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Archived Tips, Quotes, and Speeches of the Month

September 2014

Quote of the Month

I will prepare and someday, my chance will come. -- Abraham Lincoln

Tip of the Month

As you start the semester, many of the assignments you are given may seem daunting or maybe, you feel they aren't worth your time. Each and every task and assignment you receive here has its purpose in your academic career: to prepare you for the next step. Preparation is key to your future success, not only in college, but also, in work and other areas of your life. Thinking ahead and having a plan of action will better prepare you to seize opportunities as they come and will also help in easing anxiety about your future. While life doesn't always go as planned, being prepared helps you deal with the inevitable twists and turns of the journey.

Speech of the Month

In this scene of The King's Speech, King George VI​ is addressing millions of listeners in the British Empire to declare war with Nazi Germany in September 1939. For anyone to be an effective leader, preparing and delivering speeches is a necessary skill. What you see in this clip, is King George VI succeeding. What you don't see, and what is depicted throughout most of the movie, is King George VI practicing his delivery with a speech therapist for countless hours, so that when the chance came, he was able to show the public that he was worthy to be their king. This clip is a great example of the benefits of preparation.

April 2014

Quote of the Month

Speech is the skin of the self. -- Seneca (Roman philosopher and statesman)

Tip of the Month

As you choose your persuasive speech topic and deliver your speech, think about the topics that are important to you. As Seneca's quote above suggests, our speech is a part of us. When you speak about something you care about, your delivery will be better and you will enjoy the speech writing and delivery process more.

Speech of the Month

April is Asian American heritage month and in the following video, actor George Takei, speaks at the site of a Japanese interment camp in Rohwer Arkansas. Takei spent time as a prisoner in this camp as a child, which comes through in the speech as he clearly connects the topic to his experiences.

March 2014

Quote of the Month

Grasp the subject, the words will follow. -- Cato the Elder

Tip of the Month

For the informative speech you have learned to gather information from credible sources and present it in an engaging and interesting manner to your audience.  Now for the persuasive speech you have to learn how to build an argument and present it effectively while addressing potential counter arguments. Also keep in mind that although there are going to be people in the audience who disagree with you, you still need to treat them and their viewpoint with respect and not discount their view or alienate them. Learning how to construct (and deconstruct) an argument is a valuable life skill that you will certainly come to use in your future.

Speech of the Month

Frank Zappa is arguing against the censoring of music deemed to be "porn rock" which was advocated for by the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) who believed that Rock music lyrics were harmful to children. Tipper Gore (Al Gore's wife) was one of the main voices behind this and it gained a lot of political traction leading to the senate hearing. Frank Zappa (among other artists like Dee Snyder) argued that there should be no censoring of popular music sold in stores on the grounds that it violated the 1st amendment.

February 2014

Quote of the Month

"There are three speeches, for everyone you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave." - Dale Carnegie

Tip of the Month

With one speech under your belt, reflect on how you can incorporate yourself into your upcoming speeches. A good speech calls for practice, enthusiasm, passion, and clarity. It helps to envision yourself giving this speech, which can be done through simple meditation exercises. Although meditation is a great thing to do each day (and it's not just saying "ohm" repeatedly), try to do it before your speeches or big projects. Take a few minutes a couple of days before your speech and try to visualize yourself giving the speech while relaxing.

Speech of the Month

Maya Angelou delivers her poem for the 1993 Presidential Inauguration.
 

January 2014

Quote of the Month

"The best way to conquer stage fright is to know what you’re talking about." -  Michael H Mescono (former Dean of Georgia State University's College of Business Administration)

Tip of the Month

Practice, practice, practice! Even the best speakers experience speaking anxiety. It's not necessarily about overcoming your nerves, but managing them. By practicing your speech and becoming comfortable with your presentation setting and materials ahead of time, you will reduce some of the uncertainties that make you nervous. Ultimately, you will be more successful! Now go practice your speech!

Speech of the Month

Suzannah Baum speaks about getting over your fear of giving a speech.

