Group persuasive assignment: improve the university

If you wish to (or are required to) include a group presentation, this is a nice approach. Have the groups agree on a topic related to how to improve the university in some way and have each group member present a different solution. If you wish, you can have the rest of the class vote on which solution they feel would be best and return the votes to the speakers. I give the students a recommended list of topics to select from but also allow them to suggest their own.

Here is how the assignment is presented to students:

  • Goal: To work with a group to prepare and present a series of persuasive presentations in the form of a proposal to a decision-making group regarding a topic of interest to the university community. A list of suggested topics will be provided but groups are welcome to suggest their own topics as well.
  • Requirements: Students will be assigned to a group and select an appropriate topic. The group will coordinate on two matters: 1) the criteria for a good decision and 2) the preparation of an introduction and conclusion for the group’s presentation. Each student will then prepare a presentation proposal on a different subject to present to a decision-making committee. Time: Total time should equal 7 minutes times the number of group members. Visual aids: 2 required per student. Outline with bibliography: 6 sources required per student which must be cited in the speech. Notecards: 5 per student. A question and answer session will follow the group’s presentation. The class will then vote on their choice for the proposal; votes will be returned to the speaker. After the presentation, group members will complete an evaluation form, which will factor into the group grade.
  • Grade: 100 points (40 points for group coordination, 60 points for individual presentations).
  • Recommendations: The theme of the speech should complete the sentence, “I want my audience to agree with me that the university should…” Careful, creative research will be key with this assignment. Failure to cite sources in this speech will result in failing the individual portion of the speech assignment.

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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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