Outside Speech Critique

This assignment involves attending a formal speech or lecture given outside of the classroom, and writing a four to six page critique.  The Burlington area has many cultural, educational and social presentations that you can chose from.  There are speakers coming to UVM throughout the semester.  Whatever the event, you should critique a formal speech, not simply attend a meeting, discussion group, film showing, or art gallery opening. A guest speaker in one of your classes is not an appropriate subject, nor is watching a speech on TV or DVD.  Also, this must be a current speech, one you expressly attended for this assignment.  Write-ups of past speeches that you attended before this semester are not acceptable.

To check out community events, try the "What's Happening" section of the Burlington Free Press, read Seven Days, try the Vermont Cynic or keep you eye on the posters around campus.  On the UVM Home page you can click on "Events Calendar" in the Featured links list; then click on "Speaker/Lecture Series" in the Navigation bar on the left. 

It would behoove you to write your paper as soon as you can after attending the speech you are critiquing.  The paper should be four to six pages in length, and double spaced.  Use the following outline to guide you to a successful critique and paper.  Grammar, spelling, syntax, etc. will be graded as well as content.

Your paper must be peer edited.  Give the first draft of your paper to someone in your lab to edit.  The editor should read and critically analyze your paper.  The editor should comment in writing on things such as: sentence structure, spelling, content, what they liked about your paper, where they wanted to read more, suggestions of different wording, and what (if anything) was left out (see below).  The editor should sign their name clearly on the first draft.  Then, you should re-write your final draft based on the suggestions of your editor.

You should hand in your edited signed first draft along with your final draft of your outside speech critique to your TAs any time before the deadline .  Do not email attached papers.  Papers handed in after this date will received a reduced grade 10% the first week late, 20% the second week, and no credit for the assignment after that.


Your Critique should cover the following:

1.  Include the date and title of the speech, the name of the speaker along with his or her title or position.  Describe the introduction given to the speaker.  Did it make you want to listen to him/her?

2.  What was the subject of the speech?  Describe the audience.  Did the speaker speak to the level of his/her audience?

3.  Where and on what occasion was the speech given?

4.  What was the objectives or purpose of the speech?

5.  Did the speaker achieve his/her objectives or purpose?  Why or why not?

6.  Give examples of the kinds of support (statistics, graphs, video testimony, stories, examples) used by the speaker.  Were they effective?  Did they contribute to the speech?

7.  Describe the speaker's platform behavior.  Include such details as posture, personal appearance, bodily movements, gestures, vocal characteristics and eye contact.

8.  Was the speaker's delivery effective or ineffective?  Why?

9.  Describe the speaker's use of language.  Include such details as volume, word choice, articulation, pronunciation, clarity, vividness, appropriateness, pausing, filler words, accent, language devices, and propaganda techniques.

10.  What was your overall reaction to the speech?  What was the audience's reaction?

11.  What did you learn that will help you become a better speaker? 

Be sure to include an edited draft signed by a lab-mate.