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The Language of Literature, Grade 8
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Squeaky's Acceptance Speech

Raymond's Run
Squeaky's Acceptance Speech (p. 42)

Imagine that Squeaky must give a speech when she accepts her prize. Write a speech in which she expresses her ideas on winning and present it to the class. Rehearse your speech a few times—it will help you spot problems such as awkward phrasing or missing transitions. As you rehearse, practice using the following speaking strategies.

  • Make eye contact. Try to make eye contact with audience members. This will help draw them into the speech, and will help you determine if they are following your speech.
  • Pace yourself. In general, speak at a moderate rate, but speak more slowly to make important points or to present complicated information.
  • Project your voice. Make sure that you speak loudly and clearly enough to be heard at the back of the room. Having to strain to hear you will frustrate your listeners, and may cause them to tune out.

For more on planning and presenting a speech, visit these online resources.

Allyn & Bacon Public Speaking Website pubspeak/
Read tips on writing and delivering a presentation at this public speaking site for students. Audio clips from real speeches are used to illustrate key speaking concepts. Best Speeches in History speeches/
The History Channel presents audio recordings of more than 300 famous speeches, from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech to the delivery of the verdict in the O. J. Simpson trial. Browse through the speeches or search the archives alphabetically to find examples of some of the most famous recorded speeches in history. What can you learn from these speeches that will help you present your own speech more effectively?