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…