Introductory Speech Assignment
Purposes: to inform, persuade and entertain.
Length: three to six minutes.
Subject: In this presentation you are introducing yourself to this audience. Choose information to
share about yourself that will not embarrass you or your audience. (Be careful. Don't take a credibility
dive. Sharing information that puts you in a bad light will effect how this audience understands and
responds to you throughout the semester.) Generic information about your family, hobbies, likes,
dislikes, education, vacations, taste in music, food, movies, and books is usually safe.
Before you start: Analyze the audience: How many are there? What gender mix? What religious, ethnic or cultural
characteristics do they show? Who are they? How old? How educated? To what beliefs and values do they adhere? What
is at stake for them taking this course? Why is it important that they listen to you? Are they a captive audience or here by
their own volition? Are they ready to listen when you stand up to speak? How long have they been listening already? Are
they hungry? Tire? Hot? Cold?
THE BEGINNING SHOULD:
1. Capture the attention of the audience. (Be creative. There is no one quite like you. They are a
captive audience but that does not mean you treat them like prisoners. Be lively and be friendly,
your body language shows them how to understand what you are saying.)
2. Introduce the topic. (We know what the general topic. Introduce us to you!)
3. Preview your presentation. (Preview the three or four topics you are going to develop as you
4. Establish connectedness with audience and topic. (Look around. Keep checking us out. Are we
still paying attention? Talk to individuals as well as to the whole group. Are you smiling? Are we
smiling when we should be?)
During the speech read the audience feedback
THE MIDDLE SHOULD:
1. Build credibility with a quantity and variety of supporting materials. Definitions and
explanations from your perspective are the building blocks of credibility. Keep explaining
and defining throughout your presentation. Tell stories to illustrate points. Give real and
hypothetical examples so that your audience can identify. Give comparisons and contrasts
because audiences understand better and remember more when they are informed of
similarities and differences to things they know about. Repeat, rephrase, and reiterate
throughout your presentation. Audiences remember by identifying and internalizing, and
repetition is a pattern they quickly recognize.
2. Maintain our interest as you speak about the items that you previewed in your introduction.
Use contrast to get and maintain attention. Go from serious to delirious (humorous
contrast). Go from standing to walking (contrast in movement). Go from normal
conversational volume to a whisper to a shout (audio contrast). Talk about familiar items
and move to more novel perspectives (theme contrast).
3. Transition from topic to topic. Let them know what is coming next.
THE CONCLUSION SHOULD:
1. Peak our interest.
2. Satisfy our curiosity. Review major topic areas covered.
3. Give a sense of finality.
Don't: 1. Start with, "I'm going to talk to you about." End with "That's it."
2. Chew gum.
3. Embarrass yourself of the audience with inappropriate (too personal) content.
Do: 1. Smile and animate your face
2. Have fun and enjoy the experience.
Introductory Speech Resource
Name____________________________ Grade/Points ____
Directions: The purpose of your introductory presentation is to help the audience get to know you a bit
better. Use the space in the boxes below to make notes for each of the listed categories. The notes
become keywords that remind you of information you have in your memory. Once it is completed the
table becomes a resource from which you can choose topics to include in your presentation.
Categories Explanations Stories Best and/or worst
Personal A mom, dad, 1 Born on a Dad is best
Statistics sister, 2 cats, cruise ship. soccer dad.
Introductory Speech Peer Evaluation
Name___________________________________ Class ______________ Grade _________
The peer evaluation is an integral and repeating part of the speech course. It focuses the audiences’
attention on a few key items. In my classes the speakers are also very aware that their peers are
assessing them on certain points. Usually the evaluation form is self-explanatory. It is a good practice
to go over the assessment areas before the speech round begins and after any extended vacations. At
the end of the round the peer evaluation is collected and assessed.
Name a. b. c. d. Notes (2 items)
Assessment Tool: poor…1…2…3…4…5…excellent a. eye contact b. visual channel messaging
c. vocal channel messaging d. organization (review)
Worksheet 1:5 Introductory Speech Graphic Outline
This is a graphic outline. Presenters should complete this outline with keywords and phrases. Every
box need not be filled in. For instance in an introductory speech it is doubtful there would be any
statistics. This document should be turned in at the conclusion of the presentation. This is worth points
when it is turned in to the teacher, completed and on time.
