In-class exercise for delivery

Bring in a videoclip that will not be familiar to students. Show the clip without sound. Ask the students to guess what kind of program it is — comedy? drama? What can they pick up about the action and the characters? What nonverbal clues are they using to inform their guesses?

I used an old German film for this, but the TV show “Firefly” (clips available for free at could also work as long as you exclude the (very few) students who may know the show.

This could also be adapted to a written assignment. Ask students to watch 10-minute segments of both a comedy and drama without sound and compare the nonverals — lighting, colors, postures, etc.

Adapted from Stephen Lucas instructor’s manual.


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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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