'll begin a speech, or the type of visual aid that you want to use (you'll be required to have at least one visual aid in your third and fourth speeches). You might write to express your frustration about what we're talking about, or questions that you have about how to present the information that you're learning.
3. Classmate-related posts. Sometimes, the writing on your classmates' blogs will get you thinking. Other times, you'll have questions about what they're up to. Feel free to write about their work on your own blog. Make sure to link to what you're writing about, and to quote any relevant passages for your readers. Also, you might want to drop a comment at your classmate's blog to let them know that you're continuing the "conversation" that they started.

I hope this information is helpful. Please ask questions in the comments.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Hooks

When you begin your next speech (remember, it's due on Wednesday!), I want you to get us started with a hook that will draw us into your topic in an interesting and an engaging way. Here are three types of hooks that you can use to get started:

1. Statistics. A compelling or interesting statistics about your topic is a great way to get us thinking about your issue and the impact that it has on society. For example, on the first day of class, when I was discussing your concerns about speaking to groups, I informed you that people are more scared of public speaking than they are of being dead. That, to me, is a pretty compelling statistic. This website puts it this way:

Fact: the most common phobia that Americans have is glossophobia (that is the fear of public speaking, not the fear of lip gloss). Seventy-five percent of all Americans report having a fear of public speaking, beating out fear of spiders, fear of the dark, and even fear of death. We highly doubt that people, if given the choice, would choose death over public speaking, but nonetheless, talking in front of a large group of people will turn most people's legs into jelly. We hate jelly.

Now, some have had some pretty choice things to say about statistics, and we all know that you can use a clever turn of the numbers to say just about anything that you want to say -- so be careful with the statistical information that you use -- make sure you trust the source and that your audience will trust your source, too.

2. A story or narrative about someone dealing with your issue. Often, one of the best ways that you can both connect with your audience while helping them to connect to your issue is to put a human face on what you're talking about. If you're discussing violence, maybe you want to tell the story of a victim of violence, or someone who is in jail for a mistake that they made. If you're talking about drugs, you might want to share a story about someone's experiences with the drug. A story is a great way to help us get to know your issue and how it affects people. Be careful, though, not to spend so much time on your story that you're not able to cover all of your material.

3. Quotations. starting with the words of others is fine -- so long as the words are relevant, intriguing, and properly cited. While often we look to famous people for quotes that are pithy and/or funny, you might discover the perfect quote or two in your research. If you go this route, make sure you tell us who said your quote and give us some context on the quote after you've said it.


These aren't the only three ways to begin a speech. You know your audience -- what will get us interested in what you have to say?

Here are some other recommendations for what you should do in the first five minutes of a speech. I like all of them -- but don't know if you'll be able to squeeze them into this next speech. Of course, it's never a bad idea to add them into your public speaking toolbox.

If you need a prompt for a blog post this week, go to your blog and write about the type of hook that you think you'll use for your next speech and tell us why you're going to use it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What am I passionate about?

When I asked y'all this question last week, I wrote with you. I didn't get a chance to post my thinking until now. Here's what I wrote. Tell me what you think.

What do I think is really important?

I think being able to communicate via the written and spoken word is
essential. So many people are afraid to share what they know and who
they are with other people, and sometimes, I'm not sure why. I know
that some people get concerned about looking stupid, or not feeling
important, but we're all human beings and we all need to help to
create a world in which we're all safe to be ourselves and to ask
questions in orer to get to better understand each other.
I wonder sometimes if people don't talk or speak r write to others
because they think that they aren't unique or interesting. I can
honestly say that I've never met a person who wasn't unique or
interesting in some way. I am always amazed at what other people care
about and take pride in. I like that Katelyn asked the question,
"What do you live for?"
It's a good way to frame this idea.
My problem, then, is how do I get people to care about sharing
themselves in the world, about making a mark on the planet in a way
that says "I was here. I was important. I am a human being and I am
unique."?

Monday, April 10, 2006

First post

My name is Bud and I am teaching a speech class this quarter. We'll be using blogs to help us think about what we'll be speaking on. A blog is a great place for reflecting, asking questions, and otherwise having a voice in the classroom.