Beginning: Attention: Blow my referee whistle.
Goodwill: Share anxiousness about speaking.
Preview Topic: Family statistics and 3 hobbies.
Tell audience what you will be
Explanations and Definitions
Middle: Comparisons, and Contrasts,
Give the audience
the big picture.
Provide a variety
Real and Hypothetical stories
and quantity of
Testimonies and Specific examples
Review and clincher
Review the main points
that you covered.
Worksheet 1:2 Introductory Speech Self Evaluation
Length of presentation ____________________ Grade ____________________________
Evaluate the following categories:
Did you "dress up" for this presentation? ___________________________________________
Did you break the dress code in any way? __________________________________________
Organization of the speech:
Did you have a clear beginning in which previewed your topic? ______ What did you do to spark
your audience's attention? __________________________________________________
How did you generate goodwill? ________________________________________________
Did you have several examples of support? ____________What kinds?
Name at least three supporting detail categories.
Did you have a clear conclusion? ________________________________________________
What did you do and/or say to review your material and refocus the audience's attention?
Did you look at all the audience members at least once during the speech?
Rate yourself on quantity of eye contact: Poor 1 2 3 4 5 Excellent
Audio Channel Messaging:
Did you vary your volume? ___________ Intensity? __________ Rate/pause? ___________
Did you enunciate your words clearly? ___________________________________________
Did you have repeated verbal clutter? ________ If yes, circle: um, ah, like, and (other)
Was voice animated? ____ _______ Did you pronounce words correctly? _______________
Visual Channel Messaging:
Did you use movement in a positive way to keep your audiences’ attention?
Did you have any distracting movements or mannerisms? _____ If yes,
Was your audience attentive? _________ Evidence of attentiveness? ___________________
What was most effective in your presentation? ______________________________________
Introductory Presentation Grading Rubric
Name____________________________ Grade/Points ____
1. _____ Time Frame: The presentation should fit within a three to seven minute time frame. Over-
prepare for the presentations. Watch for time signals at the 3, & 6, min. marks.
2. _____ Appearance: The first message that the speaker sends is in the visual channel. You are under
a magnifying glass as people weigh what you say against the visual impression that you make.
Appearance does matter. Your presentation is an “event.” It represents an opportunity to show
publicly. Dress up. Your appearance should contribute positively to the seriousness the event and
your purpose in speaking in a public forum.
3. _____ Preview: Within the first minute of your presentation there should be a preview of the areas
to be covered in the presentation. The speaker should gain attention, establish some good will and
summarize the areas to be covered during the body of the presentation.
4. _____ Verbal Support: During the body of the presentation the speaker should support each of the
topic areas that were previewed. Support comes in a variety of ways: explanation, definition,
comparison, contrast, real illustration, hypothetical illustration, specific instance, testimony, and
5. _____ Review: Review the main topic areas that were supported in the body of the presentation and
mentioned in the preview. A good conclusion refocuses the audience, sets a mood, and retouches
the main points.
6. _____ Eye Contact: Global eye contact should occur throughout the presentation. It means looking
around and seeing the entire audience. Speakers use glancing or global eye contact to read how the
audience is listening and understanding their message. The information they receive as they look
around is called feedback. Sustained eye contact should occur periodically throughout the
presentation. It places personal responsibility for listening on individuals in the audience. It sends
the message to the audience members that they are personally responsible for focusing on the
7. _____ Visual Channel Messaging: This includes facial expressions, gestures, chalkboards, posters,
movements, overheads, photographs, and etc. They are things audiences understand because they
8. _____ Vocal Channel Messaging: This include all the things an audience hears: pitch, volume,
tone, intensity, rate, pause, verbal clutter (ums & ahs), vocal animation. Pronunciation, articulation,
enunciation and emphasis are also part of vocal channel messaging.
9. _____ Appropriateness: It is important in a public forum to maintain content appropriateness. Do
not embarrass your audience or yourself with inappropriate language, support material (sexual,
racial, rude, crude or lewd) or behavior during your presentation.
10. _____ Paperwork: grading rubric, outline and introductory presentation resource sheet presented to
me prior to speaking.