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12.8: Activities and Glossary

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    Review questions

    1. Develop a list of ten potential speech topics. For each topic, think of a setting in which a speech on that topic might be delivered. Next, determine what type(s) of delivery (manuscript, memorized, impromptu, extemporaneous) would be most appropriate for the topic and setting.

    2. What three aspects of vocal delivery do you believe are most important to a speaker’s credibility? Explain.

    3. How might a speaker’s accent affect the audience’s perception of him or her? Illustrate your answer with an example.

    4. What guidelines did you find most useful in the section about what to wear for your speech?

    5. How do you perceive speakers who do not make eye contact with their audience? What suggestions would you give these speakers to improve their eye contact?

    6. What type of equipment is available in the space(s) where you plan to give your speeches? What kinds of presentations can be used with this type of equipment?

    7. List three methods you would personally use to reduce your anxiety before your speeches.

    8. What piece of advice from the chapter did you find most useful?


    1. Practice Inflection

    Gather some children’s books (aimed at ages 6-10) and read them aloud in class. Practice the use of inflection to indicate the punctuation, the energy, and the characters. Do not be afraid to seem foolish. Remember that this is how most children learn to read and speak.

    2. Pronunciation

    Bring in several books or publications of a variety of types and disciplines. Scan through the text and find words that are unusual. Look them up in an online dictionary and see how they are pronounced. This could be turned into a game of “stump the speaker” guessing how each word is pronounced. It can also be used to point out some simple yet often mispronounced words.

    3. Projection

    Stand in as large a circle as possible. Each person has a partner across the room. Partners introduce each other and carry a conversation over the noise of others doing the same thing. Do not shout. Keep it going for a few minutes (it will be loud), then quiz the partners about the conversation they had.

    4. Find a partner and work on any of the “Try This” activities in the chapter.



    The prominence of a syllable in terms of loudness, pitch, and/or length.


    The act of producing clear, precise and distinct speech.

    Body Language

    Body stance, gestures and facial expressions.


    A variety of language, cant or jargon that is set apart from other varieties of the same language by grammar, vocabulary or patterns of speech sounds.


    The accent, inflection, intonation and sound quality of a speaker’s voice. Also known as enunciation.


    The formal study and practice of oral delivery, especially as it relates to the performance of voice and gestures.

    Extemporaneous Delivery

    Learning your speech well enough so that you can deliver it from a key word outline.

    Impromptu Speeches

    A speech delivered without previous preparation.


    Variations, turns and slides in pitch to achieve meaning.

    Manuscript Delivery

    Reading the text of a speech word for word.

    Memorized Delivery

    Learning a speech by heart and then delivering it without notes.


    The execution of a speech in front of an audience.


    The highness or lowness of one’s voice or of sound.


    Saying words correctly, with the accurate articulation, stress and intonation, according to conventional or cultural standards.


    A speech form, expression or custom that is characteristic to a particular geographic area.


    The rate, pace, or rhythm of speech.


    The characteristic quality of the sound of one’s voice.


    The particular sound quality (e.g. nasal or breathy) or emotional expression of the voice.


    To say with exactly the same words.

    Vocalized Pauses

    Verbal fillers in speech such as “um,” “uh,” “like,” “and,” or “you know.”

    12.8: Activities and Glossary is shared under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Lisa Schreiber and Morgan Hartranft (Public Speaking Project) .

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