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Flashcards in Subtest IV - Speech Deck (21)
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Impromptu Speech

Delivered on spur of the moment with no preparation. Less structured and less supported by facts and evidence. Although spontaneous, impromptu speeches must still be supported with statements that demonstrate pertinence, variety, and detail.


Extemporaneous Speech

Short, informal speech on a provided topic that is made without extensive time for preparation. Delivered without text or notes and is improvised rather than composed.


Persuasive Speech

Can be organized in different ways: cause-effect, problem-solution, comparison-contrast, assertion-reasons, and motivated sequence.


Monroe's Motivated Sequence

Used to organize persuasive speeches. Includes these steps:
1) Attention grabbing
2) Need for solution
3) Satisfaction of need by the solution
4) Visualization of the results
5) Call-to-action


Expository Speech

Informative speech that does not express the speaker's personal opinion. Presents information that is accepted as factual.


Interpretative Speech

Intended to animate a text through the creative use of voice, gesture, and facial expression. (Ex: Shakespeare soliloquy, monologue, tall tale)



Structured program of formal arguments that take opposing points of view. Contains opinions that are supported by facts and examples.


Debate components

Proposition, proposition side (argues in favor of), and opposition side (refutes).


Team policy debate

Focuses on ability to gather evidence and organize a response rather than ability to persuade. Proposition side = Affirmative (Aff), Opposition side = Negative (Neg). Each side has two debaters. Includes a total of eight speeches. The first four speeches are constructed speeches limited to eight minutes that allow teams to lay out main points. The last four speeches are rebuttals limited to four minutes and used to extend, apply, and challenge arguments. There may be a three minute cross-examination period following constructive speeches.


Lincoln-Douglas debate format

Focuses on persuasive speaking. One-on-one debate consisting of five speeches and two cross-examination periods. The Affirmative speaker has one more opportunity to speak than the Negative speaker, but both still have the same total speaking time.



The accent, inflection, intonation, and speech-sound quality employed by a speaker. Proper diction includes the ability to emphasize important words and phrases to communicated important ideas. A speaker with good diction also avoids "vocal pauses" such as "um" or "er", or repeated words that become verbal ticks such as "like" or "you know".



The ability to speak clearly and articulate each speech sound without stumbling or saying the wrong words. A good practice is tongue twisters.



The loudness or softness of speech sounds. A public speaker should speak loudly enough to be heard, but also vary the volume to emphasize certain points and passages and occasionally jolt the listeners back to attention.



The speed at which a speaker delivers words. Speaking too fast makes one sound nervous or flustered. Speaking rate is often related to the comfort level of the speaker and the listener.



A speaker with a greater range of speech sounds is more pleasant to listen to than someone who speaks in a monotone. One aid to better volume, rate, and pitch is proper breathing--deep breaths from the diaphragm.


Body language and gestures

Used to emphasize main points or even to add humor. Movements should sparse and should not be stilted or artificial. Otherwise, the speaker should stand straight and sill, without unnecessary or distracting fidgets.


Eye contact

Used to maintain a connection with the members of the audience and also to gauge audience reaction during a speech. If a speech is being read, the speaker should remember to look up occasionally from the written text and establish eye contact.


Response to the audience

Involves the speaker being aware of nonverbal signals that indicate something the audience might want or need. If some audience members are leaning forward or cupping their ears, the speaker should increase the volume of their voice. If some listeners look quizzical about a certain point, the speaker might repeat it or restate it in clearer language.


Scenario: A hostile member of the audience begins heckling during the speech.

Remain polite and set the tone. Acknowledge the heckling with a pause at first, and if it continues, respond calmly (by informing the audience that questions and comments will be taken at the end, or by using humor to defuse the situation, or appealing to good manners). If the heckling worsens, you may ask to have the person removed from the hall as a last resort. Remaining polite and calm will maintain the audience's sympathy towards you.


Scenario: During a presentation, you notice from the audience members' body language and comments that they already know a lot about the topic.

Try introducing facts and details that you hadn't planned to include because they seemed to be too "insider" oriented. You could also take questions sooner and allow for a group discussion.


Scenario: The audience appears skeptical about what you are saying and are sitting with folded arms and blank expressions.

If you are speaking on a controversial issue, acknowledge the audience's concerns. Be specific in addressing the causes of their unease. Demonstrate that you understand why the issue is difficult or emotional and find areas of common ground from which to begin.