EFL Learner’s Speech Preparation and Performance Checklist

 

1. Preparation Stage

A. Topic & Target audience

1.

How much do I know about the target audience?

5

4

3

2

1

2.

Is the topic clearly stated? (A good title)

5

4

3

2

1

3.

Is the topic appropriate for the audience and the occasion?

5

4

3

2

1

4.

Is the topic attractive to the target audience?

5

4

3

2

1

B. Resources / References

1.

Observe & learn from other speeches. (e.g. speech contests, televangelists & celebrities’ speeches)

5

4

3

2

1

2.

Find & analyze the scripts of famous speeches. (e.g., Barack Obama, Douglas MacArthur, Winston Churchill, etc.)

5

4

3

2

1

3.

Use other resources, e.g., the Internet, interviews, library, videos, news, magazines, TV programs, movies, etc., for audience backgrounds & speech ideas.  

5

4

3

2

1

C. Script writing

    (a) Structure & content: Is the structure of the speech complete & well-organized? (including greeting, gratitude, warm-up, topic, main issues, elaboration, examples, concluding remarks & wrap-up statement)

1.

Address the audience & express gratitude to the host.

5

4

3

2

1

2

Contain warm-up section to get close to the audience.

5

4

3

2

1

3

Tactfully get into the theme/topic.

5

4

3

2

1

4.

Topic/major statement of each paragraph/issue well stated.

5

4

3

2

1

5.

Each major statement further elaborated & developed.

5

4

3

2

1

6

Use supporting examples for each major statement

5

4

3

2

1

7

Examples relevant to the topic and the audience.

5

4

3

2

1

8

Avoid offensive content.(taboos & use of euphemism)

5

4

3

2

1

9

Is the whole script coherent?

5

4

3

2

1

10

Write the script by yourself & ask for feedbacks from others

5

4

3

2

1

11

Show signs of using/quoting supporting evidence.

5

4

3

2

1

12

Content is informative & interesting.

5

4

3

2

1


 

(b) Language/writing skills

1.

Is the writing logically organized? (Discourse coherence)

5

4

3

2

1

2.

Is the writing smooth? (With good cohesion & flow or too lengthy & wordy?)

5

4

3

2

1

3.

Use Spoken form. (e.g., phrasal verbs & contractions, avoid big words, etc.)

5

4

3

2

1

4.

Break long sentences into shorter ones by using parallel & grading structures.

5

4

3

2

1

5.

Avoid using too strong the claims, unless supported with evidence.

5

4

3

2

1

6

Avoid using strong expressions. (e.g. We all have to, Everyone should/is, etc.)

5

4

3

2

1

7

Avoid overusing the same patterns/skills, avoid mechanic patterns.

5

4

3

2

1

8

Use humor & rhetoric skills.

5

4

3

2

1

9

Show personal style.

5

4

3

2

1

2. Practice/rehearsal Stage

A. Content familiarity

1.

Make use of tree structure to organize the whole speech.

5

4

3

2

1

2

Use key words/phrases to help memorize the main ideas.

5

4

3

2

1

3

Use color markers to highlight key words and difficult parts.

5

4

3

2

1

4.

Familiarize the content by retelling procedures. (ones own lang.)

5

4

3

2

1

5.

Use a camcorder/ audio recorder to record my own speech.

5

4

3

2

1

6.

Practice the speech in front of a mirror or a friend.

5

4

3

2

1

7

Make use of backward formation to practice difficult sentences.

5

4

3

2

1

8

Write down the difficulties encountered in practices. (Take notes)

5

4

3

2

1

9.

Keep modifying the script till I can speak with ease. ( e.g. change hard words to easier ones)

5

4

3

2

1

10.

Use this checklist to examine and monitor my own performance.

5

4

3

2

1

B. Language skills  

    (a)General Linguistic part

1.

Voice loud enough for all the audience

5

4

3

2

1

2.

Is my pronunciation clear? (Intelligible?)

5

4

3

2

1

3

Is my speech fluent?

5

4

3

2

1

4

Use reduced forms & liaisons

5

4

3

2

1

5

Avoid using too many fillers.

