Every successful Introduction speech will have a clear, focus or anchor that the information shared about yourself will link to in the speech. This focus will infuse your introduction/opening and conclusion/ending as well as keep the body of your speech organized to avoid a speech that seems like a random list of “fun facts” about you. Remember: the introduction speech is not an impromptu speech where you are asked suddenly to say a few words about yourself. For this class, the speech begins with an organized, manuscript draft that receives feedback for revision and then is delivered extemporaneously or as a well-practiced manuscript speech with ample eye contact. The key to success is to identify a focus area that enables you to share several aspects of yourself that link to together in an organized/purposeful way. In this forum, let’s practice using a pair of shoes to be a focus area. Important: if you are struggling to select a focus area for your own speech, post a plea for help in “Talk with the Professor.” Ready to practice linking information about yourself to a focus area? I’ll start. “I have a pair of TEVA walking/shoes that I love because they are quick to put on and to take off due to velcro straps. I have a busy life with lots of quick transitions and I love how these shoes enable me to get in and out the door quickly leaving home or arriving after a long day. I would be in big trouble if they were not water proof. I often wear them kayaking, going to the beach, or just watering flowers at home and have no concern that they get dripping wet. They fit my personality of “no fuss”. My TEVAs are a neutral color and go with any outfit in the summer. Like me, they can be casual or a bit more dressy. If you look at my TEVAs closely, you will see that one main strap is hanging on by a very strong thread. You may think that this reflects my active lifestyle, I wish that was true. Sadly, my TEVAs were chew toys for my very naughty German Shephard when he was a puppy. Overall, my TEVAs represent my quick-paced, hanging by a thread life where one shoe can fit all scenarios.” Ok, now it is your turn. Remember we are practicing how easy it is to share a great deal of information about ourselves if we have an anchor to organize the information. In this case, you are selecting one pair of shoes in your past or current life and telling us whatever you wish us to know about them in order to learn more about you. As you brainstorm a focus area for your own introduction speech, think of how this practice exercise could quickly become a draft if you had an engaging opening/closing related to shoes and featured three pairs and how they reflect/represent you. As Spike Lee, the accomplished movie director states in Nike commercials, ” It ‘s the shoes!” Time to tell us about a pair you used to own or currently own and what the pair reveals about you.
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