1. Richard I. Garber
    December 30, 2013 @ 1:42 am


    I’m confused. Which students and what rubric are you talking about?

    In the U.S. the latest one by the National Communication Association is the Public Speaking Competence Rubric, which addresses both form and content. I blogged about it in July 2012:
    Click on the rubrics label to see my earlier posts.

    The 2007 second edition of their NCA Comptent Speaker Evaluation Form covered eigtht competencies – four each about form and content. You can download their detailed publication about it here:


    • Ryan
      December 30, 2013 @ 7:41 am

      Hey Richard,

      Thank you for you comment. I love extending the conversation and debating things like this as I believe that is very important.

      I still stand by what I say. The rubric discussed in your blog post only focuses on message in point #1 and the optional #11. I guess #9 could kind of be seen as a message measurement also.

      The problem I see is that we are trying to teach kids technique of public speaking without teaching them how to have something meaningful to say. I believe in order to be an effective public speaker you need to have lots of practice, but in order to practice you need to have lots of meaningful things to say. I do not believe technique is bad (in fact I believe it is extremely important).

      But I believe when we focus on technique before we focus on having something meaningful and worthwhile to say we stunt our students public speaking potential.

      The 2007 edition rubric is very similar to your blog post so I will comment on some other things:

      “The Competent Speaker Speech Evaluation Form was created to provide a statistically valid and reliable tool for the assessment of public speaking performance”

      This is fine for making competent speakers but often the best speeches can not be measured on their statistically valid assessment. They are effective because of their heart, and their message as well as their technique.

      The Competent Speaker was developed in 1990 by a subcommittee of the NCA Committee on Assessment and Testing”

      With communication changing at a rapid rate (everyone is on their phones now while people are speaking). How does a rubric from 1990 adjust for the changing audience habits and the changes we need to make as communicators to get our message across?

      Maybe in 2014 it will be more important to teach kids how to talk in front of a camera and upload it to YouTube than it will be to teach them to speak in front of their classmates.

      I am not 100% clear in the solution, I am simply trying to open up new ways of thinking so we can teach more people to be effective public speakers.

      I don’t know if that clarifies. Happy to hear more of your thoughts.


  2. Richard I. Garber
    December 31, 2013 @ 9:22 am


    I’m still confused since you didn’t bother to answer either of my questions about which rubric and what students you are talking about. Were you referring to something currently used in high schools or in universities? Was that in the whole world, Australia, just New South Wales, or where?

    The 2007 Competent Speaker Speech Evaluation Form refers to the following eight competencies. Four are about content: (1) Chooses and narrows a topic appropriately for the audience and occasion. (2) Communicates the thesis/specific purpose in a manner appropriate for the audience and occasion. (3) Provides supporting material (including electronic and non-electronic presentational aids) appropriate for the audience and occasion. (4) Uses an organizational pattern appropriate to the topic, audience, occasion, and purpose).

    Another four are about delivery (form). (5) Uses language appropriate to the audience and occasion. (6) Uses vocal variety in rate, pitch, and intensity (volume) to heighten and maintain interest appropriate to the audience and occasion. (7) Uses pronunciation, grammar, and articulation appropriate to the audience and occasion. (8) Uses physical behaviors that support the verbal message.

    They also are briefly discussed in a tri-fold pamphlet from the University of Colorado:

    That pamphlet points out that the eight competencies originally came from Sherry Morreale back in 1990. The 2007 publication I pointed you to was the revised version of a 1993 publication. So, it came out two decades ago, and then was adjusted in response to changes.



    • Ryan
      January 2, 2014 @ 7:05 am

      I guess at the core of it I am questioning whether marking our students even makes them better public speakers. I was discussing rubric in general, no specific rubric.


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