Flowers, Demonstrations, and Persuasion

Friday my students delivered their third speech: the speech of demonstration.  Some of my students have made a lot of progress and have really found their stride where public speaking is concerned.  And, some of my students still aren’t quite hitting the mark.  Sometimes my heart breaks for them when they start going astray.

I always want to be encouraging to my students and use the “fluff, poke, fluff” method when I am delivering feedback.  I often find myself paying particular attention to the judges on different television shows, i.e. American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, The Voice, The X Factor, etc. to see how the judges respond when someone just doesn’t rise to the challenge.  This sometimes helps me to applaud effort while still critiquing technique.

After the speeches, I gave them a crash course introduction to persuasive speaking.  Although they weren’t assigned the chapter yet, I knew that I needed to give them some of the vital information from the chapter since I handed out their final speech packet.  For their persuasive speech they are required to use the Monroe’s Motivated Sequence and I wanted to explain to them what it was.  I know that they may have felt a bit overwhelmed with the information, but my hope is that when they read the chapter and start constructing their outlines that the pieces start to fall into place.  At the very least, I know that they will come to class next week with tons of questions.

I debated about when to make the deadline for their outlines, but I ultimately decided that I would rather short them on the initial preparation time and give them more time with a graded outline to revise and then use to prepare their speech as opposed to giving them more time to create the outline and less time for the revisions.  I know that many of them wait to the last minute to do their homework and this way ensures a better success rate because it demands more from them up front.

Friday was a nice Spring day, but it was calling for rain and I wore dresses both Tuesday and Thursday so Friday was definitely a pants day.  I picked this shirt up sometime last week during one of my near daily trips to Wal-Mart.  I was drawn to it as soon as I saw it and put it in the cart with nary a second thought.  But, I tend to rationalize very quickly.  I knew that I could pair this three-fourths sleeve top with

1. black pants (skinny or dress)

2. black skirt (pencil or A-line)

3. khaki pants (casual, skinny, or dress)

4. khaki skirt (pencil or A-line)

5. new coral knife pleated skirt

6. new red silk skirt

7. royal blue skirt

8. denim bottoms (skinny, bootcut, or trousers)

9. Shorts (black, khaki, denim)

And that was all off the top of my head in the women’s department at Wal-Mart.  (Admit it, you are impressed.)  These days that is kind of my test of buying a new item.  Does it work with at least three items that I already own?  If it doesn’t, why am I drawn to it?  Is it because it is different and I want to branch out, or is it because of some completely unrelated reason?  And, let’s be honest,  it’s not like I don’t have clothes to wear.

Are there any rules that you impose on yourself when it comes to buying new items– whether it’s clothing or something else? Do the rules work or do you break them more than you follow them?


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