Demonstration Speech-Assignment Solution

Further explanation about the assignment:

Obviously, a demonstration speech means the speaker shows the audience how to do something. That something must be relevant to your audience and the demonstration should be thorough enough so the audience could improve their skills regarding that subject.

A demonstration speech, a form of informative speaking, is often challenging because as a speaker you want to show the audience how to do or make something so clearly that the audience can remember your explanation and do it themselves. However, you are usually subjected to many limitations, such as time, equipment, space, and audience interest.

As the speaker, you are responsible for making the topic of the demonstration speech relevant to the audience. Not everyone in the audience has the same interests as you. Part of your skill as a speaker is connecting what you are demonstrating to the audience’s needs and interests. For example, a demonstration speech about origami can be tied to keeping children interested or as a simple creative activity. A speech about a particular sports activity can be justified by explaining how that move can help you better understand and appreciate that sports or that move is an easy-to-do cardiovascular exercise.

Another challenge is giving the audience sufficient information to understand the process in a form that does not confuse them. Often, speakers organize the speech from general to specific. The first main point of the speech generally explains the topic—its purpose and how it functions in a broad sense. The rest of the speech is more specific and often uses a step-by-step organizational pattern as the speaker demonstrates the specific activity.

Important: Many speakers tend to organize the body of this type of speech as a list of the steps to do what they are demonstrating. Principles of good organization apply to demonstration speeches—less main points, more subpoints or sup-subpoints. Instead of 8 main points (each of the steps of how to tie a bowtie), group the steps by function so you have two or three main points.

Suppose I am demonstrating how to do your laundry so your clothes are clean and wrinkle free, I would organize the body of the speech in the following manner:

I. Getting the clothes ready for washing.

(This is the pre-washing stage. The subpoints in this section would be about organizing what items are washed with what other items, any steps taken to address stains, etc.)

II. Washing the clothes.

(This is the washing stage. Subpoints would be about putting clothes into the washing machine at the right settings, adding detergent and other chemicals to get the clothes clean, putting clothes into the dryer at the right settings, etc.)

III. Adding the finishing touches.

(This is the post-washing stage with subpoints that discuss what to do with the dried clothes, how the clothes are treated once dried (folded, hung up, or ironed), etc.)

Transitions and repetition are crucial in a demonstration speech. (“Now that we have our ingredients, let’s move on to combining them to make chocolate mousse.) Most in the audience aren’t taking notes so the burden is higher on the speaker to make the connections for the audience and to repeat necessary ideas.

Presentation aids are usually essential to a demonstration speech. Ideally, using the actual items (the equipment for the sport you are demonstrating, the ingredients and final product for the food you are making, etc.) during your speech is most effective with the audience. Showing these items through slides or videos can substitute for the actual items, but audiences prefer the real thing.

You can use the white board, slides, or videos to complement your demonstration. Also, don’t forget the power of background music to set a mood.

Practice your speech. Practice the speech as you demonstrate your activity. It is more difficult than most of use realize to do something while we give a directions (a speech). This is also the type of speech that is best done extemporaneously, and not reading a script. It’s hard to look at the script, look at the audience, and look at what you have to demonstrate.

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