Teaching the Special Occasion Speaking unit poses a unique challenge: to effectively cover diverse goals and contexts while providing sufficient opportunity for student presentational experience.
For this activity, after completing the instruction and exposure to the key concepts and example videoclips, the instructor then distributes a banquet program handout for a hypothetical class reunion which specifies a variety of specific special occasion talks (sample included). Students are divided into pairs or small groups to create a specified speech to be delivered as part of the upcoming banquet program—to be conducted as a roleplaying activity at the end of this class session. Variations include: spreading activity over two sessions, instructor supplying newsclippings to provide speech content, and incorporating oral feedback and a second opportunity to deliver the speech. This collaborative workshop format also helps reduce communication apprehension.
Although every student will not create & deliver every type of S.O. speech, every student does get hands-on experience with the basic tasks of creating a S.O. speech and with explicitly adapting to a communication context.
"Welcome to our Special Occasion [teaching S.O. Speaking via a banquet approach],"
Proceedings of the New York State Communication Association:
Vol. 2010, Article 19.
Available at: http://docs.rwu.edu/nyscaproceedings/vol2010/iss1/19