Coms 361 F2002

Impromptu Speech Worth 5%

Due October 8th and 10th in Tutorials


Some public speaking instructors do not assign a round of impromptu speeches for students in introductory classes. I am giving this assignment, not to “Put you on the spot”, but to make some of you turn away from a rehearsed and often read speech.

In fairness, all of the stories will come out of the Calgary Herald the day before you are to deliver your impromptu speech. If you read the paper you will have an inkling of the topics to be assigned. I shall also be handling out a template to help you with your story outline.

This is more of an “experimental training”.

The rationale for assigning a round of impromptu speeches is to give everyone an opportunity to practice speaking “off the cuff” or “thinking on your feet” (TOYF) or “off the top of your head”. Impromptu skills are a critical skill to develop and you will never know when you will need these skills. They happen spontaneously for a variety of reasons that cannot be predicted. This will be an acquired skill that I hope will help you in both your professional and community lives.

If you feel nervous or overwhelmed about this speech, let me remind you that this is what we do everyday through normal conversation, when you speak up in class, when you are interviewed for a job. Most of your day to day conversations are not planned or rehearsed. (Chapter 13 “Deleivering Your Speech”). Beebe, Steven., and Beebe, Susan. (2003). Public Speaking. “An Audience-Centered Approach. Fifth Edition. Pearson Education Inc. Boston, Mass.).

In terms of grading, I will be looking for more global meaning and presentation. I do not expect a “polished” presentation. Try to remember all that we have learned to date and incorporate this into your speech. A strong introduction and conclusion…and some facts about the story you are telling. You can even add your opinion on the story or the topic at hand!

 An impromptu speech is more audience-centered than prepared speeches and you can use your “nervous energy’ to put in a dramatic delivery. I will not be handing out complicated political stories, but will look for more human-interest stories.


Speaker Order: We will reverse speaker order this week. Please recognize that you are expected to perform on the day that you are assigned or have a volunteer to replace you. If you are unprepared or absent a penalty will be applied as a one-mark deduction. See course outline. (Absences need to be confirmed with a physicians note or speeches e-mailed to me in advance). Tuesday October 8th last names beginning from the letter A to the letter M. Thursday October 10th last names beginning from the letter N to Z.



1% Introduction:


1% Factual supporting material: 3-4 pertinent facts


1% Conclusion


1% Audience-centered delivery. The more personal, audience-centered the better effect (and your grade).


1% Time Limit: 1:30