A Public Presentation Observation-Experience – IISP – A Choice

One of the best ways…

Students will engage in communication interactions with significant people in their lives. One of the best ways to learn public speaking – other than actually doing it – is to observe other speakers in action and analyze what factors contributed to the strengths or weaknesses of their presentations. For this assignment you will observe a public presentation of your choice, identify the strengths and weaknesses, and make recommendations for improvement.

Communication observation of conversation, small group, public speaking…IISP.

This communication observation will include a written outline-report of it – just follow the instructions given to critique this event. Start by going to the ToastMasters website to find locations and times of meeting: (http://www.toastmasters.org/find/default.asp).

For this Toastmasters experience….
1. Write a 2-4 page outline-report of your experience. Be sure to include information on delivery style and your view as a listening audience member:
a. What did the speaker(s) do to gain – and maintain – audience attention?
b. What could have been improved upon?

2. Consider the meeting in terms of IISP communication. Address any of the following that you judge appropriate to include:
1. What formal and informal communication structures were in place?
2. What examples did you notice of the two models of IDTC and OPTRC?
3. What principles and skills learned in class could you identify and relate with?
4. What team dynamics were present? Was a strong leadership present (think “fire”)?
5. What specific “roles” did you notice, whether assigned or unassigned?
6. Did you note a specific network of communication? Be specific.
7. What role did professionalism play within the group/specific meeting you attended?
8. Were you welcomed? Were you made to feel comfortable? Did you fit?
9. Do you feel you would be comfortable or a fit as a member of this group? Why/why not?

3. You may find the categories in the Speaking Checklist-Evaluation” form useful for this assignment to help guide your critical analysis and personal evaluation.

Be alert to what you might observe and identify as strengths and weaknesses. What recommendations for improvement would you make? What did you think of the experience? Were you made to feel comfortable? Would you return? Consider joining? Why/why not?

As a Team: One outline - PPT:
If you choose to do this assignment as a team, you will present one outline-report-paper for the team that will serve as the basis for a 7-10 minute PPT presentation on your visit to ToastMasters. Both will have an introduction, development with transitions, and a conclusion. For example, your first PPT slide could be the introduction and the last slide could be your conclusion with the report-support in between.
A Public IISP Presentation Observation of your choice with a written evaluation of it following the instructions to be given to critique this event. What you will be alert to is
1. Intrapersonal Communication – within yourselves and others (“see wheels turning”)
2. Interpersonal Communication – one on one with others present, work the room dynamics
3. Small Group Communication – informal, around tables
4. Public Speaking Communication – formal speeches, short and featured

Note: You will engage in communication interactions with significant people now and for the rest of your lives. Since one of the best ways to learn communication skills – whether in conversation, small groups, or public speaking – other than actually doing it – is to observe other speaker-communicators in action and analyze what factors contributed to the strengths or weaknesses of their interactions and presentations, we present to you just such an opportunity.

You will:
1. Observe by attending,
2. Experience by participating, and
3. Evaluate by identifying strengths and weaknesses and making recommendations for improvement.

“The Toastmasters club is an organization known throughout the nation which gives its members the chance to develop and improve their public speaking abilities and leadership skills. Toastmaster’s members gather in a friendly and comfortable environment where they can learn and practice these skills to try and become better communicators” (Toastmasters International, 2011).

To get a flavor of how the meeting may go, some positions you will observe in a typical meeting:

Toastmaster – the facilitator who makes sure the meeting stay on time and follows the agenda.
Ah-Counter – who counts the filler words such as; “Ah”, “Um”, “Ya know”, etc.
Grammarian – contributes to improvement of speech