Complaint Speech (pet peeve or everyday nuisances)
Time Limit: 2-4 minutes Outline: Standard format as described in lecture and text. Sample outline included below. Why we are doing this: This is a bridge from narrative to informative speaking where we use the entire speech preparation process but without the need for external research. In narrative speeches we simply relate a personal incident in the natural order of events as they occurred. We now move to another form of personal expression (complaining!) that is just as natural as storytelling, but requires a bit more analysis and preparation. We will be applying the basics of organization, outlining, introductions, conclusions, transitions, and support while continuing to practice delivery and audience adaptation. This is also an opportunity to experiment with visual aids.
Guidelines: Topic/Purpose: The tone/motivation should be a kind of “frustrated but able to laugh about it” (like comedians when they vent). This is not about a heavy, serious issue; it is about something that annoys you on an everyday level. This should be a type of experience anyone can understand and/or relate to. For instance: • Gum litter (under desks, on sidewalks, etc). • Nasty public bathrooms • Bratty siblings • Whiny celebrities • Rude drivers • Boring teachers (but NOT Mr. Steve, of course...) • Awkward dates • Commercials/advertising Some examples from my own experience: a) Dog-phobia; b) Bad technical support for computer products; c) Bay Area traffic. Thesis: Your central idea should be a concise statement that declares the essence of your complaint. Here are three different examples for three different topics: - Topic: Dogphobia. Thesis: Californians are way too paranoid about dogs in public places. - Topic: Bad Tech Support: Thesis: Technical support for computer products is too inefficient. - Topic: Bay Area Traffic. Thesis: Traffic in the Bay Area is destroying our quality of life. Organization: You should have 2 or 3 main points that directly support your thesis statement. You could use EXAMPLES (illustrations) or REASONS as your pattern of organization. For instance: - Three EXAMPLES of how people have become overly dog-phobic in California. OR, three REASONS why you think people are so dog-phobic in California. - Two EXAMPLES of how the quality of computer technical support has deteriorated. OR, two REASONS why you think that tech support has deteriorated. *The number of main points you use will depend upon how much you want to say about each one. If you have a lot to say about two points, then just use two. If you have less to say about each point, then add another point. Transitions: You must use connective phrases between the Intro and Body of speech, between the main points, and between the Body and Conclusion. Emphasize the transitions and how each part of the speech connects to the next part. For example:
a) [Pause; non-verbal signals that you are shifting points] "People are not only dog-phobic because of what they hear on the news, they are also paranoid about dogs because of the societal trend of trying to control for every possible human risk in life..." (Point #1 was the first reason I think people are dog-phobic and Point #2 will be the second reason). b) [Pause...] "Phone technicians are not only poorly trained, they are also difficult to understand because companies outsource labor to other countries, causing language barriers". (Point #1 was the example of incompetence, and Point #2 will be an example of language barriers).
Support: Each main point must be supported by at least two sub-points, and each sub-point must have at least one form of supporting material to develop the main point. This is your chance to use your narrative speech experience but in a more concise form: Try illustrating your points with brief stories (anecdotes) to supplement your explanations and arguments! Never forget the impact of the STORY! Visual Aids (optional): You can...
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