Civic Artifact Speech

The civic artifact speech was the first assignment of my Rhetoric and Civic life class and the one I struggled the most with. I had never been graded on my public speaking ability before and had no idea how to write an effective speech. To make this assignment easier, I spoke about a topic I am passionate about: NASA. Specifically, I examined John F Kennedy’s 1962 “Address at Rice University on the Nation’s Space Effort,” and how Kennedy used his strong rhetorical abilities to call the American populace to be civic by supporting space exploration. In this assignment, I learned how to “cut down” my content in order to include the most vital information to support my argument and how to speak clearly and enthusiastically in order to engage my audience.  This assignment also allowed me to analyze the methods that activists use to persuade citizens to take action, such as when Kennedy used emotional appeals to insight fear of falling behind technologically in the American people to leverage mass support for the Apollo missions. Overall, through this speech I got to examine the “politics” behind scientific and technological development.

Paradigm Shift Ted Talk

A paradigm shift is a change that occurs in society, whether that be in attitude, belief, or practice. I am a huge fan of rom-coms, so I took the opportunity to investigate how dating and relationships have changed since the nineteenth century in my Ted Talk “From the Ball Room to Bumble: Shifts in American Courtship.” In this assignment, I examined how courtship has changed platforms from the domestic sphere to the Internet, allowing me to examine the social implications of technology. I had to transform my accompanying paradigm shift essay into a “performance,” in which I used my public speaking skills and carefully chosen accompanying images to educate my audience about the shift itself and its importance to our daily lives. Unlike the civic artifact speech, I was not allowed any speaker notes, so this project definitely improved my memorization skills as well as my multi-tasking ability, as I had to make sure I was updating the slides behind me as I was talking. Overall, this project gave me the opportunity to delve deep into how dating culture has changed due to technological advances, and what this means for us as individuals and our future.