Jen Thornberg Word Count: 893

24 February 2010


Intro Speech Critique

                     During the round of introduction speeches, there were several speeches that stood out to me in a good way. I found most of the speeches I heard to be very successful. However, there were also a few that stood out in a negative way because of certain aspects of the speech or the speaker's mannerisms. The most successful speech to me was one by [speaker one] while I found [speaker two] to be less successful.

                     There were several reasons why I found [speaker one] speech to be highly successful. The most important, I think, was the fact that he seemed connected to the audience. His use of eye contact allowed him to connect with the audience by including them as an important part of his speech. His chosen topic, skateboarding, is one that is highly relevant to many students at Humboldt State University. His use of humor was also very effective in gaining and keeping the audience's attention, because it made them want to see more of his speech. All of these factors made him highly connected to the audience and helped the audience to be interested and invested in his speech.

                     Another reason why [speaker one] speech was successful was that he seemed very conversational. While I could tell that he had worked on his speech and that he knew it well, he did not seem as if he had rehearsed it to the extent that some other speakers did. [speaker one] seemed to be speaking directly to the audience rather than reading from a page. However, although he was conversational, he still managed to keep his tone formal enough for the occasion. [speaker one] succeeded in balancing this formal tone with his conversational style, and it made his speech much more enjoyable in the end.

                     The final aspect of [speaker one] speech that made it so successful was one that is somewhat related to both his connection with the audience and his conversational tone; he seemed very outgoing and friendly. I know that many students during this round of speaking were very nervous, and so I found it impressive that [speaker one] was able to seem so comfortable even while he may have been nervous as well. Seeming comfortable and outgoing when making a speech is difficult for many people, but by doing so, [speaker one] was further able to connect to his audience, and his conversational tone was improved.

                     In contrast to [speaker one] highly successful speech, I found [speaker two] to be less successful. There were several reasons why I thought this. First and foremost, Benjamin's speech seemed far too conversational. It seemed as if [speaker two] did not know where he was going when he was speaking. The rambling nature of his speech made it difficult to pay attention, and it also made it difficult to get anything out of the speech. [speaker two] rambling made his speech seem extremely unstructured, which in turn made me, as an audience member, confused and unable to find his speech successful.

                     [speaker two] topic for his speech, the energies that every human being emanates, was one that is very interesting to me. However, because of the rambling nature of his speech, it seemed that he was unable to really get any information to the audience in a meaningful way. The fact that his speech was so unstructured left the audience unable to follow what he was saying, and that made it seem as if he wasn't saying anything at all. His speech was disorganized and this made it seem highly inefficient.

                     Another thing that distracted from [speaker two] delivering a successful speech was the fact that he went over time. On the day of [speaker two] speech, I happened to be sitting in a place where I could see the time cards being raised, and I saw the time card that indicated that three minutes were up raised when [speaker two] was nowhere near finished with his speech. In fact, he clearly went several minutes over time. Because he went so far over time, the audience's focus was greatly challenged. Toward the end of the speech, after the three-minute time card had been raised, I found myself simply wondering when he would finish rather than actually paying attention to what he was saying.

                     The fact that he went so far over time may have also contributed to another problem that his speech had, which was the lack of any kind of conclusion. [speaker two] speech seemed to just end, with no definitive conclusion section. This left me feeling as if there was something more that I was missing out on and ended up leaving me unsatisfied. The absence of a conclusion made his speech seem unfinished and contributed to the speech's overall unsuccessfulness.

                     While there were many successful speeches and a couple of less successful ones during this speech round, the two that stood out most to me were [speaker one] and [speaker two]. [speaker one] speech was highly successful for many reasons, including his connection to the audience, his conversational tone, and his charismatic appearance. [speaker two] speech was less successful for several reasons, most importantly in that his speech lacked a strongly organized nature. Although both of these speeches ended up being very memorable, they had very different end results and were good examples of what to do and what not to do in speechmaking.