November 2013

Quote of the Month

"Brevity is a great charm of eloquence." -- Cicero

Tip of the Month

The creative use of language can lead to a very memorable speech. It is important however to avoid using overly flamboyant language that distracts from a speaker's message. One effective use of creative language is in repetition. Find a simple yet insightful phrase that can be used by the audience to remember the essence of your speech. A phrase like "I have a dream" or "I am a Berliner" can help make a speech amazing.

Speech of the Month

JFK's "Ich Bin Ein Berliner"  This speech was delivered to around half a million people in Berlin, Germany in June of 1963. President Kennedy was on a public relations tour where the goal was to secure the continued loyalty of the West Germans and promote resistance of communism across Europe. The speech contains two famous lines repeated throughout. One line, also the tile of the speech "Ich Bin Ein Berliner" or "I am a Berliner" not only is simple and memorable, but is also play on the famous phrase in Latin "Civis romanus sum" or "I am Roman citizen." The phrase evokes a sense of national pride as Kennedy invites us all to be citizens of Berlin. 
 
 

October 2013

Quote of the Month

You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart. - John Ford

Tip of the Month

When addressing a topic that your audience might not be familiar with it's important to think about how to tie it to a common experience that your audience can comprehend.

Speech of the Month

In this press conference, President Obama talks about the Trayvon Martin case, and uses many of the types of supporting material discussed in Chapter 7 of our textbook. The overall content of the message is also important for us to consider as we continue to struggle to communicate about issues of race and racism in our communities. 
 

September 2013

Quote of the Month

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

– Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)

Tip of the Month

Show enthusiasm for your speech!  If you do not appear to care about your speech, your audience will not care either.  

Speech of the Month

This speech clip from "A Knight's Tale" (2001) portrays the character of Geoffrey Chaucer making a speech of introduction.  The speech shows the power of enthusiasm and audience acknowledgment in speech delivery as Chaucer successfully engages and riles up his audience.

August 2013

Quote of the Month

The only difference between professional speakers and novices is that the pros have trained their butterflies to fly in formation. – Edward R. Murrow 

Tip of the Month

As you begin your college journey or just start a new semester in your journey already started, remember that speaking skills are important in professional, academic, personal, and civic contexts. Speaking anxiety, which is a form of communication apprehension, is one of the most researched topics in communication studies. Although it is very common (70% of college students have moderate or high levels of communication apprehension) this anxiety leads many people to dread public speaking or to avoid it all together. Confront and manage your anxiety so that you can take advantage of the power of public speaking. Taking a public speaking class is a great way to do this!  

Speech of the Month

In the following speech, an award winning student with fear of public speaking gives an inspirational speech about facing his speaking anxiety and the benefits of doing so. 

 

March 2013

Quote of the Month

Your silence will not protect you. - Audre Lorde

Tip of the Month

One of the most important components of speech giving is to make sure you have something you want to say. If you care about what you are saying, and if you are passionate about it, the rest of preparing and delivering your speech becomes that much easier. This is especially effective for persuasive speeches, because you have the opportunity to change your audiences beliefs or actions!

Speech of the Month  

This speech is given by Michael Gambon, portraying Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Dumbledore gives his beginning of term speech, welcoming students and new faculty, as well as important information and reminders.


February 2013

Quote of the Month

"Early in life I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise." - Malcolm X

Tip of the Month

Use repetition strategically. Use repetition strategically.

Speech of the Month  

Malcolm X’s speech on nationalism is an amazing speech.  His fiery rhetoric caused waves in American society that are still felt today.  In this speech X draws a sharp contrast between himself and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by advocating for Black Nationalism.  Malcolm X does a great job of utilizing his tone and rate of speech strategically to reach his audience.  By using an argument by analogy, X argues that countries like Uganda and Algeria gained their independence through nationalism and the same thing could happen here in America.  The famous line, “We didn't land on Plymouth rock, the rock was landed on us” comes from this iconic speech.

