Demonstration Speech - Sarah E. Riley, Ph.D.

COM 181 – Public Speaking
Demonstration Speech
Speech = 60 points
Outline = 20 points
In-class evaluation of peer speeches = 10 points
Time limits:
Visual aids:
3-5 minutes
May use up to 1-4x6” note card
From the workbook:
DEMONSTRATION SPEECH: 3-5 minutes – 3 sources required
A demonstration speech is a type of informative speech. It may have either of two purposes:
a. to actually show the audience how to do something (the audience is taught a skill, such as how to tune a
guitar or how to place a bet at Keeneland);
b. to explain to the class how something operates (the audience is given insight into a process without
necessarily having to duplicate it, such as how a solar panel creates energy or how a microwave oven works).
In a demonstration speech, each step must be demonstrated precisely and correctly for comprehension and
ultimate duplication. Steps in a demonstration should be previewed, executed, summarized, and then repeated in
slow motion. Or a speaker may execute steps, repeat steps, and execute steps again.
Demonstration speeches offer an excellent opportunity for audience involvement. Look for ways to do this. Also,
remember to maintain your commentary during the demonstration. Silent gaps in a presentation can be
distracting. Also, in choosing a topic, be sure that you can demonstrate the skill or procedure or process in the
allotted time.
For this speech, you will be demonstrating something to the class. You can choose to do this by either showing us how
to do something (see option “a” in the above workbook description) or explain how something works (see option “b” in
the above workbook description). Make sure that you choose a topic that you can adequately tackle in the 3-5 minute
time limit and that can easily be broken down into 2-5 steps or parts. Please see your syllabus for the outline due date
and speaking day(s).
Please avoid the following topics: hand washing, safer sex/reproduction, pet washing, any illegal activities (e.g. how to
hack a computer, make meth, etc.), and topics that you believe the audience already knows about (e.g. the process for
making ice cubes, etc.) or can already do (e.g. how to turn on the television). During your presentation, you should also
avoid bringing any of the following items as a part of your visual aid: explosives, fireworks, incendiary devices, firearms,
knives, swords, personal weapons, ammunition, biohazard materials (blood, bodily fluids, etc.), pornography, live
animals, alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, controlled substances, pepper spray, or tear gas. Please use common sense
when choosing your topic and deciding on a visual aid.
The outline should be no more than 2 pages in length and should include an APA style reference list. Please use 12point, Times New Roman font with 1” margins and regular character spacing. An outlining template and example will
also be provided online to further help you as you prepare your presentation. Both your topic and outline MUST be
checked before you will be allowed to present.
On your speaking day, please bring:
• “COM 181 Evaluation Form: Demonstration Speech” (available on the class website) with your name and topic
written on it
• A copy of your outline
• 2 copies of the “Peer Evaluation Form” (available on the class website) with your name and topic written on the
top section of the forms
Plan to arrive on time. If you are running late for any reason, please wait outside the classroom until the speaker has
finished her/his presentation. The speaking order will be randomly assigned. If you are not present when it is your turn,
you may not be allowed to speak. During presentations, plan to be a respectful, participative audience member. All cell
phones should be turned off or silenced. Please do not talk, read, do work for other classes, sleep, etc. Any disrespect
to your fellow speakers will result in your being asked to leave the classroom immediately (any work you for this reason
miss will be an automatic “0” and cannot be made up). If you are absent on your speaking day, you may only make up
the speech if you have documentation for an excused absence. Per the syllabus policy, unexcused absence on a day
where anyone is presenting will result in an automatic 20 point penalty.