Speech 1

Feb 28

Prepared Speech

the first of two this semester
Due: by midnight Sun, Feb 28. Post your script in the comments below. If you have slides (see below), post your slides as a .pdf file (John S slides.pdf) in a comment replying to the comment with your script.

Compose a speech on a pressing political issue. Some options:

  • Black Lives Matter
  • #MeToo
  • Immigration
  • North Korea
  • Global Warming
  • Gun Control
  • The Second Impeachment of President Trump
  • "Cancel Culture"
  • China: nation and diaspora
  • something else of your choosing


  • 500-600 words, about 4 minutes duration.
  • Speeches to be delivered the following week.
  • Text of your speech due midnight on the evening of Sun, Feb 28, turned in as a pdf via the comments, below.
  • Uploaded .pdf should include the following:
    • The speech itself.
    • A bullet-point list of the choices you made in response to the “Important Considerations” listed below (Aim, Invention, Disposition, Style, Memory, Delivery), ONE sentence each.
    • MLA in-text citations, together with a list of Works Cited.
    • Up to three slides/images you plan to use during your presentation.

Important Considerations:

Aim: What are you trying to accomplish with this speech? Is it your goal to persuade opponents, to rally supporters, or to offer insight? These are different aims and they call for different approaches. Feel free to embellish with a fictional scenario: you’re giving a TED talk, or you’re speaking at the opening of a factory on the US/Mexico border.

Invention: consider what persuasive materials you can bring to bear: metaphor/analogy, evidence/anecdote, logic/argument.

Disposition: consider how to arrange these elements for dramatic effect. Note that there are different kinds of drama: a moment of discovery, a clash of perspectives, etc.

Style: big words or small? intellectual or earthy? rhythmic or prosaic? Why?

Memory: will you read your speech, deliver from notes, or entirely from memory?

Delivery: consider how you can vary your speed and volume to reflect the dramatical structure you worked out earlier. Practice delivering the speech 5 times: four times the day before and once on the day you’re scheduled to deliver.

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