To use your knowledge of the elements needed for an effective presentation to critique a speaker.

To use your knowledge of the elements needed for an effective presentation to critique a speaker.


To use your knowledge of the elements needed for an effective presentation to critique a speaker.
To apply what you have learned in class to reinforce those lessons.
To show your understanding of why these elements are needed.
To learn by example what is effective and what is not and to be able to adjust your own presentation style for better effectiveness.


Find a speech given to a live audience to critique. Due to COVID-19, attending a large speaking event may be unadvisable; therefore, if needed, find a good substitute online of at least 10 minutes in length.

Suggestions (live if safe):

A special-event lecture on campus or elsewhere
A guest speaker in one of your classes
A training class
A campus tour

Suggestions (online):

Ted Talks ( work well for this assignment. Link to Ted Talks Website (Links to an external site.)
Rick Steves has good travel lectures. Link to Rick Steves’ Website (Links to an external site.) (Not to be confused with his television episodes or videos with voiceover. Look for the lectures where he or one of his staff is on stage.)

Write a 750-word (minimum) essay, about three pages typed, double-spaced, critiquing the speakers performance. Demonstrate a solid understanding of the elements of effective public speaking.
Make sure your essay is well-written (introduction, body, and conclusion paragraph; proofread for errors; plenty of examples).

Essay Checklist:
___ the speaker’s name and title (if appropriate)

___ the name of the event

___ where and when the speech was given. Include an estimate of audience size.

___ the speaker’s purpose (to inform, to persuade, to entertain, to inspire,…)

___ the speakers central idea and how easy it was for you to determine it

___ a critique of the speech’s introduction (Hook, Topic Reveal, Preview of Body)

___ a critique of the body of the speech (Organization, Clarity of ideas, Transitions)

___ a critique of the speech’s conclusion (Alert, Brevity, Memorable Finish)

___ a critique of the speaker’s delivery (verbal AND non-verbal) There should be at least a fullparagraph on this. (Projection, Pace, Eye Contact, Vocal Variety, Pauses, etc.)

___ a critique of the speaker’s use of support (examples, statistics, and testimony)

___ a critique of the speaker’s use of visual aids (if applicable)

___ a critique of how well the message was tailored for that audience

___ a description of the audience’s reaction

___ a critique of how questions were handled or should have been handled. If no Q&A was included, please write that.

___ a summary of the strongest and weakest parts of the speech

___ specific examples to support the above-mentioned points

Keys to a Good Grade:
Do not simply summarize the speaker’s message. You can include information on what the speech was about, but do not get caught up in writing about what was said. Focus on how well it was said.
Do not simply list responses for the items above. Write a thoughtful, well-organized essay.
Make suggestions on how the speech could have been better.
If there is more than one speaker at your event, focus your critique on just one of the speakers.


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