If you have been doing structured public speeches your whole life than you are set, read no further, you may just be set for an A. However, most of us have just done classroom presentations, some of us led clubs and gave election speeches and ran meetings, and some of us even gave speeches to large crowds such as at a performance or at graduation. In this case, we will guide you through how to best prepare and navigate yourself in COM 110 in order to also obtain that A that you desire so much.
1. Have 0 expectations
No, seriously. Do not enter this class on the first day thinking you will not have to try because you were president of three clubs in high school, you gave a speech at graduation, or you have been acing classroom presentations all through high school, etc. This isn’t like what you’ve done before. Approach it and give it the effort of something you’ve never tried before and you will ask questions, you will try new things, and you will do well.
2. Go over past speeches
After giving your first, and second, speech meet with your professor one-on-one to see exactly why they took off points. We don’t mean interrogating them, but showing them that you care and that you WANT to do better, you just aren’t quite sure how to could help clear up the path to success for you while also earning some brownie points with your professor.
3. Practice with a timer
Nothing beats the pressure when you have to make a memorized speech last seven minutes. In order to try to prevent six of those minutes being used blankly staring at the audience, you should rehearse without your script, standing up as you would during the presentation, and timing yourself. If possible, even add some people to your audience to add even more pressure.
4. Make sure all other assignments are correct and on time
Speeches account for most of your grade in the class and so it is vital to make sure all other assignments receive as high of a grade as possible to add as a buffer to get you to that A!
5. Learn from others
When you see an amazing intro in one of your classmates speeches, take note. Now replicating it exactly may make you seem like your just copying someone else’s idea and may be old news, but analyze why the intro is good and engaging, and use that to create your own. Also analyze if something your classmate does works against him/her that you may not have thought about. Sometimes jokes work great but some of them put an uneasy feeling in some that disagree with the premises – make sure you take note of this and make sure you don’t fall victim to one of these pitfalls by learning from your peers’ mistakes.
Some of these tips can be applied to other classes, even ones such as calculus. You should always take advantage of the office hours your professors are required to have – sometimes they just sit there alone waiting for students to come and then leave when the hour ends with nobody showing up. Tutoring can be expensive, and you have the expert on the subject of your class at your fingertips to answer all your questions – use them! With these tips you are sure to have your best foot forward in this class, we wish you all the luck even though you won’t need it – go get them tiger (or should we say wolf!).