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Assess Speeches

March 1, 2019

Assess Speeches (Oral Presentations) with a Rubric

In many secondary classrooms, students not only study written communication but also oral. When teaching speeches and presentations, consider what traits you want to instruct on and then assess. Then, build an oral presentation rubric with the whole class.

Since oral communication includes the traits of writing, as well, it makes sense that some of them would appear on the all-class speech rubric. In addition, there may be some criteria that is specific only to this genre. Here are some facets to consider addressing:

  • Ideas/Content: How meaty was the speech, including reasons, examples, facts, etc. Was the information accurate?
  • Organization: Was the opening of the speech attention-getting? Was the closing satisfying? Were the order and flow and transitions logical? Did all the ideas seem to link together easily?
  • Voice/Attitude: How passionate was the speaker about “selling” his own idea/concept? How “into” the presentation was he? How engaging was he to listen to?
  • Articulation: How easy was it to understand the presenter’s words (mumbling vs. polished, clear speaking vs. slang phrases and you knows and ums)?
  • Physical Appearance: How relaxed did the speaker appear? Was his body movement relaxed and comfortable or stiff and mechanical? Did the speaker move throughout the room easily or stand stiffly behind the podium? Did the speaker make eye contact or rely too heavily on his notes?

Remember the above are just suggested traits for an oral-presentation rubric. Use some or all of these traits to flesh out a complete rubric with high, middle, and low levels.

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