Public Speaking

The Press Conference as Public Speaking Assignment
Diana L Tucker

The purpose is to allow the students to talk about an event that happened or that is going to happen. In a Sport PR class, I give the students mock crisis situations that have supposedly happened on a team they are working for and they have to prepare a statement for a press conference. In another PR class they get to talk about an event they have developed that is going to happen in the future. In a basic course public speaking assignment, I ask the students to choose an event in their own lives and prepare a statement about it. This assignment can easily stand in as the often used “self introductory” speech. I allow students to choose a positive or negative event in their life. This way they can choose to talk about an accomplishment in their lives, or if they choose to talk about a time they “got in trouble,” they are allowed to prepare a statement of apology (or what they “should have done”) to present at the mock press conference.

Decoding Controversies Through Print News Sources
Kristen Hungerford

Students often struggle to come up with relevant and current topics for their formal presentations. Asking students to present speeches on current controversies allows them to take interest in, and form opinions on, current events. Print news sources are pertinent places to go to evaluate where such controversies are being debated, along with surveying which topical controversies are most regularly discussed in the different news sources. By conducting analyses of print news sources, students can better understand the most common controversies that are discussed, debated, and framed by journalists.