Today I tell students that I want them to be the judge for a presentation. I tell them that we are going to watch a video of things students, like them, do that can help or hurt a speech.
I like to stop the video after the presenter states his introduction to ask students what he did well? and what he could have improved? I often did this during the video as well to keep students involved in the learning.
After watching the video I ask students to identify the main points made that make a speech a good presentation? If they don't get them all (eye contact, speaking loudly, speaking slowly, not saying "um", then I challenge them to think of some more.) I then ask them what other tips they can think of that were not in the video of ways good speakers present them selves to audiences?
Students respond - I introduce our objective that today we will be practicing using our presentation boards and note cards to improve our speaking skills and to share our report information with an audience.
I share with students that we are going to have a student from last years class present her report to the class so that they can see and hear what a good presentation looks and sounds like. (I videotaped her presentation so you can open and watch the video link)
Students are given a rubric (I put them in plastic sleeves to be reused or print off a bunch if you want students to take home their copies to learn from) - we review each section and I explain the differences between a 4 (good score) and a 1 (low score).
Our past student starts her speech and my students listen and evaluate her presenting skills.
We thank her and I ask her to respond to questioning from students (you could answer the questions at this point just as easily)
I remind students of a few key points that they will need to know before they begin:
Stand tall, eye contact all around the room, clear-loud-slow speaking, ok to look at note cards just don't block your face, stand tall (no hands in pockets) and don't fidget or sway, and finally BREATH - its ok to be nervous and the more you do this the easier it gets:)
I call random names to partner students for sharing of their presentations. Speakers stand with their boards and judges sit facing them with their rubrics - they may not talk to the presenters until they have finished their speeches. Judges write a T-chart on their white boards or can use the rubric with (+) signs for things they did well and (-) signs for things they can improve.
After each speech is completed I call on volunteers (or pull sticks depending upon their participation rate) to share out their positive and improvement comments received on their own presentations and how they plan to improve their speeches.
Then I signal for partners to get back together into groups but to change roles. It's now the judges turn to speak and the speakers turn to judge! When all groups are done talking and sharing strategies, I have them all gather together.
I have students then break into groups of 4 so that each speaks to a larger audience - these groups do the same strategy and rotate around the group with everyone speaking. (its important for this section to have each group have a "timer" person so that speeches do not go much over the 5-6 min goal. I have them stop the speaker with a quiet signal when they hit 8 min.) The students who are not speaking are the judges and they use a T chart to give "positive compliments" and "improvement needed" comments to each as they present to the group.
I circulate and listen to as many groups as I can. I also use this time to help struggling students finish their note cards, etc. and practice strategies that help them gain confidence and knowledge for their presentations.
We come back together and I ask students what was the most difficult thing about speaking aloud? Take responses. Then I ask what was the easiest thing about speaking aloud? (I want to end on a happier note)
I close the day with "Why is having good speaking skills important in life?" and "When will we use them?" to make the connection that these skills will help us in college, work, even home life.
We set a date for each student to present in the coming weeks to outside classrooms and give teachers/ parents the rubric to assess student presenters. In that this takes a lot of time, I usually schedule them for 4-5 per day and stretch it out over one to two weeks. We invite parents and staff to attend as well and then end with a party celebrating a job well done.
This is a great set of lessons because it directly addresses three of the Common Core Speaking and Listening shifts in the fact that students report on a topic with facts and details, include visual displays to enhance a theme, and adapt their speech to their content and task.