The Basics of Good Speaking
In this article, Erik Palmer argues that we must teach speaking as an explicit skill. He offers the "PVLegs" rubric to fine-tune students' presentations:
- Poise: Appear calm and confident.
- Voice: Make every word heard.
- Life: Put passion into your voice.
- Eye contact: Visually engage each listener.
- Gestures: Make motions match your words.
- Speed: Adjust your pace for a powerful performance. (Palmer, 2011)
"All oral communication has two distinct stages: building the talk and performing the talk. Teachers are quite good at defining for students how they should build the talk—that is, defining the content the talk should include. Also, most rubrics are overweighted in favor of how well-built the talk is. But great content has no value if it's not delivered well, so here I focus on the performing part of speaking. You can use P.V. LEGS to teach students steps toward mastery in performing (Palmer, 2011)."