Greg Zweiben WORD COUNT: 922

Informative Speech Critique


                     The two last informative speeches given on Wednesday are the speeches I chose to discuss for this critique. The first speech was about the life and times of Bob Marley. The second speech was about the correlations between some concepts regarding the essence of Chakras as understood in the Hindu religion, and the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The focus of my critique has less to do with one speaker delivering an excellent speech and the other speaker a poor one, rather I thought both were lacking. My critique involves the extent to which the topic itself, and its significance or interest level, can effectively make or break a speech.

                     When the first speech began, and we were told we were going to hear about Bob Marley's life I was excited as I love and respect the man and his music very much. Likewise, if approached correctly, such a speech could illuminate a large amount of social, cultural, and political relevance between Bob Marley and the western world in the last half of the 20th century. There are numerous bodies of sociological and historical research regarding Bob Marley's impact or significance in relation to him speaking out against the military industrial power structure of the United States, and the repression, exploitation, and disenfranchisement of the third world on account of this U.S. political and economic world domination. The speech however, contained no information of the sort. This being due to the speaker's lack of preparedness and public speech anxiety, which is of course understandable and okay, it just detracted greatly from the speech. The speaker gained some credibility in the beginning of the speech by indicating that he and his family had recently taken a trip to Jamaica where he visited the Bob Marley museum. Unfortunately, his credibility went little further, and despite the museum having sparked his interest in the topic as a speech, it certainly is not a sufficient information source. Also I feel it is worth noting, although my perspective may be unique in that I sit in the farthest right and front desk in the classroom, but the speaker gave his entire speech standing perpendicular to the chalkboard. In other words, his back was facing me the entire speech.

I suppose there are two points to my critique. The first that the topic one chooses has a great deal to do with the success of one's speech, but also the second point is that performance also has a great deal to do with the success of one's speech. This seems obvious, but I will continue.

The speech on Bob Marley was an incredibly interesting topic to speak about, especially to a classroom of college students who, as a demographic, represent the vast majority of Bob Marley's audience or listening population if you will. Despite the interest of the topic however, the speaker failed to deliver, he failed to do the topic justice.

The second speech I chose to critique was the last speech of the informative round, the speech explaining some similarities between Chakras and the twelve steps. The speaker could not have been more prepared, more organized, or more willing to deliver a clear, concise speech. This speech was lacking greatly to me. The topic, the association the speaker tried to make really did not seem worthy of associating. One element has to do with physiological balance and the other with a process by which a vulnerable addict submits to believing in God – a Christian god let it be clear. I, myself, am a recovering alcoholic. I have been sober for over seven years and I was going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings when the speaker in question was 8 years old. Chakras and the twelve steps have no more in common than Professor Floss and those who hate theater. Despite the speaker clearly having practiced and rehearsed this speech, and even using his sources as a visual aid to really stress how much he read on the subjects, the speech did not ring true to me. The speech did not interest me, or grab my attention. It almost seemed to me like the speaker thought it was a persuasive speech. As if he thought he could convince us that these two things were alike even though they really are not.

I must assert, regardless of my critique of both these speakers, I absolutely and always commend them on their speeches and efforts. Simply, I make or hold no judgments. I just think the speeches could have been much better. Had the first speaker chosen to discuss Chakras and the twelve steps it may have been a horrible speech. Had the second speaker chosen to speak about Bob Marley, it may have been the best speech of the class. Topic is essential with equal consideration to delivery. Only excelling at one does not guarantee a good speech. I stress this point because we are all impressionable, some more than others but still we are willing to learn to some degree. I feel like presenting certain ideas to certain people, like my classmates and I, depending on the speaker, may discourage or encourage our further interest in subjects. Like you may think a little less of going to any personal lengths to familiarize yourself with Bob Marley's music after that speech. Likewise classmates of mine may make some unwarranted association between Hinduism and alcoholics now that they have heard the last speech. I suppose this is why we are taking public speaking.




Jennifer Paramo



To learn or not to learn? That is the question. During the informative speeches, I acquired various things. Being an audience in this round of speeches, was difficult because we are expecting to learn something new or more thoroughly from the speaker. One tries to learn from the speaker as they are giving their speech and evaluating them on where were they successful and where they need further improvement. For example, I listen to the speakers preview statements and identify what their main points and what their strategic order of main points were. However, I also acknowledge where the speakers need improvement, such as establishing credibility in their introductions or the problems that a speaker faces by not having any evidence such as citations. Even though [speaker one] and [speaker two] had interesting topics in their speeches, there were also distinctions that allow each speech to stand on its own.

