Competent Communication Manual

Listed below are thumbnail descriptions of 10 speech projects in the Communication Manual. The projects focus on the basic building blocks of communication skills. If you speak with people who are experts at what they do, you'll find they'll agree that you perfect your skills when you know the basics!

 

Project 1 - The Ice Breaker

Time: Four to six minutes

Executive Summary:
For your first speech project you will introduce yourself to your fellow club members and give them some information about your background, interests and ambitions. Practice giving your speech to friends or family members, and strive to make eye contact with your audience. You may use notes during your speech if you wish. Read the entire project before preparing your talk.

Objectives:

  • To begin speaking before an audience
  • To discover skills that you already have skills that need attention

Project 2 - Organize Your Speech


Time: Five to seven minutes

Executive Summary:

Good speech organization is essential if your audience is to follow and understand your presentation. It's extremely important to take the time to put your ideas together in an orderly manner. You can organize your speech in several ways; choose the outline that best suits your topic. The opening should catch the audience's attention, the body must support the idea you want to convey, and the conclusion should reinforce your ideas and be memorable. Transitions between thoughts should be smooth.

Objectives:

  • Select an appropriate outline which allows listeners to easily follow and understand your speech
  • Make your message clear, with supporting material directly contributing to that message
  • Use appropriate transitions when moving from one idea to another
  • Create a strong open and conclusion

Project 3 - Get to the Point


Time: Five to seven minutes

Executive Summary:
Every speech must have a general and a specific purpose. A general purpose is to inform, to persuade, to entertain or to inspire. A specific purpose is what you want the audience to do after listening to your speech. Once you have established your general and specific purposes, you'll find it easy to organize your speech. Following these rules you'll feel more confident which makes you more convincing, enthusiastic and sincere. The better organized the speech is, the more likely it is to achieve your purpose.

Objectives:

Select a speech topic and determine its general and specific purposes

  • Organize the speech in a manner that best achieves those purposes
  • Ensure the beginning, body and conclusion reinforce the purposes
  • Project sincerity and conviction and control any nervousness you may feel
  • Strive not to use notes

Project 4 - How to Say It


Time: Five to seven minutes

Executive Summary:

Words are powerful. They convey your message and influence the audience and its perception of you. Word choice and arrangement need just as much attention as speech organization and purpose. Select clear, accurate, descriptive and short words that best communicate your ideas and arrange them effectively and correctly. Every word should add value, meaning and punch to your speech.

Objectives:

Select the right words and sentence structure to communicate your ideas clearly, accurately and vividly

  • Use rhetorical devices to enhance and emphasize ideas
  • Eliminate jargon and unnecessary words. Use correct grammar

Project 5 - Your Body Speaks


Time: Five to sevene minutes

Executive Summary:

Body language is an important part of speaking because it enhances your message and gives you more credibility. It also helps release any nervousness you may feel. Stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact help communicate your message and achieve your speech's purpose. Body language should be smooth, natural and convey the same message that your listeners hear. Read Gestures: Your Body Speaks (Catalog No. 201), which you received in your New Member Kit.

Objectives:

Use stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact to express your message and achieve your speech's purpose

  • Make your body language smooth and natural

Project 6 - Vocal Variety


Time: Five to seven minutes

Executive Summary:

Your voice has a major effect on your audience. A lively, exciting voice attracts and keeps listeners' attention. A speaking voice should be pleasant, natural, forceful, expressive and easily heard. Use volume, pitch, rate and quality as well as appropriate pauses to reflect and add meaning and interest to your message. Your voice should reflect the thoughts you are presenting. Review Your Speaking Voice (Catalog No. 199), which you received in your New Member Kit.

Objectives:

Use voice, volume, pitch, rate and quality to reflect and add meaning and interest to your message

  • Use pauses to enhance your message
  • Use vocal variety smoothl y and naturally

Project 7 - Research Your Topic


Time: Five to seven minutes

Executive Summary:

Your speech will be more effective if you can support your main points with statistics, testimony, stories, anecdotes, examples, visual aids and facts. You can find this material on the Internet, at the library and in other places. Use information collected from numerous sources and carefully support points with specific facts, examples and illustrations, rather than with just your own opinions.

Objectives:

Collect information about your topic from numerous sources

  • Carefully support your points and opinions with specific facts, examples and illustrations gathered through research

Project 8 - Get Comfortable with Visual Aids


Time: Five to seven minutes

Executive Summary:

Visual aids help an audience understand and remember what they hear; they are a valuable tool for speakers. The most popular visual aids are computer-based visuals, overhead transparencies, flip charts, white-boards and props. The type of visual aid you choose depends on several factors, including the information you wish to display and the size of the audience. Visuals must be appropriate for your message and the audience, and be displayed correctl y with ease and confidence.

Objectives:

Select visual aids that are appropriate for your message and the audience

  • Use visual aids correctly with ease and confidence

Project 9 - Persuade with Power


Time: Five to seven minutes

Executive Summary:

The ability to persuade people – getting them to understand, accept and act upon your ideas – is a valuable skill. Your listeners will more likely be persuaded if they perceive you as credible, if you use logic and emotion in your appeal, if you carefully structure your speech and if you appeal to their interests. Avoid using notes because they may cause listeners to doubt your sincerity, knowledge and conviction.

Objectives:

Persuade listeners to adopt your viewpoint or ideas or to take some action

  • Appeal to the audience's interests
  • Use logic and emotion to support your position
  • Avoid the use of notes

Project 10 - Inspire Your Audience


Time: Eight to 10 minutes

Executive Summary:
An inspirational speech motivates an audience to improve personally, emotionally, professionally or spiritually and relies heavily on emotional appeal. It brings the audience together in a mood of fellowship and shared desire, builds the audience's enthusiasm, then proposes a change or plan and appeals to the audience to adopt this change or plan. This speech will last longer than your previous talks, so make arrangements in advance with your Vice President Education for extra time.

Objectives:

  • To inspire the audience by appealing to noble motives and challenging the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievement
  • Appeal to the audience's needs and emotions, using stories, anecdotes and quotes to add drama
  • Avoid the use of notes