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Persuasive Problem-Solution Speech Assignment

Purpose:  This assignment will help you develop essential public speaking skills that will prepare you for professional and social oral communication situations.  This will be accomplished by developing delivery, writing, and organization skills through a public speaking presentation.

Skills:  The Persuasive Problem-Solution Speech will help you practice the following skills that are essential to your success in school and your professional and social life outside of school.  In this assignment you will:

  • Determine appropriate topic for the context and audience.
  • Gather and assess supporting information from appropriate sources.
  • Synthesize information to develop an organized outline.
  • Compose a well-organized preparation and delivery outline, using an appropriate organizational pattern.
  • Create an introduction and conclusion that shows awareness of audience and purpose.
  • Use correct formatting to cite sources orally and create a reference page (Works Cited page)
  • Create effective visual/presentation aids.
  • Deliver a well-organized, clear and concise speech to the audience.
  • Use ethos, logos, and pathos to persuade your audience.

Knowledge: The Persuasive Problem-Solution Speech will prepare you to apply the following important content knowledge in the discipline of Communication:

  • Recognizing the importance of considering the audience when communicating in work and social situations.
  • Utilizing the components of an introduction and conclusion to effectively engage your audience.
  • Public speaking organization and delivery skills for creating maximum impact in work and social situations.
  • Using visual/presentation aids effectively to enhance communication and audience understanding.
  • Understanding that effective communication requires providing support for ideas.
  • Realizing the importance of acknowledging sources for the purpose of establishing credibility.

Task: To complete this assignment, you should:

  1.  Select a topic for the speech where you can persuade the audience that the problem exists and that your proposed solution will solve or help to solve the problem. Choose a problem, whether it’s local or in your community, and address the problem. You must choose a specific problem in your community that can be addressed with a feasible solution proposed within the time frame of four to six minutes.
    • For this assignment, the smaller the community, the better.  For example, many are part of the community of Nashville, but trying to solve the traffic problems we usually have is not feasible in a short speech.  The problem is just too complicated and too multi-faceted.  Think smaller. Your family is a community, your church or other organization, your workplace, your neighborhood, etc.
    • If a solution already exists for the problem, you may use it as a separate main point and explain why this current solution is not effective. Then provide your solution with a plan as to how you would implement the new solution. If others have implemented a solution similar to yours, you may use this as an example to show how this potential solution has worked for others. Your problem must be narrowed to a local or community problem; it cannot be a city, state, national or world-wide problem. Your research must include evidence that persuades the audience that the problem is a local problem and that the solution you are proposing will work locally. You may use the problem-solution organization or Monroe’s Motivated Sequence pattern.
  2. Find a minimum of 3 sources for your speech topic. Cite your sources in MLA format on your Works Cited page, and cite your sources during your speech using an acceptable in-text oral citation.
  3. Develop a 4 to 6-minute speech persuading the audience the problem exists/needs to be addressed and your solution will work.
  4. Organize your presentation using the preparation outline format.  All points on your outline will be full sentences.  The preparation outline will include your works cited page.
  5. Create visual/presentation aids that will help the audience better understand your topic. Do not use the whiteboard, chalkboard or handouts as your visual aid.
  6. Rehearse one time using your preparation outline to time your speech; if your speech does not meet the time requirements, adjust accordingly and rehearse again.
  7. Develop a delivery outline for presenting your speech. The delivery outline will include words or phrases, not sentences; will follow the outline symbolization and format; and will be one 8.5×11” sheet of paper front only or three 4×6” notecards front only in length.
  8. Rehearse your speech multiple times using your delivery outline and your visual/presentation aids. Focus on your verbal and nonverbal delivery as you rehearse.  Continue to time your speech each rehearsal to ensure that you are within the 4 to 6 minute time requirements.
  9. Submit a digital copy of your preparation outline and delivery outline to the assignment dropbox by due date. Through the dropbox, TurnItIn will evaluate the submissions for plagiarism.  Students must submit the Preparation Outline and Delivery Outline to the Dropbox in order to receive their speech grade. The outlines will be graded when the speech submission is graded.  If you use three 4×6″ note cards for your delivery outline, submit a photo of the note cards front and back to the assignment dropbox. It is required for the student to show a copy of the delivery outline at the start of the speech recording.
  10. Gather your live audience of at least 5 people age 18 or older and record your speech following these instructions:
    • A speech video submitted without at least 5 people age 18 or older in the live in-person audience will receive a grade of zero. It is absolutely essential to have an audience for public speaking.
    • Context is important, so ensure that your audience is able to focus on you without any distractions (tv, phones, etc.) Preparing for your audience and connecting with your audience are essential in public speaking.
    • Any speech submitted without at least 5 people age 18 or older in the live audience will receive a zero.
    • Record your speech using a cell phone or computer with a camera.
    • Your speech video cannot be edited.
    • At the start of your speech video recording, you will show your delivery outline to the camera and show your audience.
    • At the end of your speech video recording, you will show your audience again.
    • Your speech must be delivered extemporaneously, making appropriate use of notes and presentation aids. This means you must utilize exceptional vocal and physical delivery. You must work to engage your audience.
    • Speeches which are read will lose a letter grade.
    • Be sure you are facing the camera and that I can see your entire body and your visual aid in your recording.
  11. Upload the speech to YouTube as an unlisted video, and then share the link to your video by uploading a document with link included to the appropriate assignment dropbox by due date. Unlisted videos are only able to seen through your sharing of the link and do not appear in YouTube’s searches.

Criteria for Success: Please see the Speech Evaluation Rubric Form for how the speech will be graded. Preparation outline with your Works Cited page and your delivery outline are due in the appropriate assignment dropbox by due date listed in course schedule.