Speech Proficiency Examination

DIRECTIVES FOR THE SPEECH  PROFICIENCY  EXAMINATION

MARYVILLE  UNIVERSITY

The Speech Proficiency Examination is an option through which currently enrolled Maryville University students may demonstrate proficiency in public speaking.  Students who pass the exam are eligible for equivalency credit in SPCH 110 Oral Communication or for notation on their transcript that they have shown proficiency in speech.

PLEASE NOTE:  Students who are in their last semester of study at Maryville are not permitted to take the Speech Proficiency Examination.

The Speech Proficiency Examination is composed of two elements:
1)  A 5-7 minute informative or persuasive speech.
THE TIME LIMITS ARE STRICTLY ENFORCED.

2) A written outline of the speech.   (See the outline format in these directives.)

Note: DO NOT READ A MANUSCRIPT, WHETHER ON PAPER OR ON A COMPUTER SCREEN OR ON A HAND-HELD ELECTRONIC DEVICE. 

Students who pass the Speech Proficiency Examination are eligible for credit in SPCH 110.60 (3 credits, grade of P). Tuition for SPCH 110.60 is at the current rate.

GENERAL  INFORMATION  ABOUT  THE  SPEECH  PROFICIENCY  EXAMINATION

1. The examination is offered twice annually, during the fall and spring semesters, in day and evening sessions. The usual dates are early October and early February.
2. Students who pass the examination may receive credit in SPCH 110.60 by registering for this credit within a calendar year after they pass the exam. No attendance is required.  The student will receive a grade of P. Regular tuition is charged.
3. Students who pass the examination have a second alternative:  to have the Registrar indicate on their transcript that they have passed the challenge exam in speech within a calendar year after they pass the exam. A $45 fee is charged.
4. There is no fee for the examination itself.
5. Only currently enrolled Maryville University students may take the Speech Proficiency Examination.
6. The examination may not be taken in the last semester of registration.
7. Directives for the Speech Proficiency Examination, exam dates, and instructions for registering by email to take the exam are posted at: http://blogs.maryville.edu/lleah/speech-proficiency-examination/.
8. Register by emailing Dr. Carver at clcarver@maryville.edu. Include your name, student number, and the date you will take the exam.

THE SPEECH

1.  Choose a topic that interests you.
2.  Be sure that your topic is likely to interest an audience of college students of various ages.  Don’t choose a trivial topic.
3.  Adapt everything you say about your topic to the needs and interests of your audience.  (A topic such as global warming is suitable for many audiences; the same speech on the topic could not be used for both an elementary school class and a meeting of scientists.)
4.  Organize your thoughts so that they accomplish your goal in giving the speech:  to inform or to persuade a college audience.
5.  Define any terms that need clarification.  Don’t assume that the audience shares all of your ideas and experiences.
6.  Explain or prove your points graphically.  Use specific examples, statistics, quotations, anecdotes, analogies, and demonstrations.
7.  Only non-electronic visual aids may be used (NOT videos, NOT presentation programs such as PowerPoint).
8.  Research your topic; be sure your information is accurate and current.
9.  If you are discussing a controversial subject, know the arguments of your opponents and refute them during your speech.
10.  Keep the audience interested in your speech by incorporating appropriate humor, suspense, and familiar references.  Appeal to their curiosity, their desire for health, happiness, wealth, personal fulfillment, etc.
11. Pay careful attention to the introduction and conclusion of your speech.  The audience is particularly attentive at those moments, so don’t miss your chance to impress them.
12. Make sure that you have effective transitions between ideas in your speech.  You know your topic; the audience doesn’t.  Make sure that you tell them the relationship between one idea and the next.
13. Be logical and cite your evidence sources in your speech, but don’t ignore the value of emotional appeal.
14. Get rid of distracting habits such as saying “uh,” “okay,” “you know,” “like.”
15. Have aesthetic value in your speech (vivid vocabulary and imagery, interesting insights).
16. Let the audience sense your self-confidence and sincerity.
17. Deliver your speech extemporaneously, using conversational delivery of the material you have carefully prepared and organized. You may use notes if you like, but since a speech is different from a paper or other written assignment that might be read aloud, DO NOT READ A MANUSCRIPT, WHETHER ON PAPER OR ON A COMPUTER SCREEN OR ON A HAND-HELD ELECTRONIC DEVICE.
18. Practice your entire speech out loud several times before the exam day.
19. Use your body, face, and voice effectively.  Facial expression, voice control, and other elements of delivery are performance elements that can help the audience remember the content of your speech.