Ceremonial speech assignment: Award presentation

Although I did not use this assignment often, the award presentation was a nice speech assignment that can be used at any point in the semester. Students must choose a real award winner, but are allowed to create the award. I gave them the option of bringing in visual aids or dressing the part. The sample notecards I offered the students were from an award presentation about Paul Newman. (Find a link to the notecards here.)

If they choose someone famous for the award, the research is very straightforward. They can also choose someone they know — relative, friend, coach, teacher — but will need to be more creative with their research. I allowed them to use one interview of someone who knows the award winner and then to research “what makes a good….” Like, “What makes a good coach?”

Here is how the assignment was presented to students:

Award Presentation

Outline Due: ____   Speech Date:  ____

  • Goal: To inspire the audience with the accomplishments of the entity you choose to celebrate with an appropriate award. An opportunity to practice using detailed and descriptive language and humor.
  • Requirements: 4 minute speech. Outline with bibliography: 3 sources required and must be cited in speech. Visual aids: One required, you may dress the part to satisfy the visual aid requirement. Notecards: 3 permitted, which will be turned in after the speech.
  • Recommendations: The subject must be a real person or entity, not made up. The award, however, can be made up. Make clear to the audience early in the speech about the occasion of the event and type of award. This speech is not meant to be a “biography” of facts, but should rely more on interesting and inspirational stories and testimony about the person’s life and accomplishments.  Failure to cite sources in this speech will result in a maximum possible grade of “C”.

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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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