The speech that worked better than the other was a speech given by [speaker one]. This student's speech was a great success. During this speech, [speaker one] had a strong attention getter. It really got my attention as well as her audience. Her introduction was clear and her main points were said thoroughly. Her main points were given in alliterative. She used the three "M-M-M", to show us what she was going to be talking about. For instance, her three main points were Medical Knowledge, Mother Nature, and Mysticism. She explained her main points well and for each argument that she claimed had evidence. She used good transitions to go into each main point. This made it clear for her audience to understand. She also made a good analogy between her grandmother and a Native American. She not only used a personal experience to reach her audience, but this strategy established credibility for her speech. [speaker one] exploit her introduction well and her preview statement was easy to follow and well said.

Although these are good examples of a strong intro, there were other speeches that needed further improvement. The speech that needed improvement to make her speech a lot stronger was [speaker two]. This speech was very interesting to learn about because I was not familiar with "Plantar Fascilitis." [speaker two] had a good tone of voice through out her speech, which was easy to follow and understand. Even though, she had a good tone of voice, she stuck her tongue from time to time. Due to this I sometimes concentrated more on her tongue than what she was saying. Since [speaker two] said "umm" numerous times, I assumed she was not prepared on her topic. Because of this she did not establish credibility. However, she stated a really good simile, "Fascia is like a rubber band."  This simile was very helpful because I received a better understanding. [speaker two] also had good eye contact and was very conversational with her audience.

On the other hand, [speaker one] did not connect to her audience. However, she demonstrated a jar. Inside the jar there were different herbs, plants and water. She explained how the Native Americans would drink what was inside the jar to cure the sick. This definitely helped her audience to see what exactly she was talking about. Alternatively, [speaker two] visual aid overall was good. However, in some pictures there was just too much info to even focus on one figure. Various pictures were provided that helped her convey her purpose. Every picture was in color and big enough for everyone to see in the class. She also explained it well and showed how it tied with her speech. She had pictures that had too much information; therefore it was hard to identify what it was. Nevertheless, I feel that [speaker one] visual aid worked better than [speaker two] because not only did she provide the class with thorough details but was an object that we can see and feel instead of having display in the projector.

In an informative speech, a speaker has to do extensive research, which includes citations and bibliography. The speech that worked better than the other was [speaker one] speech because she provided numerous citations such as books and the encyclopedia. She notified us where she got citations and the titles of the authors. This helped me because I was able to believe her. She definitely establishes credibility. On the other hand, [speaker two] did not give any evidence or citations. Because of this I was not able to trust everything she said in her speech. I did not know where she got her information or if her information was even true. As an audience I want to know if what she is saying is true. So establishing credibility in this round of speech was very important. Therefore, [speaker one] style of delivery worked best for me to comprehend and believe.

How should a speech be delivered? Should we present a prepared and rehearsed speech that is presented from a brief set of notes or reciting from memory? It depends. In [speaker one] case, she used a direct delivery to give her speech. This allowed her to stay on task and to not lose her place. This delivery was like a guide for her. [speaker one] extemporaneous speech was carefully prepared and looked as if it was practiced in advanced. In presenting her speech, she used a speaking outline to jog her memory. Even though [speaker two] had a speaking outline, she did not utilize it well. It seemed as if she recited from memory because she kept saying "umm" and would pause often. I strongly believe that there is nothing wrong with memorizing a speech as long as the speaker knows exactly what to say. In [speaker two] case, she forgot her lines. However, she did really well in improvising because she did not panic, instead she took a deep breath and continued where she left of. When a speaker decides to memorize a speech, speaker must be able to concentrate on communicating with the audience instead of remembering the words. I agree with [speaker one] delivery, it worked best than Hannah's delivery.

Overall, both speakers had good energy through out their speeches. This helped me stay tuned and away from getting distracted. Both speeches provided the audience with helpful examples and visual aids. They both inform us with good information and played very well the role of a teacher. Finally, both speeches were enjoyable to listen to.







