16 February

Some recommendations for video recording – position, light…


Discussing Evidence

Balance between claims and evidence. When delivering a speech mind key ideas and support ideas. The claim is what you want the audience to remember and understand, evidence is there to support claims. The role of evidence is to validate claim.



Impromptu Introduction


Example of Thesis on MOOCs


Impromptu Transitions and Conclusion



Techniques to overcome sublic speaking fear




19 January

The second assignment addresses «Impromptu Speech» (discurso de improviso) which reinforces the following aspects of good speaking: quick thinking, sound argumentation, strategic word choice and engaged delivery.

Instructions were given to structure impromptu speech:


  • state your thesis
  • preview of your main points

First main points

  • statement of your first main points
  • provide and explain two pieces of support illustrating the first main point
  • conclude your first main point

Second main point

  • statement of your second main point
  • provide and explain two pieces of support illustrating the second main point
  • conclude your second main point


  • restate ypur thesis statement and review your two main points
  • conclude your speech

So, practice is advised developing thesis statements, main points and evidence whenever there is opportunity.

A long list of thesis statements was provided for this assignment, to be recorded and submitted on video, for example:

  • A good teacher is almost always a good public speaker
  • Public speaking should be a requirement at primary school
  • Good actors are the best public speakers
  • Online course are better than face-to-face instruction
  • Facebook should not disclose personal information to private industries
  • Newspapers are no longer the best source of news
  • etc

12 January

This week the first assignment consisted in presenting in a 0:45-4:00 minute speech:

  1. Who you are and where you live.
  2. Why you signed up for the course and what types of presentations you want to work on.
  3. Who do you think is an effective speaker? Please give one solid reason for why you think this person is so effective.

So after some trouble with my webcam I finally succeded to record it directly in Youtube. My first attempt was to record with Windows Movie Maker,  but when I was trying to upload to Youtube I realized that webcam capture is a new feature in Youtube.

7 January

Public Speaking MOOC started today and will last for 10 weeks.

The basic competences to be acquired in this course are:

  • to be able to design and deliver basic presentations in a concise way
  • to be able to design and deliver informative presentations in a clear way
  • to be able to design and deliver arguments in a persuasive way
  • to be able to speak confidently with approapriate rate, projection, movement and vocal variety
  • to be able to evaluate and critique speeches insightfully

Assignments will be important to practice all this.

  • Inpromptu speech assignment: quickly put together a two-point speech
  • Informative speech assignment: 5-10 minute speech that educates the audience on a topic
  • Persuasive speech assignment: 5-10 minute speech that shifts audience opinion and/or raises awareness of a topic

After the video presentation I watched the video on Rhetoric, term coined by Plato, which he defined as «the art of winning the soul by discourse».

Aristotle defined rhetoric as «the faculty of discovering in any particular case the available means of persuasion».

John Locke defined rhetoric as a «powerful instrument of error and deceit».

«Rhetoric is communication that attempts to coordinate social action… its goal is to influence human choices on specific matters that require immediate attention» (Gerard Hauser)

Prof.  Dr. Matt McGarrity will consider rhetoric as the art of public speaking, as a performance skill.

The main dimensions of rhetoric are:


Scenarios and contexts for presentations were addressed and some issues have to be taken into consideration:

  • The topic
  • The audience
  • The occasion
  • The setting
  • The speaker’s credibility

The variety of socio-cultural and genres are so great that it’s impossible to cover all in this course which will focus on certain skills to speak in public, namely designing good pesentations and delivering them in an engaging way.

The course will be based on many videos and the Youtube channel has already available some of them.

22 December 2013

A MOOC on Public Speaking, by EdX/Univ. Washington will start on 7th January 2014, aiming at acquiring the following skills:

  • Design and deliver basic arguments clearly.
  • Design and deliver informative presentations clearly.
  • Design and deliver complex arguments persuasively.
  • Speak confidently with appropriate rate, projection, movement, and vocal variety.
  • Evaluate and critique speeches insightfully.

Course URL –


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