Reading, Memory, and Test Preparation Strategies for Speech
Lists of information are common components of many speech and communication classes. One way to encode and retrieve lists is to use mnemonics. If the items in the list are lengthy phrases or sentences, try to reduce each to a key word(s) to use in the mnemonic. Take the first letter of each item in the list and form it into a cue word or cue phrase.
For instance, the three types of supporting evidence for speeches are statistics, examples, and testimonials. These may be remembered using this mnemonic (D. Applegate, CAL):
To remember the six parts of a speech, use this cue phrase (D. Applegate, CAL):
Concepts, lists, and people may be remembered by associating them with images that link the new information with prior knowledge.
For example, use this image to remember the five steps of Monroe's motivated sequence:
You are driving down the road and suddenly the car gets your ATTENTION when the muffler falls off. You NEED to have it fixed so you drive to the nearest MONRO muffler shop. They fix it and give you a guarantee of SATISFACTION. Happily you VISUALIZE the muffler lasting for the next five years. You are so grateful you take ACTION and write a thank-you to the company (D. Applegate, CAL).
Reading Comprehension and Questioning Approach
The following strategy is designed primarily to improve reading comprehension of introductory speech texts (A. Mueser, CAL). However, the approach also helps students to self-test and to prepare for exams. It combines elements of the SQ3R reading strategy, information organization using flash cards, and rehearsal for encoding information into long-term memory.
Communication theory can be challenging reading. Two strategies are suggested for reading theory assignments. First, budget enough time to read the theory material two or possibly three times. Second, use the checklist below to summarize the theory as you read or after reading (D. Applegate, CAL).
Two effective ways to prepare for written tests in speech communication are study guides and practice questions (D. Applegate, CAL).
Study guides provide an overview of information to be covered on an exam; they are used to guide students' preparation for tests. Study guides that summarize the important material to be learned for a test may be provided by instructors. If not, students should make up their own study guides. To make up a study guide, go through the lecture notes and text book and compile lists of key terms, people, lists, dates, and concepts. Arrange the material by topic/chapter or by type of information. Use single words and simple phrases only. Examples of study guides are given below.
If old exams, end-of-chapter review questions, and workbook review questions are not available, students should make up and answer their own sample questions. Try turning the chapter headings and subheadings into questions. Take information from the recall column of the lecture notes, if the Cornell method is used, and form it into questions. Sample questions are provided below.
Discuss Aristotle's three types of artistic proofs, giving examples of each.
Draw and label the SMCR model of persuasion. Define each part of the model. Discuss the goals related to critical evaluation of persuasion based on the model.
Identify and give an example of the five components of the dramatist pentad.
Discuss the approaches to organizing speeches.
Identify the three types of supporting evidence, giving an example of each.
Draw and label the model of communication.
Identify the difference between qualititative and quantitative communication research, giving an example of each.
Compare and contrast the Eastern and Western schools of communication research.
Describe the main concepts of cultivation theory of mass media. Give an example of a research question that might be investigated using this theory and the methodology that would be used to conduct the study.
Identify and describe the four methods of collecting data.
Compare and contrast the scientific and humanistic schools of communication research.
Multiple Choice Questions
The part of the SMCR model that conveys a meaning through codes is:
a. is unconscious
The part of a speech that alerts the audience to the main points of the speech is the:
The European tradition of communication research:
a. focuses on wholes
Library research is the first step in writing a speech.
The critical school of communication research seeks societal change.
Appeals to the audience's emotions and passions are called ethos.
Omission is a method of downplaying.
The SMCR model was developed by Shannon and Weaver.
Fill in the Blank Questions
Using opposite language to confuse or conceal the truth is _____ .
_____ is a method of intensification in persuasion.
Artistic proofs were introduced by _____ .
The first step in Monroe's motivated sequence is _____ .
_____ research attempts to be bias-free.