Introduction to Public Speaking: Review Questions and Activities

Review Questions

  1. What are the personal, professional and public benefits of enhancing your public speaking skills?
  2. What is the difference between the linear and transactional model of communication?
  3. Define and give an original example of each of the elements of the communication process.
  4. Which of the elements of the communication process do you think has the greatest impact on the way a message is interpreted. Explain.
  5. What are the three types of speeches? For each of the three types of speeches, give two examples of an occasion or situation in which that type of speech might be given.
  6. List the eleven speaking competencies. For each competency listed, describe the differences between the advanced speaker and the inexperienced speaker.


  1. Working in groups of 3–5, generate a list of the characteristics of ineffective speakers you have seen. Next, generate a list of the characteristics of the effective speakers you have seen. What three qualities do you believe are most important to be a successful speaker? Explain.
  2. Locate a speech on YouTube. While watching the speech, identify the strengths and weaknesses of the speaker's content and delivery? What three things could the speaker improve on? What three things did you like about the speaker? If you were to deliver the speech, how would you do things differently?
  3. Locate a copy of the Public Speaking Competence Rubric. Read through each of the levels of each of the competencies, and try to determine what your level of skill is for each of the speaking competencies. If you are able, have a friend or colleague watch one of your speeches and ask him or her to evaluate your level of skill for each of the competencies. Compare your responses to see how much correspondence there is between your responses and the evaluator's responses. In what areas are you strongest? What do you need to improve upon?

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