Instructions for Your First Speech – Aesop Narrative Speech (Anecdotal)
Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to establish your credibility as a speaker and to introduce yourself to your classmates. It will serve as a starting point for your speeches based on what we have covered regarding speechmaking so far in the course. The speech will demonstrate the use of a common narrative for establishing rapport with an audience and to convey a motivational and instructional message. The speech also will allow us to build community as we get to know and trust one another.
Directions: You will research and select an Aesop fable that resonates with an event or a time in your life where you learned a valuable lesson. A narrative speech includes the retelling of a fictional or nonfictional story from history and then linking that story to the current times. A TYPED Reflection Paper (#1) regarding your speech development and delivery is due the class period after the speech is given. A full-sentence outline and bibliography will be graded separately. Both of these assignments must be uploaded into Canvas. Since audience assessment is imperative, it is important to start the course with a speech assignment with which a mass audience can easily relate, making your first effort at audience assessment an easily fulfilled task. Your classmates will be assessing your presentation and you will receive both oral and written feedback from both the students and the instructor.
Most audience members have at least a passing familiarity with Aesop’s Fables. Thus, this assignment asks you to retell a famous Aesop fable in your own words as the first part of the personal narrative speech assignment, from which you will draw an experience from your own life that echoes the moral tied to this Aesop fable.
Your first step is to select an Aesop Fable that relates to a particular time in your life or relates to something that happened to you in your past. There are many fables from which you may choose! You can find a list of these fables at taleswithmorals.com.
For this first speech, you will compose a four (4) part, full sentence outline. See p.180 for additional assistance with the outline.
Feel free to use the following, sample introduction to help you get started. Introduction:
Note that the last sentence of the outline is your “Thesis” or “Statement of Purpose” for your first speech. It also provides a transition into the Body of your speech.
For the first Main Point of your speech, you will retell the Aesop fable in your own words. Be sure to give credit to Aesop and the website (or other publication) from where you obtained your fable by using components of the attribution formula for in-text citation. This is called an “oral attribution”. You will be expected to use this formula for all speeches to comply with the ethical guidelines for public speaking.
According to _________________ (author or entity)
…in _______________ (publication or website)
…on ___________ (date of authorship or date of retrieval, etc.)
Keep this first main point short, which is why you will need to paraphrase the fable. Define any words in the fable that may be unfamiliar to your audience since these fables have been translated from their Greek text many years ago. You now have the first two parts of your speech!
The second Main Point of your speech will be all about you. If you feel that you need more main points to tell about yourself, then you may do so as long as you are careful about time restrictions. A “topic sentence” for this main point may sound something like: “This fable reminds me of a time in my life when I learned a similar lesson.” This is proof that you are capable of composing a 1st-person narrative and delivering it to an audience as you place a great amount of detail in telling YOUR story. For this part of your speech you will use personal pronouns such as I, me, my, mine, etc., and because this is a “narrative” speech, you are really telling a story about yourself — but the story is one which many people in your audience can find a personal connection — and therefore learn a lesson as you did from your experience. You will want to use descriptive language with many, many details to convey the issues and feelings as well as the physical nature of what occurred. Note: Do not tell a story from someone else’s life, this must be something YOU experienced.
Although your conclusion will probably be rather short, there are two critical elements that must be present. First, you will want to create a “full circle” ending where you go back to your introduction and restate your thesis and give credit to Aesop and his fable along with the moral / lesson learned. Finally, end your speech with your own “words of wisdom” as a parting thought for your audience. This can be done through a pithy statement of your own, OR you can use a famous quote — as long as you give credit to the source.
Your outline will receive a separate grade from the delivery of your speech. Here are some guidelines to help you compose your speech:
Contact your instructor if you have any questions! Have fun!
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