Are you ready to record your speech?
The most challenging thing about giving a demonstration speech is giving the demonstration.
Things are going to go wrong. Just accept that.
Plastic Knife Failures
Why do I ask you to give a speech with a plastic knife that doesn’t have to do with food?
Well, it requires some serious outside-the-box thinking.
It also is cheap. You can buy a hundred plastic knives for less than $2 at Marc’s.
Also because the worst failure I’ve seen of a plastic knife speech involved spreading cold icing on a too warm cake. The knife broke. The speaker had no backup.
Plastic knives are not known for their strength. They’re built to cut soft butter and spread it on hot corn on the cob. So the likelihood of a problem during your speech is real. You’ll need to break down your demonstration in such a way that you have several models of what you want to do, step by step, during your speech.
For example, say you want to build a flagpole out of plastic knives. You have a plan. You have a hot glue gun – that stops working in the middle of the presentation. (Don’t laugh. It’s happened.)
If you have each step already created, then the failure isn’t catastrophic. You just move on to the next step.
That’s why you need to have your idea ready for your speech as early as possible. You need to practice what your brain and mouth are to say when the problems come up.
Which leads us to your homework:
Get the headphones out!
You are to record yourself giving the speech – without doing the demonstration at the same time.
How to Record Your Speech
First you must download a software program: Audacity. (Please check your antivirus software to be sure it’s up to date.) Plug in your headphones first and then start the program.
If you haven’t ever recorded anything, I suggest you look at a Youtube. This video was short – 5 minutes – and was easy to follow. If you want more, let me suggest my friend Steve Stewart’s Audacity Workshop. The first 10 lessons are free. (Steve and I have worked together a couple of times online. I haven’t taken these classes, but I trust Steve.)
You may have to tell Audacity which headset (speakers or output) you are using, or you may have to tell it which microphone to use. As you’re using a headset with a mic, the answer to both problems is the same: the name of your headset.
Once you’ve got those two set up (and Audacity might do it for you automatically) then you’re ready to record.
Press the red button on the screen and start talking.
If you have problems, then you can try to look on YouTube for potential solutions, but I’ll say that most of the time, it’s Audacity not recognizing your headset. You may have to reset your computer settings, especially if you have a built-in camera and/or microphone.
You may want to just talk a bit, stop the recording, and listen by hitting the green arrow button. If your voice sounds weird – that’s normal. But if you hear a lot of static, or your voice is too low, you may want to play around a bit with this by adjusting the volume controls.
Don’t worry about hating your voice. Everyone hates their own voice on a recording. I love your voice!
Record Your Speech
Now you simply give your speech without the props. Talk to the wall in front of you like it’s the classroom full of people. Or put a picture of your best friend up on the screen and talk to them. Or close your eyes. But start talking and record the speech.
This speech has a minimum time of 4 minutes. However, your speaking time may be less due to you stopping to demonstrate the tasks. Don’t worry if your talking time is less than 4 minutes! (Just be sure it will be 4 minutes when you present in class.)
Make sure you hit SAVE under the FILE option on the menu. That’s important. You don’t want to waste your time and have to do it again!
How to Submit the Recording
Now you need to get the recording to me. This is a little bit complicated. Because sound files are big, you can’t just email them to me.
You have to export them with Audacity to an MP3 file. It’s really easy: go to the top menu and start with the word FILE.
Then select EXPORT.
Then select EXPORT TO MP3.
A box will come up with the familiar SAVE options. Go ahead and save it with your NAME plus the word Demo and remember where you saved it. So it may be JOESMITHDEMO.mp3 in your documents or download folder.
So we have to use a Google drive to upload your files. I believe all of you have Google Gmail accounts. That makes uploading the files simple.
You need to go to this Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1mMwswoJB96Dmk6lX_HsQFfRyl3HZqKxg
I have sent you the invitation to this drive. I sent you an email about this on September 29, 2018.
Find your saved MP3 file in the folder on your hard drive. Copy it to the Google Drive. Make sure it uploads completely. Depending how long your recording is, it may take minutes to upload. That’s normal. Just don’t close the browser until the upload is done.
Then send me a note letting me know you’ve done this.
This assignment is due by FRIDAY, October 19 by 5 p.m.
If you are having problems with this because of Audacity, I can try to help you online. Contact me and we’ll set up an online call for us to try to troubleshoot your problems.