Personal Definition Narrative

Personal Definition
Speech Assignment
Basic Guidelines
Speech must be 4-6 minutes in length. The delivery must be extemporized. Note cards are
allowed, but no more than five cards, with no more than 15 words per card will be
allowed. Cards will be checked before the speech. Excessive note cards or speech scripts
will not be allowed. Reading a speech is not an extemporized delivery, and therefore not
a passing speech. Turn in a complete key-phrase outline of your speech before you speak.
Staple the outline with two evaluation forms: oral evaluation and outline evaluation.
Assignment Objectives
1. Realize the relationship between telling stories and delivering speeches. Great
speakers are great story tellers.
2. Deliver a speech with very familiar material (yourself).
3. Get used to delivering speeches with minimal note cards.
Detailed Guidelines
For this speech, you must pick a word that you can use to define yourself. For example,
you might choose “peaceful” or “courageous” or “clean” or “wild.” If you are having
trouble thinking of an idea, feel free to use the list at the following link to help you.
Once you have picked a word, you then need to pick two to three narratives (stories) from
your life that demonstrate how that word is a good descriptor of you. For example, if I
choose to define myself with the word “eager,” then I might include the story of how I
wanted to marry my wife after only a very short time dating. I would then need two other
stories from my life to demonstrate the word “eager.” You can see that this is just a
speech of stories about your life.
Each story should be developed into two or three subpoints. See the sample outline below
for a demonstration of this. Each story should last only about one minute of your speech.
Your speech will also need an introduction and a conclusion. Your introduction will need
three parts: a hook, a clarification of your topic (your word) and how you came to choose
it, and finally a preview of what your main points are going to be. Your conclusion will
need a review of your main points, and a clincher.
You will also submit a formal key-phrase outline of your speech. This outline will be due
on your scheduled speech day at the beginning of class. Being late to class on your
speech day means that the outline and delivery will face late penalties. Keep in mind that
a “formal” outline is one that employs consistent notation style, indentation, and font. If
you are not yet good at creating perfect outlines, this is your chance to develop that skill.
Definition Speech Guidelines Page 1 of 5
Grading Criteria
This speech is worth 200 points. The delivery is worth 100 points. The outline is worth 100
Your delivery should demonstrate strong extemporization. This means that you will have
spent enough time writing a clear speech and practicing it properly that you can deliver it
with strength and confidence, without memorization and without relying too heavily on
your notes. None of the speeches in this class should be read word-for-word from a script.
Your delivery should show meaningful eye contact and connection with the audience.
Maintain that connection and be sure to connect with all areas of the audience.
Your delivery should demonstrate good gestures and body movements without being
distracting. Move your arms naturally, but don’t allow them to flail around excessively.
Move your body to a different part of the stage when you transition between main points.
Avoid distracting movements such as playing with jewelry, putting your hands in pockets,
or pacing/dancing/rocking movements with your feet and body.
Your delivery should demonstrate professional appearance. Dress professionally. Casual,
every-day attire fails to establish personal ethos. You cannot be an A-level speaker if you
don’t dress like one.
Your delivery should be enthusiastic. That is, you should seem to be interested in your own
speech, and you should communicate that enthusiasm to the audience with your vocal style
and body movements.
Your delivery should demonstrate appropriate and variable vocal pitch, volume, and tone,
based on the nature of the speech content.
Finally, your delivery should demonstrate clear external transitions between main points.
Your outline should be formal, logical and complete.
To be formal, the outline should use formal and consistent notation style and indentation.
It should be a final draft without errors. It should be stapled and neat.
To be logical, it should demonstrate logical subordination and coordination.
To be complete, it should show, in logical outline format, all the speech content in key
phrase format. Be sure to follow all the rules from the online lecture. Complete outlines
tend to be over one full page single spaced, but less than three. See the sample outline on
this document for a good model of what your outline might resemble.
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Sample Key-Phrase Outline
Rosalyn Kahn
General Purpose:
To inform
Specific Purpose:
To inform the class about how I have been “resilient” in different areas of
my life.
In the areas of my travel, working in advertising sales, and my teachings, I
believe I have been especially resilient.
A. Hook with rhetorical questions
1. Have you ever wondered why others get all the breaks?
2. Have you ever wondered when some of the breaks will land on you?
B. Topic: Word to define myself: Resilient
C. Preview
1. Resilient in travel
2. Resilient in sales
3. Resilient in teaching
A. Resilient in following my goals to travel
1. Discovering my love for travel on my own
a. Up With People
i. Initially turned town.
ii. Spent one year living on the road
b. Solo trip to Scandinavia
i. Travelled with friend I met on the road
ii. Travelled by my self
2. Travelling with my spouse
a. Honeymoon to South America
i. Brazil’s restaurant
ii. Pickpocketing experience
b. Travelling to Middle East post Peace Proclamation
i. Egypt youth hostel
ii. UAE getting lost
iii. Israel’s bus ride
B. Resilient in Sales
1. Sales Assistant for Blair television
a. Low wages found a mentor
b. Took extension classes at UCLA
2. Pursued interest with great passion with little experience
a. Began work in Redlands, CA with macho male boss
b. Met new sales manager who became friend for life
3. Worked in three markets
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a. Began Redlands
b. Moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico
c. Landed in San Diego with old sales manager from 1st job
C. Resilient in teaching
1. Elementary education emergency credential:
a. Finding a school to work
b. Facing difficult students
c. Recovering over student lies
2. Getting into teaching
a. Finding first job in Orange County
b. Driving to Palmdale due to budget cutbacks
3. Finding Niche in Public vs Private Education
a. Teaching in CA Lutheran
i. Teaching students who lived on campus
ii. Finding ways religion views
b. Working for University of Phoenix
i. Diverse classes to teach
ii. Lower quality students
c. Teaching in Orange County
i. Long drive
ii. Hard working students
A. Review
1. Traveling the world
2. Discover my strengths in sales
3. Finding niche in public education
B. Clincher: I hope that you have some of the same resilience that I have enjoyed.
NOTE: The above outline shows the proper notation and indentation style for a formal outline.
You should be able to do this as well. You may encounter problems with your word processer. It
may not indent the way you want, or it may not give you the notation style that you want. Learning
to adjust your word processor so that it gives you the exact style you want is a valuable part of the
college-student skill set.
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Personal Checklist
I want an A on this speech, so I will make sure of the following:
 I will not read my speech. I will speak from minimal note cards. I know that reading my
speech will result in a very low delivery grade.
 I will dress to impress on my speech day. I know I cannot expect to be an A speaker if I
dress like a B or C speaker.
 I will be on time on my speech day. I know that being late to a speech is like being late to
a job interview – it looks very bad and results in not getting the A.
 I will have my outline neatly printed and stapled.
 I will practice my speech many times so that I know how long it will be, and that it is not
too long or too short.
 I will create and practice an interesting hook for the very beginning of my speech.
 I will create and practice external transitions between my main points.
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