 

January 2013

Quote of the Month

"What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year." - Vern McLellan

Tip of the Month

What the new semester brings to you will also depend a great deal on what you bring to the new semester. Try to get off to a good start by bringing a positive attitude and strong work ethic to the spring of 2013. It will help you in the long run to do great work from the very beginning of the semester, rather than trying to make up for a poor start. Taking all of the semester's early assignments seriously, no matter how small they may seem, can make all the difference in your final grade. Those points add up and working hard now will pay off later! Although they seem far away, finals will be here again before you know it. Work to earn a good grade in each class before finals in order to lessen the pressure later in the semester.  

Speech of the Month  

December 2012

Quote of the Month

"Never let formal education get in the way of your learning." -- Mark Twain

Tip of the Month

As the semester comes to a close, many of you will be kicking into high gear in order to raise or secure your grades, and as you place more focus on your finals do not lose sight of the real reason you are here. Do not become consumed with getting an A or simply passing a class, aim to take a life lesson away from the classes you are in. During your study sessions, pace yourself, not making  your ultimate goal a grade, but rather, a life lesson. Don't focus all of your efforts on your education and lose sight of the valuable learning opportunities available to you.  

Speech of the Month

On March 3, 1993 Jimmy Valvano received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the Espy's, his acceptance speech was one for the ages. Battling cancer, Jimmy V, as everyone knew him, understood the value of courage and the willingness to fight when all odds are against you. Although Jimmy Valvano lost his battle with cancer, he did battle, and he gave inspiration to all of those that would one day face the same fight he did. As you watch this speech, examine how he uses his acceptance speech to not only inspire but call to action all those that would hear it.  

 

November 2012

Quote of the Month

“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful.” - Edward R. Murrow

Tip of the Month

As you move through the persuasive speeches and onto the group speeches, remember that this class has given you a wonderful opportunity. This is the perfect opportunity for you to stand in front of your peers, uninterrupted, and advocate for something you strongly believe in. Think about this as you choose your topics. Choose a topic that you are passionate about. Not only will the research be enjoyable, but it will make speech day less nerve-racking.

Speech of the Month

Back in August, Springfield, MO city council heard from the public as they debated a new rule adding LGBT people to the list of minorities protected from discrimination. Rev. Phil Snider of the Brentwood Christian Church lashed out at the council for "inviting the judgement of God upon our land" by making "special rights for gays and lesbians." He goes on to invoke the Bible and morality and the end of days a few more times before suddenly appearing to lose his train of thought. And then his speech changes directions in a surprising way. As you watch this, think about how the speaker employs audience analysis and persuasive strategies to try to make his message have more impact.  

October 2012

Quote of the Month

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one." -- Malcolm Forbes

Tip of the Month

As you begin to put together and deliver informative speeches, keep in mind that even something as simple as a household object can spark your audience's imagination and teach them something. When you pick a topic that you are interested in, it is easier to get the audience interested in it too. Remember, when you brainstorm topics nothing is too "out there" to consider. Think of a few questions when deciding a topic: Does it meet the assignment criteria? Is it something I am interested in? Is it a topic that can benefit my audience or teach them something? How can I make this topic stand out from other speech topics?

Speech of the Month

Joe Smith, "How to Use a Paper Towel" from TED Talks. 

September 2012

Quote of the Month

“Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot.” --- D.H. Lawrence

Tip of the Month

The delivery of a speech is best when no one notices it. Practice so people can clearly focus on the message.

Speech of the Month

Charlie Chaplin's speech in The Great Dictator. 

August 2012

Quote of the Month

"The harder I work, the luckier I get." - Benjamin Franklin

Tip of the Month

Benjamin Franklin's words above are words to live by, especially for college students. Many of you reading this are first time college students and although this will be one of the most fun times of your life, it will also take some work. As with anything, working hard on a speech or other assignment will pay off. The classmate who earned an "A" on his or her speech, didn't just get lucky. That student made his or her luck happen. So, good luck as you start another school year. Have fun and work hard!

