Manual for Rhetorican
Here you will learn the most important basics, how to use Rhetorican and how to grow fast and well to the speaker and interlocutor who you always wanted to be!
Instructions for talking, rating and the individual evaluation criteria
Give a speech
Depending on what kind of speech you want to make, you need a different kind of preparation. With each speech your webcam and microphone should be ready. The webcam should be placed that way that you can be seen and heard well, neither too close nor too far. The light should be sufficient, too. You can test this before each speech – if need be in your private room. You can record your speech directly/ live, which will then be uploaded, or you can upload a previously made and saved video file. Whichever suits you best. After 3 speeches, you will be asked to rate a speech so that you can learn from other speakers and help them become a better speaker through your own feedback. After that, you will always be able to give a speech alternately, so that you can improve yourself overall through training - holding your speech - and giving feedback. By being a learner and a teacher, you are making the most progress possible by closing the effective learning circle.
You can make a prepared speech (challenge or single speech), after you have written and rehearsed it 1 to 5 times.
Simply follow the instructions. We work together with the reputable provider “Ziggeo“. You can record your speech by webcam directly or – if you want to record the speech yourself – upload or with the ‘upload’ function.
For a new speech you also choose a title for your speech and a category.
It goes without saying that we will not accept defamation/ slandering of other people, radical (also political) topics, negative prejudice, hostility to foreigners, or similar topics. Topics and videos with topics not acceptable to this platform will be blocked and banned without prior warning. We want to maintain a friendly, trusting standard, in which everybody – no matter where they come from – feel comfortable. We want to create an atmosphere in which everybody enjoys, and has fun, learning.
With an impromptu/ improvised speech you practice your spontaneous speaking skill, in order to be able and ready to answer to various situations of your everyday life. This can help you in your professional and also private life to give answers spontaneously, to tell “little“ stories or to make speeches. It can also be an aid in your communication with a business partner, to express yourself properly and to bring across, what you really want to say. The whole point is that you feel comfortable when telling something or making a speech – no matter in which situation you’re in. This is what we practice and train here.
You can choose here if you want a “challenge“ or practice by yourself. If you would like to take part in a challenge, you can find an appropriate speech by clicking on “partner wanted“, and choose a topic for the speech which appeals to you. In a challenge you are a member in a little competition and the community decides which speaker has better solved the task.
Here you‘re also asked questions or told a story, a situation is described or a problem is shown, or you are asked to give your opinion – your task will be to make a 1 to 3 minute speech. There are a few hundred impromptu speeches, from which one will be given to you at random. At the beginning you might find this hard/ difficult, but in time it will get easier and you’ll be more confident doing it.
In the academy, after each theory part you will get a task, which you can work on. You’re welcome to take all the time you need to prepare for the task, before getting started with it. Always concentrate only on what you‘ve just learned in this specific chapter, in order to put it into practice. We take it step by step to improve your speaking skills. The recording of your speech works in the same way as with the normal speeches outside the academy.
Evaluating a speech
It doesn’t matter if you have never evaluated a speech before.
Simply read through this article, look at other evaluations or take part in the academy course “evaluating speeches“. In time your evaluations will get better as well, the only thing it needs is practice, just like practicing speaking.
Even if you’re at the start of your career as a speaker, it will help immensely, to look critically at speeches of others, to give tips and advice to these speakers, what he/ she does well or what could be improved.
This way the speaker learns from you as well as you learn from him/ her, because you‘ll automatically compare his/ her rhetoric skills with yours and because of this your rhetoric will also improve.
For the evaluation of speeches by other speakers – which you’ll have to make regularly, in order to be able to make further speeches yourself - you’ll get support from us, through a system of stars, with which you can work.
5 stars are the highest and best score, 1 star indicates to the speaker, that he/she should turn special attention to this point.
In addition you are asked to write a final comment, with a minimum of 140 characters, to give your personal feedback to the speaker, which again will help him/ her specifically to improve. Each evaluation is subjective, it is impossible to make purely objective evaluations. One person might criticize a point, which another thought was good. This is normal and absolutely okay.
