Self-evaluation:  Speech to Explain

Patti Bennett


Jennifer Cochrane



     In my speech to explain, I spent a lot of time researching, preparing and practicing.  When I did my research, I found a lot of different type of information.  For instance, I found the audio I used in my speech from a website called when I was researching about humor!  I used the speakers’ lab, which helped me in my preparation.  I tried not to practice as much so it wouldn’t sound like I memorized the speech, but I wanted to be confident in the knowledge and what I wanted to say, so I practiced in a different way.  When I was at the speakers’ lab, I videotaped my speech twice, so I watched the tape over and over again.  I also audiotaped my speech so I could hear how I sounded.

      I tried to make it an interesting speech by adding personal information to get my point across.  I also believe the transition “when my children are grown and gone…” helped sum up my main points in a creative way.  The audio with the laughter was used to lighten up the seriousness of the speech.  I used simple language to make the information clear to the audience.  To develop and organize the speech; I pointed out the main topic, gave examples from the research, then gave personal examples to make it understandable.   I believe the personal examples and the repetition of the “when my children are grown and gone…” transition will make the speech memorable to the audience.

     My delivery is pretty good.  I believe I have good eye contact, rate, volume, and articulation.  Many of my peers mentioned my gestures were strong and helped in making my point.  I still believe I look as nervous as I feel (even though I experienced a lot less nervousness this time because I utilized the speakers’ lab).  I am so concerned about  getting the information to the audience in an organized and understandable way, that I am less passionate or enthusiastic as I really am. With more experience in giving speeches, I will become more confident in my overall delivery and be able to show more passion and enthusiasm!

     I was within the time limits since I kept the information brief.  I used my note cards to help guide me through the speech.  Usually one main word would remind me of what I wanted to say.  I also put the cited information on them so I wouldn’t misquote the source.  During the last speech I forgot to put up one of my transparencies, so I used my note cards to remind me when to use my visual aids.

     I effectively organized my speech, which made it flow smoothly.  I was creative by using personal examples to back up the information, and by repeating what I thought was the most important message of my speech.  My visual aids were simple, but got the message across without taking away from the speech.  My goal is not to bore the audience with information they’ll never remember.  When I listen to speakers, I find the most effective speakers use real life situations to hold the audiences attention and get the message across.

     I guess I used persuasive tactics without knowing it!  After studying the next few chapters and giving a speech on persuasion, I’ll be able to recognize what I did!  I also feel my nervousness still affects my delivery, so I will use the speakers lab again and I’ll go one step further by getting a mentor to evaluate my speech while I’m there!

     One thing I am doing better is relieving some of my nervousness by using the speakers lab to help me.  I am also learning how to narrow a topic down to find the important information to share with the audience.  I also tend to have little nervous habits while speaking, so I am working to eliminate those!  For example, during my first speech, one classmate told me I put my hair behind my ears, which was distracting to her.  So for the second speech I put my hair in combs so I wouldn’t unconsciously be concerned with it!