Narrative Speech

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NARRATIVE SPEECH ASSIGNMENT

Stories are characterized by a plot that involves characters, events, narrative tensions, and resolution. Oral stories give listeners a sense of action and drama by developing characterizations, dialogue, vivid descriptions, and using animated delivery. Emotional sincerity and involvement are hallmarks of a good storyteller.

For this assignment, you will tell a 2-3 minute story that has a beginning, middle and an end.  It may provide a moral. You may construct a story from your own experience or adapt one you already know. The purpose of your story telling is to illustrate the importance of a lesson learned, a significant life moment, or the moral for this audience and persuade them to accept your story as something that connects to their own lives.. Start by thinking about why the audience might find the point of your story important or instructive. Remember that you need to choose a narrative that is appropriate for this audience and setting.

The introduction should set a context that will help the audience realize the importance of the moral for their lives. This may entail giving details of the setting or characters, setting the story in a larger context, or even telling the audience what the point of the story will be.

The story itself should be carefully constructed so that you give descriptive details, but do not ramble. Language choices, delivery techniques, and dramatic vocals must be chosen to lend interest and animation to your story. Your story should have internal coherence, with characters, plot lines, and morals that make sense to listeners.

The conclusion of your story should be carefully thought out and worded since it is your chance to leave a lasting impression with your audience. It should make the lesson or significance of the story clear to the audience.

This speech will be graded on your ability to follow the above directions, as well as your language choices and your delivery (voice and body). Remember that practice makes extemporaneous speaking possible! The General Speech Evaluation Form on page 239 of your text will serve as the rubric for the speech.

Please make keyword/key phrase note cards to provide speaker support during the presentation.

  • Title
  • Introduction of character(s) and background
  • Action(s)
  • Climax
  • Moral/Lesson audience can learn
  • Closing (should be a carefully worded, memorable line)

Narrative Speech information adapted from Jennifer Sheppard at Michigan Tech.

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