Speech of the Month

David McCullough's "You Are Not Special" commencement speech to the graduating class from Wellesley High School. Notice the speaker's skillful use of language and humor, how he tailors the speech to his audience, and how he keeps them engaged with a provocative thesis.


April 2012

Quote of the Month

"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever." ~ Lance Armstrong

Tip of the Month

Push though the pain and exhaustion, you are almost finished with the semester - four weeks until summer break!!!

Speech of the Month

Speech of the Month: Jill Bolte Taylor - Stroke of Insight

March 2012

Quote of the Month

There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience.” -- Alexander Gregg

Tip of the Month

When beginning to write your speech you need to have a specific and focused goal or objective in mind. Print or write the goal out on a separate sheet of paper and keep the paper nearby so you can always refer back to it as you write your speech. Does all the information relate to the main goal of my speech? Be sure you can confidently answer with "yes" so your speech remains on target.

Speech of the Month

In the movie Independence Day, the President of the United States (played by Bill Pullman), delivers his speech to the pilots about to go into battle, he attempts to both inspire and persuade his crew to fight for one common cause. Notice how he uses logos, ethos, and pathos appeals to support his main objective. Also, find the ways in which he relates to his audience and develops a common ground. Throughout the speech the President transforms from a leader to a fellow fighter and fellow citizen fighting for the right to live. Even though his audience may be comprised of very different people, he is able to unite the pilots toward one goal: save mankind!

February 2012

Quote of the Month

“Knowing one’s self is the beginning of all wisdom.” -- Aristotle

Tip of the Month

You cannot manage what you do not measure. As we progress beyond our first set of speeches, let us remember to learn from what we did well as well as the things that we can improve. Knowing our strengths and weaknesses is a vital element of strong public speaking. If we learn from our strengths and mistakes and apply that knowledge, we can only get better.

Speech of the Month

In this speech from the movie Any Given Sunday, Tony D'Amato (played by Al Pacino) pumps up his team by letting them know that football – like life – is a game of inches. He reminds us that “the inches we need are all around us.” Much like football and life, giving speeches is a battle of inches. As we progress throughout the semester, we must make those tiny steps that seem like inches, because, as Coach D’Amato said, “when we add up all those inches that’s going to make the…difference between winning and losing!”

January 2012

Quote of the Month

“It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.”
-Author Unknown

Tip of the Month

It is the start of a new semester and a new year, a fresh start with new classes and new expectations. While you are starting this new semester, think positively. If you visualize your goals from the beginning and have confidence in yourself throughout the semester, you will be more likely to achieve your goals.

Speech of the Month

Severn Cullis-Suzuki stood before the UN at a meeting in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, at age 12, along with group members Michelle Quigg, Vanessa Suttil, and Morgan Geisler. Severn confidently addressed environmental issues from an adolescent perspective. The video has since become a viral hit, known as “The Girl Who Silenced the World for 5 Minutes.”

December 2011

Quote of the Month

"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." - Ralph Waldo
Emerson (1803-1882)

Tip of the Month

Winter break is approaching with every passing day, but there are
still a few things to wrap up for most of us.  As you are finalizing
the most crucial details of your final projects, take a moment every
now and then to go for a walk outside or just to take a deep breath
because you deserve it.  If something that you are working is
particularly difficult, remember to be proud of what you have done and
always envision what you can do.  Focus of the future and set goals to
get there.  It is the toughest moments that get us motivated to
complete the next step.  After the work is done go home, rest, and
come back refreshed.

Speech of the Month

Zach Wahls stood before Iowa’s House of Representatives last February
to give his testimony on being raised by two moms.  In his speech,
Wahls, still a teenager, informs that assembly that he is owns and
operates his own small business, scored in the ninety-nine percentile
on his ACT, and is an Eagle Scout.  Zach is currently an underclassman
and engineering student at the University of Iowa.  Though the speech
was given last February, his speech remains at viral status on the
internet. This is an advocacy speech!