Let’s get to each individual point:
Does the speaker use a lot of variations of his/ her voice? Does he/ she sometimes speak slower, then again faster, quietly or loud? Does the voice fit the contents? All in all, should he/ she speak louder or more quiet?
How is the articulation of the speaker? Does he/ she speak loud and clear, or does he/ she sometimes mumble? Is the wording/ way of expressing suitable for the topic of the speech? Does the speaker use metaphors or other rhetoric stylistic devices?
Is the grammar of the sentences correct? Is the vocabulary well-chosen or should there be a wider variety?
Does the speaker’s body language fit the topic of the speech? Does the speaker allow his arms and hands to simply hang loose or does he/ she fidgets with them nervously? Does the speaker’s body language support or hinder/ impede (sometimes) the speech? Are the movements suitable or do they appear exaggerated?
How confident does the speaker appear during his speech? How well can he/ she bring the topic across, or rather: do you believe, what he/ she says? Does he/ she seems to have knowledge of the topic? Or does he/ she appear rather insecure in what he/ she talks about? Effectiveness of speech: Did it become clear, what the intention/ aim of the speaker was? Were the stories and examples well-adjusted to the topic and intention/ aim of the speech? Did the “message“ reach the audience? Did the speech touch the audience?
Structure of the speech:
Was the structure of the speech well chosen? Has the speaker managed to present a meaningful introduction and a memorable conclusion? Were the transitions well chosen and had the structure been coherent?
If the speaker didn’t use any materials/ props, he/ she will get 1 star. Depending on the occasion of the speech this doesn’t matter. Did the props support the speech or did they rather hinder it? Could he/ she have done better by using aids? Were there, e.g. too many words per page in the power point presentation? Was everything clear and well-structured?
How was the over-all impression of the speech?
Here you can write to the speaker, what he/ she did well and what he/ she could improve. Address in detail, what you – as the audience – noticed. Always write in a positive and motivating manner!
It is best if you always base your evaluation on the kind of assessment you would like to get if you had made this speech. You want to be respected for your speech and want to be able to look forward to your next speech. This applies to every speaker and everybody has different starting point in his career as a speaker.
You’re welcome to look at further explanations in the academy course “evaluating a speech“, where we talk about this topic in detail.
In case you should find that an evaluation doesn’t observe or even break the rules, both one you’ve received or noticed somewhere, please notify us and we will see to the problem – evaluation or evaluating person. In most cases this person simply didn’t pay attention to the wording and didn’t mean to be negative on purpose. We will explain and show how a speech can be evaluated to motivate.
Criteria for evaluation in detail:
Does the speaker use a lot of variations of his/ her voice? Does he/ she sometimes speak slower, then again faster, quietly or loud? Does the voice fit the contents? All in all, should he/ she should speak louder or more quiet?
How confident does the speaker appear during his speech? How well can he/ she bring the topic across, or rather: do you believe, what he/ she says? Does he/ she seems to have knowledge of the topic? Or does he/ she appears rather insecure in what he/ she talks about? Effectiveness of speech: Did it become clear, what the intention/ aim of the speaker was? Were the stories and examples well-adjusted to the topic and intention/ aim of the speech? Did the “message“ reach the audience? Did the speech touch the audience?
If the speaker didn’t use any material/ props, he/ she will get 1 star. Depending on the occasion of the speech this doesn’t matter. Did the props support the speech or did they rather hinder it? Could he/ she have done better by using aids? Were there, e.g. too many words per page in the power point presentation? Was everything clear and well-structured?
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With this trial, you are be able to hold unlimited speeches in the "Free Speech" section and you can make in the "Academy" section the first two Academy Courses "The Basics" and "The intermediate speaker". If you also want to attend the other courses, you need a premium subscription, which you can buy from € 9.99 per month. Once your premium-membership has expired, you you can watch all the speeches, but only hold a private speech. We wish you lots of fun and many good speeches on Rhetorican!