Digital Speech Option

In class, I mentioned an option for S3 or S4, which is…

S5: Digital Speech!

This means making a YouTube video instead of performing your speech live in class.

But seriously, don’t just phone it in — if you choose this option, really make an effort to produce something people would want to watch.

Whether you give a traditional, in-person S3 or you choose the S5 option, same grading structure applies (write-out, rehearsals, self-assessment, and so on).

See linked file for more details and parameters:


Let me know if you plan to use this option!

To Do for Class Day 19 (Thursday October 27, 2016)

Class Tuesday 10/25/16

Today in class we had a sound glitch, so we weren’t able to watch and discuss the following videos:

Julian Treasure, “How to Talk so People Will Want to Listen” (we watched part of this in class a while back)

Will Stephen, “How to Sound Smart in your TEDx Talk”

Kai Lopez, “Here in my Backyard”

The goal for class was to discuss the delivery strategies illustrated by these speakers.

For Class Thursday 10/27/16

REMEMBER to meet at the intersection of Haight St. & Stanyan St. on Thursday.

If it’s raining, the ride is canceled — meet at the classroom instead. If you are not sure, text me.

For class, you have two tasks:

  1. Read “The Linguistics of YouTube Voice” (from The Atlantic magazine)
  2. Watch one video from column A and one from column B. Write a post to your blog thinking about YouTube voice — would it be a good strategy for you as a public speaker?
    (For really long videos, you don’t need to watch the whole thing… just a few minutes, enough to get a sense of the delivery.)
Group A Videos:

PBS Ida Channel, “Is Ron Dumbledore?”

John Green, “Understanding the Refugee Crisis in Europe, Syria, and around the World”

Tyler Oakley, “20 Emojis that Need to Exist”

Francesca Ramsey, “5 Tips for Being an Ally” (we watched this in class a while back)

Hannah Hart, “My Drunk Kitchen: Thanksgiving Turkey”

Group B Videos:

Global Cycling Network, “5 Skills Every Bike Rider Needs”

Sanelma Heinonen “Spokes Up!”

Seth’s Bike Hacks, “Critical Mass Bike Ride”

Isla Rowntree, “Teach your Kid How to Ride a Bike”

Robin Moore, “Performance” (not really a speech so much as a… performance)


Late Reminder: for class Thursday 10/20/2016


For class today, you have two tasks. Both are part of the rhetorical process of INVENTION (coming up with ideas about what to say, and appropriate arguments or strategies to use).

First, write a post that has two elements:

  • exploring a potential topic idea for S3
  • identifying a decision-making audience for your talk

You can update or edit this post after class–we’ll work on developing your ideas.

Second, prepare a 1-minute, 1-slide topic pitch. Let us know a little bit about what you’re interested in, why, and what audience you’d like to influence.

  • 1 minute
  • 1 slide

Don’t worry

If you are having trouble thinking of an appropriate topic, don’t worry! We’ll keep working on it!

Here are some things to remember:

If anything makes you think, “huh, weird” — that’s probably a good thing to investigate.

Pick something that is connected to your own interests or experience.

Sometimes people pick something because it seems like it will be easy to find lots of information. I disagree with this strategy, because it means the person is not challenging themselves. And if information is easy to find, why do we need a presentation on it? Respect yourself, respect your audience, don’t be afraid to dig.

To Do for Class Day 16 (Thursday 10/13/2016)

There are 2 main tasks to complete for class on Thursday.


In Module 3, we’re focusing on analysis for decision-makers. For class Thursday, read these two articles from the New York Times. One, “If Kant Were a New York Cyclist,” by Randy Cohen, addresses the ethics of cyclist behavior from a philosopher’s point of view.

Optional: in this 3-minute video, Randy Cohen talks about the ethics of driving.

The second, “Is It O.K. to Kill Cyclists?” by San Francisco writer Daniel Duane, examines the consequences of collisions–his focus isn’t so much the behavior of motorists, but rather the attitudes represented legal decisions about consequences for drivers.

Optional: You can watch Dan Duane talk about learning to cook in this 3-minute video. And here, he’ll show you how to open a beer with a carabiner. These have nothing to do with bicycles, but are linked her to show spoken communication.


After you read the two articles, write a post for your blog.

Your post should include your thoughts about the two articles (one or both). Include in your post some connection to your own knowledge or experiences (as both Cohen and Duane do).

And, as always, a relevant image. Here’s my image:

According to these metrics, Bicycling magazine considers Chicago to be the best bike city in the US, with San Francisco in 2nd place.

Oops, one more image:

consequences of ill-fate curb bunny hop attempt
consequences of ill-fated curb bunny hop attempt

Be careful out there, folks!