 

November 2011

Tip of the Month

As we move through our persuasive speeches, toward Thanksgiving Break, pay attention to people, places, activities, and words that move and inspire you. These are wonderful places to start thinking of topics for advocacy and persuasive speeches. However, an even better place is to start looking at the things that make you mad. In the film "Network," actor Peter Finch plays struggling  anchorman Howard Beale. In perhaps one of the most famous moments in American film, Beale rants at his audience, claiming they should not accept the sate of the world and should be "mad as hell" enough to change. The rant inspires his audience all across the city to shout out their windows in the middle of a storm. This example shows the power of a speaker tapping an exigence, or a deficiency, need, or wrong that must be met or righted, in his/her audience and promoting action or advocacy for change. Your final speech is a combination of a persuasive speech to actuate and inspire. As you look for a topic, think about some social or moral deficiency in our world that makes you "mad as hell" and passionate to inform, persuade, and move your classmates to change. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Quote of the Month

"It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. " - Mark Twain

Speech of the Month

Apple founder and renaissance computer scientist Steve Jobs addresses his own past and his road to success heading Apple. Most definitely a speech to inspire, aimed at soon-to-be college graduates, Jobs tells the audience of his own hardships, but tells them to chase their dreams, and that often the little things they do in life for enjoyment will dramatically change their outlook or actions later in life. As you watch the speech, look for the little moment in Job's life that dramatically changed the way Apple engaged the world (hint: you would not be reading this text the same way now without it). Think about moments in college that you have experienced, in 1310 or outside, that you feel may change or direct your life's goals for the rest of your life. How would you tell a college graduation audience about them?

 

October 2011

Tip of the Month

When thinking about advocacy speeches, it's important to not only provide personal opinion, but also unique or interesting information. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While the prolific nature of this disease makes it widely relateable, it also makes the information available overused. Try to think of a novel approach to a common topic. What if more money was put into prevention than cures? What are the political and economic aspects of the pink ribbon campaign? How do insurance companies address those who are most at risk, or who possess "pre-existing conditions"? Thinking outside of the box can lead to a much more interesting speech.

Quote of the Month

"Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Speech of the Month

In this video, First Lady Michelle Obama discusses Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  She talks about how this disease effects both those with and without health insurance.  Watch her speech, and then develop critical questions that address new aspects of the information.  How do your questions provide a new paradigm to frame the debate?  What new avenues of discussion can be opened up?

 

 

September 2011

Tip of the Month

In order to generate topic ideas for a speech, culture can be a source of inspiration. Different holidays, folklore and traditions, historical events, art, or food can be very interesting speech topics. Thinking about those different aspects of life from the perspective of different cultures can provide you with interesting and novel information that would make for a great speech.

Quote of the Month

“No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive” – Mohandas Gandhi

Speech of the Month

As a tip of the hat for Hispanic Heritage month, this speech features journalist Ysabel Durón. This speech of acceptance took place in 2009 when she was inducted in the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Ysabel Durón takes this opportunity to share some honest thoughts on her experience and to remind us all of the importance of cultural inclusivity. Her words are encouraging and a motivation for all of the journalists who bring bits and pieces of their culture, their background, and their heart to the media.

 

August 2011

Tip of the Month

Think of public speaking as an opportunity. Your voice is powerful and you can use it to make personal, professional, and public/social change.

Quote of the Month

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead (Anthropologist)

Speech of the Month

Actor Matt Damon speaks to a gathering of teachers and students at the Save Our Schools rally in Washington DC. This is a good example of someone speaking because they are compelled by personal experience and convictions.

 

April 2011

Tip of the Month

When using PowerPoint as a visual aid in a speech, make sure that the content you include is impacting for your audience. Include pictures that appeal to pathos (emotions) or include startling statistics or facts as bullet points. 

Quote of the Month

"It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it." -- Joseph Joubert (French Author and Philosopher) 

Featured Speech of the Month

Joel Burns' speech at his local city council meeting has grown into a worldwide movement, complete with a series of YouTube videos and a collection of essays published as a book. This is a good example of how public speaking works to influence others. Councilperson Burns has been praised for reaching out to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth who often face bullying and isolation.