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In the 3rd week of our public speaking class, Mary Beth and I were given the assignment of presenting a 5-minute informational or instructional speech.
Each of the class participants was encouraged to use note cards and a timer.
The speeches were recorded with a Flip video camera and e-mailed to each of us along with comments from our classmates who critiqued our presentations. Before the class we were given guidelines for offering constructive feedback to help us focus on the most important areas of public speaking. Those areas were identified as:

Content (the message)
Structure (organization)
Nonverbals (gestures, posture, facial expressions, pace & tone of voice)
Overall effectiveness (accomplishment of goal)

In the next class we did an exercise that was supposed to help with encouraging spontaneity. Dr. Oseroff-Varnell asked class members to name groups where we might be called upon to give a speech. Suggestions included church congregations, preschool children, coworkers and high school students. Each of us, in turn, was given a slip of paper listing an item (wheelbarrow, vacation condo, etc.). We were given one minute to prepare a 1-minute persuasive speech to a group we had suggested earlier. Some very impressive improvisation came out of that session. My assignment was to convince my coworkers that they needed a box of crayons. (Not sure you were convinced)