In-class activity for day one

Often public speaking textbooks start with a “why public speaking?” discussion. I like to do this briefly on the first day of class. After reviewing the syllabus and other necessary business, I ask the students some questions:

  • (I tease them a bit with this…) So, who here saw Public Speaking at 8 a.m. three days a week and thought “that’s what I dreamed about doing when I got to college” and rushed right out to sign up? (Generally no one…)
  • Who is here because this class is required for your major? (Everyone)
  • So what was the university thinking when they required it? Just mean? Just to make a few extra bucks? Or could their be some advantages to learn these skills both in your college career and in your future professional career?

Make a list of their ideas — adding examples and explanations as needed. It may take a while to get them talking, hopefully the introductions warmed them up a little bit. Then I let them know they can skip the first part of chapter one in the book…


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About teachingpublicspeaking

I believe public speaking can go from most dreaded class to favorite class. I'm a former public speaking college instructor who spent years seeking out activities, assignments and examples to make the class interactive as well as educational -- they are collected here. I welcome suggestions for additions.

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