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Speech & PresentationsSay you were marking a students speech. I am curious to know if...

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Speech & Presentations

Say you were marking a students speech. I am curious to know if you would make down a student for the following things, as in my class students were doing these things. If so, how many marks would you take off if you were giving a mark out of 20?

  • Said 'Um' or 'Uhh' 1-3 times.
  • Said 'Um' or 'Uhh' 4+ times.
  • Took 1 or 2 long, un-necessary pauses.
  • Took 3+ long, un-necessary pauses.
  • Used vocabulary and terminology that the majority of the audience may not understand, but are suitable for the task (only a few words).
  • Used vocabulary and terminology that the majority of the audience may not understand, but are suitable for the task (frequently).
  • Spoke quickly, but not fast.
  • Spoke fast.


Thanks for any responses! I'm very interested to know your thoughts!


9 Answers | Add Yours

readerofbooks's profile pic

Posted (Answer #2)

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In my opinion, the content would be the most important. So, I would weigh content over the way the speech was delivered. I would probably have 70% based on content and 30% based on form. My rationale is that it is much easier to fix form than content. In light of this, I would probably take off 4 points out of 20 from your description of the speech. The only thing that would change this is if your grade was purely based on form. In this case, I would take off more.

pohnpei397's profile pic

Posted (Answer #3)

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So this looks like it ought to be from a speech class's rubric.  You have 4 categories so I'll figure that it's 5 marks per.  Should be 4 or 5 marks for the good level in each category, maybe 2 or 3 for the lesser category.  So, in other words, I'd probably do something like 4/5 for 2 "ums" depending on the length of the speech and maybe 2/5 if they had 4 long and unnecessary pauses.

wannam's profile pic

Posted (Answer #4)

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For this type of presentation, I generally graded on a rubric.  I did mark off for things like saying Um or excessive pauses.  I also marked off for body language like never looking up at the audience.  However, these minor things did not carry as much weight as the content.  Content, staying on topic, and following the directions were the most important. 

Of course, content is the most important, but other things matter too.  In a real life situation, body language and clear speech will command just as much attention from the audience as the content.  Dress and manner are often as important as content in a real life scenario.

vangoghfan's profile pic

Posted (Answer #5)

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Was this rubric shared with the class?  In other words, did everyone know about these criteria before they gave their speeches? Knowing this would make a big difference in how I would respond to your question.

litteacher8's profile pic

Posted (Answer #6)

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I grade with a rubric.  I make sure students know what I am marking for ahead of time.  Sometimes, like for monologues, I require costumes and grade on that.  Sometimes I want more movement, or more gestures.  I always grade on inflection, posture, and projection.

brettd's profile pic

Posted (Answer #7)

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Since the purpose of a speech is communication, I agree that the bulk of the scoring should center around whether or not the message is effectively delivered and received as opposed to some of the more minor points mentioned above.  But those points are important for a reason.  I think the 70/30 split mentioned in posts above is appropriate.  You also need to remember with speech students that they are all trying to overcome their fear of public speaking, so emphasizing what they do wrong can sometimes be counterproductive.

kiwi's profile pic

Posted (Answer #8)

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I agree with the 70/30 split, and that the rubric you use should be shared with the class. I use a category split as suggested by #3. I also select another student at random to score the speech and I look at their notes in comparison with mine: sometimes another pair of eyes is a great help. I also video any speeches that are for credit. Students can then see themselves perform. Often they mark themselves harshly, but I have an exemplar DVD to show before we assess and students look for common errors they can avoid.

We are teaching the skill of public speaking as well as assessing it, so it is important to give as much support as possible.


lmetcalf's profile pic

Posted (Answer #9)

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My response would depend upon what I was emphasizing. If this is a class  devoted to the art of speech, then I would grade those errors with much more weight than I would if the purpose of the assignment was to present information to the class as best they could. If a teacher has taught those skills, then it is fair game to assess them with some significant weight to the grade.

literaturenerd's profile pic

Posted (Answer #10)

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I also support the majority of the other posters. I love the idea of using a student to compare notes with. I think that it evens out the score a little bit (given the student may not be as critical as the teacher). I think that the rubric is very specific and offers students an exact upon what is required.

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