5

4

3

2

1

6

Natural speech pace (vs. recitation speed of speech)

5

4

3

2

1

(b) Working particularly on prosodic features

1

Volume goes with content & emotion

5

4

3

2

1

2

Proper pauses between constituents

5

4

3

2

1

3

Appropriate pitch & stress variation

5

4

3

2

1

4

Clear intonation patterns

5

4

3

2

1

5

Linking/liaison

5

4

3

2

1

    (c) Non-linguistic part

1.

Do I greet the host, guests, and audience?

5

4

3

2

1

2

Interact with audience during the speech.

5

4

3

2

1

3

Do I sound interesting?

5

4

3

2

1

4

Do I pause long enough after asking a question?

5

4

3

2

1

5

Facial expression

5

4

3

2

1

6

Appropriate eye contact

5

4

3

2

1

7

Gestures (Include body movements and hand gestures)

5

4

3

2

1

8

Proximity (moving from the platform when necessary)

5

4

3

2

1

9

Show enough emotion (Emotion goes with the meaning)

5

4

3

2

1

10

Do I seem confident & enthusiastic?

5

4

3

2

1

3. Presentation Stage

A. Delivery procedure & skills

1.

Greet host and audience before starting speech

5

4

3

2

1

2.

Show gratitude to the host

5

4

3

2

1

3

Show warm-up tactics (get closer to the audience)

5

4

3

2

1

4

Introduce the topic with tactics

5

4

3

2

1

5

Pause for long enough time after asking a question

5

4

3

2

1

6

Give brief feedback/make comment on audience responses

5

4

3

2

1

7

Voice clearly heard (volume)

5

4

3

2

1

8

Pronunciation accuracy

5

4

3

2

1

9

Speech fluent with natural flow (right pauses)

5

4

3

2

1

10

Avoid using too many fillers

5

4

3

2

1

11

Prosodic features (e.g. pitch, stress, etc.) go with meaning

5

4

3

2

1

12

Appropriate pace

5

4

3

2

1

13

Involve your emotion with meaning

5

4

3

2

1

14

Involve audience during speech via interactions (e.g. Q & A)

5

4

3

2

1

15

Make comments on the unpredicted incidents

5

4

3

2

1

16

Conclusion: Summarize the whole speech (We’ve talked about…)

5

4

3

2

1

17

Final Q&A session

5

4

3

2

1

18

Thank the host’s & the audience’s participation

5

4

3

2

1

B. Non-verbal skills

1.

Facial expression

5

4

3

2

1

2.

Eye contact

5

4

3

2

1

3.

Gestures (Including body movements)

5

4

3

2

1

4.

Proximity ( Get close to the audience when necessary, not just stand behind the podium)

5

4

3

2

1

5.

Emotion (Emotion goes with the meaning)

5

4

3

2

1

6

Good treatment of incidents (Make a short comment to them.)

5

4

3

2

1

7

Show confidence and enthusiasm

5

4

3

2

1

C. Show familiarity with the topic/content

1.

Natural speech (Talk about, not recital the content)

5

4

3

2

1

2

Avoid too many fillers

5

4

3

2

1

3

Speech is fluent with no hesitation & unnatural pauses

5

4

3

2

1

4.

Avoid looking at the script too frequently

5

4

3

2

1

5.

Proper use of prompts/outlines

5

4

3

2

1

4. Wholistic criteria:  (Easy version, from a listener’s view)  

1.

How well do I hear the voices? (with ease)

5

4

3

2

1

2.

How well do I understand the messages? (Accuracy & fluency)

5

4

3

2

1

3

How well is the speech organized? (Discourse coherence)

5

4

3

2

1

4

How convincing is the speech? (Content)

5

4

3

2

1

5

How much do I enjoy the speech? (Interest)

5

4

3

2

1

6

Do I feel s/he is talking to me? (Interaction)

5

4

3

2

1

7

Do I enjoy the whole speech? (Naturalness)

5

4

3

2

1

***

Notes:

1. This checklist was designed to be used as a monitor to help my students self-monitor their learning. Its content is thus aimed at their weaknesses. It should not be considered as a comprehensive list for any EFL learners.

2. This list is copyrighted. For citation, please quote: Huang, Chuen-Teng (黃春騰), 2009. Using EFL Learner’s Speech Preparation and Performance Checklist to Improve Your Speech. Mimeo appendix of a working paper, Department of English & Graduate Institute of Children’s English, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan. Contact email: huangtt@cc.ncue.edu.tw

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