My communication class delivered its first round of speeches today.
I had a couple of really great presentations; so great that I was actually a little surprised. One girl did a lovely, logical, and clear speech about the history of the Beatles and, though she was nervous as hell, she managed to pull off one of the better performances of the morning.
My winner kid offered up a presentation about police dogs that was informative, easy to follow, and crazy-interesting. He did a fantastic job, and I held him back after class was over to tell him so.
The rest of the class, though, delivered what can best be described as average speeches. This doesn’t surprise or dishearten me, though; the first speeches are NEVER really that great, and I don’t grade them particularly harshly as a result. Kids are nervous, they don’t have a whole lot of practice organizing their thinking (or putting together decent notes or prompts for themselves) and they haven’t quite figured out yet what their “style” is. Usually, by the end of the semester they’ve got a better idea of who they are “on stage” and end up delivering far better presentations as a result.
I learned a LOT from this morning’s speeches, though. For starters, we need to work HARD on introductions and conclusions. With the exception of the two aformentioned kids, EVERY SINGLE STUDENT started his or her speech with “I did mine on…” or some variation of that theme. On the other end, EVERY SINGLE STUDENT (including, sadly the two aformentioned students) finished their speeches with “that’s all I’ve got…” or some variation on that theme.
Um…yeah… that’s not gonna cut it.
Wednesday’s class is going to be about introductions and conclusions, because I just can’t stand it.