The two speeches that I will be comparing in particular are the special occasion speech and the final redo of the final occasion speech. I think that I have made major improvements in my speaking skills throughout the course of the semester. Some aspects still need some work.
Gestures: I think that I have done much better with hand gestures. In my first speech, I clenched onto my notecards. This last time, I opened up my arms more and used gestures more effectively.
Eye Contact: This is another thing that I have made major strides in from the first time I delivered this speech. I looked at my notecards A LOT the first time. I relied on them. This time, I memorized my speech much better and I rarely looked down at them, my eyes were on the audience for the better part of the speech.
Facial Expression: I think that I have made minor improvements with facial expressions. In my first speech, I had the same facial expression almost the entire time and I’m sure I was very boring to watch. This last time, I smiled a little more. However, this is something that I can improve in the future.
Posture: I think that my posture was decent from the start, but not much movement. I may have been swaying back and forth a little bit. For my last speech, I didn’t sway but I still could have had more movement and had better posture. This is something I hope to keep improving in the future.
Pitch: My pitch is something that has made slight improvements this semester. It’s harder for me, because I have a naturally deeper voice and it’s tough to have good pitch. I was very monotone in the beginning of the semester, and I still am slightly monotone. It is something that I will continue to work on in the future.
Volume: Volume has never been a problem for me, I was always able to speak at an appropriate volume while speaking to the audience throughout the semester.
Rate: Rate was something that was very important in my special occasion speech. Honestly, I think I might have actually had a better rate the first time I gave the speech. However, I think that was by accident, because I would look down at my notecards. Me memorizing my speech caused me to speak a little faster than I would have liked to. This is something that I have made great strides in over the course of the semester but it didn’t show in this speech necessarily.
Quality: I have made improvements in my quality over the course of the semester. My voice does not have anything distinct about it that it stands out from others’. However, I did a decent job of improving how I use my voice in different ways since the beginning of the semester.
Intonation: Intonation is something that I really struggled with in the beginning of the semester. I was extremely monotone. I was able to improve in that area and use different tones of my voice at different times, and it showed in my last speech. This is definitely still an area that I can improve more in the future.
Vocalized Pauses: I have been able to cut down tremendously on my use of vocalized pauses from the beginning of the semester. I used “um” or “uh” way too often. As my last speech shows, I was definitely able to cut down on those which made my speech much more effective.