Speech Class Syllabus

Bridges Cooperative 2018-2019

Kim Krajci (KRA gee)
1024 Joseph St. Louisville,OH 44641
Cell 330-232-1839 Home 234-678-7589
Email:  speechteacher.Kim.Kraj@gmail.com

Welcome to Speech Class!

I don’t expect you to walk in without stage fright.  That’s why you’re here.  I do want willingness to try to speak.  Without that, we can’t get anywhere.


In order to make certain material available, I’ve created a website http://RockSpeechClass.net that will hold material for review and opportunities for extra credit.  This syllabus and the calendar of deadlines will be posted there, as well as updates in case of closings or schedule changes.  It is not a substitute for contacting me via phone or email if you have a question or want to express a concern.

Contact information is listed above.  Try to reach me in this order:

  1. Call my home number: 234-678-7589
  2. Send me an email at kim.kraj@gmail.com
  3. Call my cell phone 330-232-1839
  4. Text me 330-232-1839

I will try to respond within 24 hours of your message to me.  If I haven’t called back by then, try again.


I’ve been teaching speech for a few years.  I know what craziness it is to try to schedule speeches due to the imprecise nature of timing and circumstances.  Therefore, this schedule is written with the best of intentions but not much expectation that we’ll get all of the dates correct, as some presentation days may run over to two class sessions.  We’ll adapt as necessary.  The written assignment deadlines are firm.

Absences:  as there is no written text for this class, missing a class means you’re missing notes.  Some of the notes will be made available on this website.  You may have to ask a classmate for notes.   Help someone else out, please, if you’re asked.

There are no make-up dates for presentations.  Don’t skip because you’re afraid or not very well prepared.  You’ll reduce your grade significantly by skipping a presentation.  It’s better to come and do badly than to not come at all. This class is about giving speeches.  You’ll never overcome stage fright, fear of public speaking or learn what a bad presentation will teach you if you skip instead of trying.  You cannot fail a speech if you get up there and try.

Presentation absences due to illness or family crisis:  determined on a case-by-case basis.  However, we only have 40 speech slots for a class of 10 students.  You may want an opportunity to make it up – it may be physically impossible to do so during a class.

Mrs. Krajci’s absences:  I’m not planning to miss any classes during this semester.  However, I do have back-up instructors in line.

Video Assignments:

Two reasons for having video assignments in speech class:

  1. Introduce great speeches and rhetoric to students. Speakers and speeches from the past have much to teach us, but only when we listen and evaluate what is said and how.
  2. Students of speech learn as much or more about how to give a speech by evaluating speeches given by others. By discovering what the student perceives in others’ speeches, they can then turn that same spotlight on their own presentations.  This increases the speed of improvement.

There will be three video assignments. 

You will watch these speeches.  All of these speeches will be found on the Internet.

Assignment 1:  Gettysburg Address:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Dlggkx6mks

Without watching the video, listen to this presentation.  You should think about:

  • The appropriateness of the speech to the event
  • The contemporary response and the current opinion
  • Your impressions of Lincoln’s task and how well he accomplished it.

Viewing date:  August 20, 2018.

Assignment 2:  I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


You should think about:

  • The circumstances of the speech: the event, venue, audience, and speaker’s credentials
  • The use of rhetorical devices
  • Your impressions of the speech: is it relevant now?  Is it relevant to you?

Review date:  September 10, 2018

Assignment 3:  America Minus the Dream by Andrea Ambam


Let’s think about:

  • The circumstances of the speech: the event, venue, audience, and speaker’s credentials
  • The use of rhetorical devices
  • Your impressions of the speech: is it relevant now?  Is it relevant to you?

Review date:  September 24, 2018

Class Presentation Schedule

You will be giving a minimum of 4 prepared speeches over the course of the school year.

Impromptu speaking  (no schedule)

Ice Breaker:  An introduction to yourself.

Tell us about yourself.  You can talk about your favorite hobbies, your family, your pets, whatever you want.  You pick.  Speech time: 3-5 minutes.

Purpose of speech:  Help Mrs. Krajci get to know you.

Informational speechWhat to Do with a Plastic Knife

You will demonstrate how to build or create a project with a plastic knife.  This speech must include some visual aid.  Speech time: 4-7 minutes.

Purpose:  to teach organization of speech and use of visual aids.

Story Telling

You will tell a story in a speech. It may be a personal story, one you’ve written, or one you’ve found from another source.  Be sure to cite your source.   You may use up to 3 props.  Speech time:  4-7 minutes

Purpose:  emotional engagement, body language and vocal variety development.

Persuasive Speaking

You will pick a particular topic that you want to persuade us to agree with you.  Please don’t use religious or political topics.  If you want to practice convincing your parents about a particular issue, this may be the place to practice.

Purpose: development of speech content, rhetorical devices (logos, pathos, ethos).  Speech time: 4-7 minutes

Oral Interpretation

Take a story or poem and interpret it for us.  This piece may require memorization.

Purpose:  Vocal variety, body language, emotional engagement.  Speech time:  5-10 minutes.

NOTE:  Some of our students are repeating this class.  No, they didn’t fail.  They just love it that much.  Their assignments will be different from these speech assignments.  Don’t envy them.  They’re going to work just as hard as you.


Public speaking is the most important skill a person can develop.  It’s also one of the scariest.  My goal is to provide an opportunity to every student to try to do something hard and very challenging personally.

In order to do that, this classroom has to be seen as a place where people have the freedom to try and not succeed and not worry about being the butt of jokes or fodder for gossip.

What happens in this classroom will not be discussed outside of this classroom with people who are not concerned about this class.  Don’t gossip.  Don’t tell about other student’s mistakes.  Never mock, never shame anyone.  Our purpose is to build one another up with love.

Everyone will be giving all the other students evaluations of their speeches.  I will be giving you a form to fill out to help you give each other your opinions on how to improve.  This information should not be shared outside of the classroom with anyone other than the speaker who is being evaluated.

Presentation Days

How to Present in Class

Key to all presentations is preparation by the speaker.  This includes how they dress.

On presentation days, all members of the class should be prepared to speak, even if they aren’t on that day’s schedule.  Alternative clothing may be worn if necessary for the presentation.  Jeans, sweats, yoga pants and sweatshirts/tee shirts with images/text on them are not acceptable.


Suit (skirt or pants) or dress or skirt/shirt combination.  Think business, not business casual.  Dress shoes or boots.  Neat hair.  Make-up recommended as far as family standards go.  Hair should be off the face and controlled so you’re not adjusting it during the speech.  Non-distracting jewelry is acceptable.


Suit or dress shirt with tie.  Bow or long ties are acceptable.  Polo shirts are not business wear.  Dress shoes or boots.  No tennis shoes unless they are all black.  Facial hair shall be neat and groomed.  Non-distracting jewelry is acceptable.  Hair should be neat and controlled so you’re not adjusting it during the speech.  Hats should not be worn unless part of the presentation.


If you wouldn’t say it in front of your priest, pastor, or grandmother, don’t say it here.  The exceptions may be quotations or citations with sadly named sources.  I don’t expect this to be an issue, but just in case – let’s keep it clean, shall we?


If you have someone you want to come and hear you speak, they are welcome to attend.  Permission is not needed for family.


All material copyright by Kim Krajci, except where noted.