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For students who _Don't know_

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For students who _Don't know_

  1. 1. Basic procedure for students who “Don’t know” By Isabella Kaplan, peer tutor fall semester 2015 The majority of the people who come to the Public Speaking Lab (PSL) know what they need to work on. Often, students come asking for help in creating an outline, filling in gaps in their speech, or help with improving their general speaking skills. As a tutor, it is very important to know what the student would like to work on. Knowing this will allow you to tailor a session that is most beneficial to the student. However, there will be times where students will not know what to work on. This is often because it is their first time visiting the PSL, or it is a required visit and they don’t really want to be here. As you will soon discover, a half an hour is a short amount of time, and you don’t want to waste their time giving advice on things the student does not need help on. Here are a few tips to help you give a successful session for students who do not know what they want to work on. Ask About the Requirements Whether it is public speaking class or any other class, professors often have very strict guidelines on what they want the presentation to be like. As the public speaking class will have the most prominent tutees, know the requirements for his assignments before the students come in, and ask questions to see if they meet those requirements. For any other class, read the assignment to find the key details at the beginning of the session. Often a student will forget a detail or two, and will be grateful you saved them a few points. Knowing that they have all the key requirements will boost their confidence, a key factor in public speaking. Here are some questions you should ask the student. 1. What does this speech have to be about? 2. What is the time limit?
  2. 2. 3. How many slides are required? 4. How many sources are needed? 5. Does the speech require a hand out, props or any other additions? 6. Does the speech require the incorporation of things such as: quotes, ethos pathos, logos, or statistics? 7. How does this speech relate to the audience? 8. When is it due? (This is an important question to ask, for if it is due that day you don’t want to give too many things to improve on as it will over whelm the student). Offer General Advice Before The Student Presentation His or Her Speech Over time you will find common areas that all students struggle with. Suggest a few pointers on how to fix the common mistakes before the student starts to ensure he or she has the basic but important foundation skills. As they work on those tasks, it will allow you to find more hidden problems, like poor transitions, or sentences that don’t make sense. Here are some tips to give, but remember don’t give too many as it may be overwhelming to the student. 1. First, place post cards around the room and tell them to vary the eye contact between cards. This will make them feel more comfortable as they wont have to stare at just you, and as well as help them practice eye variation. 2. Tell them to introduce themselves 3. Speak slowly and pause 4. Try to vary their voice Common Errors For students who don’t know what to work on, there are usually consistent common errors. Here are some of those and how to fix them. 1. Speaks to quickly o This is a typical problem among all public speakers. Remind them to speak painfully slow, and assure them that it will sound
  3. 3. alright to the audience. 2. Does not incorporate punctuation o Often students will speak slowly but their speech sounds like a never ending run-on sentance. Tell them to find key points and pause after them, or just remind them that they need to use the punctuation. 3. Verbal fillers o Many students will use verbal fillers. Umms are common, but there are also fillers such as: so, yah, you know… Tell them that pausing to recapture your thoughts is a better solution. Assure them that although it may sound awkward to them, it will not be noticeable to the audience. 4. Looks at screen to often o students will often stare at the screen when they are presenting a graph or a quote, but will not notice they are doing so. Tell them that looking at the screen will muffle their voice, and distract the audience. 5. Too many pictures on the screen o Students want to put as much on their screen as possible to prove their point. Remind them this is distracting and offer advice on which they should remove. 6. Does not vary voice o Students, as they are trying to sound professional, will often go into a monotone voice. Find questions, jokes, and key points in their speech. Advise the student to speak those quotes and questions more conversationally. 7. Does not incorporate answers into the speech o Often the speaker will ask a question, but ignore the response of the audience. Remind the student that the speech should incorporate the audience. For example if it was a question asking “How many people here are hunters?” , instead of answering
  4. 4. “awesome”, say something like “I’m glad to see so many fellow hunters here with me today”. What to Say Before the Student Leaves Often these students have a lot of little corrections to fix, and you did not have enough time to find a solution for all. Here is what you should do at the end of the meeting so the student will follow your advice. 1. Write a to do list 2. Tell the student what else he or she should could include or work on 3. Suggest them to come back to the psl so you can work on these aspects later with them Of course, it is important to remember that it should not be all criticism. Find as many good qualities of the speech as possible, and compliment them what they improved on when working with you. This will make the student feel more confident and less resentful about working on the speech.

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