Jen Thornberg Word Count: 968

9 April 2010


Informative Speech Critique

                     During this round of speeches, I found the majority the speeches to be very successful. Most of the speakers seemed very prepared and delivered their speeches well. One person whose speech stood out to me in a good way was [speaker one] . Unfortunately, there were also a couple of speeches that I thought were less successful. The speaker whose speech stood out the most in a negative way was the same as in the introduction speech round, [speaker two].

                     I found [speaker one] speech to be successful for several reasons. First and foremost, he seemed completely comfortable in front of the class. Given the fact that in the introduction round he gave a speech about his work with musical theater, this was unsurprising, but it did make it easier for me as an audience member to watch his speech. His comfort level led to several positives in his delivery of his speech. He gave good eye contact and he also had a good tone, remaining conversational without seeming unprofessional or under-prepared.

                     Another good thing about [speaker one] speech was his subject. His topic, vocal paralysis, was something that I had never heard of before, which made it easier for me to listen and give him my attention. I thought he researched well and at the end of the speech, I felt like I had learned something. Another aspect of his speech that was part of both his delivery and his topic was the fact that he managed to relate the topic both to himself and to the audience. This once again led me to be more easily able to pay attention and made his subject seem more significant.

                     One final thing that I found impressive was the fact that [speaker one] mentioned after his speech that he had rewritten it the day before because of computer problems. I was very impressed with his ability to give a speech that was thoroughly researched and well put together with only a day to rehearse it. This once again ties into the fact that he was very comfortable and confident in his delivery, since I know how difficult it would be for me to give a speech like that with so little preparation time. Overall, I thought [speaker one] speech was very successful.

                     Unfortunately, I found a couple of other speeches to be less successful, including [speaker two] speech. One of the main reasons was, once again, his speech's organization, or lack thereof. [speaker two] again seemed to be simply talking with no set end point or goal other than to speak for seven minutes. His organizational pattern was all but nonexistent and this made it very difficult for me to follow what he was saying. His introduction to the speech was very lackluster and did not leave me interested in what he would say next. Although he did have a preview statement, his talking points did not follow this statement. Even during the rare moments in his speech when I felt like he did understand his topic and know his material and his research, he seemed unable to impart any of this information to the audience. In contrast to [speaker one] speech, at the end of Benjamin's speech, I didn't feel like I had really learned anything.

                     Another problem with [speaker two] speech was his delivery style. His speech was long and rambling. He didn't seem to know where he was going or what he was going to say next, and this made him seem unprofessional and as if he had not really researched his topic. Another issue with his delivery style was that he had very little eye contact with the audience. This again led to the impression that he wasn't a reliable speaker and he didn't truly know what he was speaking about. Furthermore, his rambling thoughts and slow pace made his speech go well beyond the time limit. This again made it more difficult to listen to for me as an audience member, and left me with the impression that Benjamin was unprepared for his speech.

                     A further and perhaps even more problematic issue that I noticed during [speaker two] speech was his lack of cited research. He gave a lot of scientific evidence during his speech about the structure of fats and the physical structure of coconut oil, but gave no sources for where he found this information. This was a huge problem, as it left me as an audience member unable to trust that what he was saying was actual fact. Combined with his speech's lack of organization, [speaker two] lack of research left me feeling like he was not a very reliable source of information.

                     Overall, [speaker two] had many of the same problems during this speaking round that he had during the last round, which was frustrating for me as an audience member. I felt like he had gained almost nothing from listening to other speakers and it made it seem like he was not taking this assignment seriously, which in turn made it difficult for me to listen to his speech.

                     For the most part during this speaking round, I was very impressed. I found that the vast majority of students gave well prepared, well organized, and well-delivered speeches. There were several speeches that stood out to me positively, including [speaker one] in particular because of his comfortable delivery and interesting, memorable topic. However, there were also a few speeches that stood out to me negatively, including most [speaker two] for many of the same reasons as during the introduction speech round, including his rambling speaking, as well as for some new reasons, such as his lack of cited research. Once again, these speeches were good examples for what to do and what not to do during a speech.