Oral Interpretation Speech Assignment

Oral Interpretation Speech Assignment


Purpose: To develop oral interpretation skills


Instructions:For this speech, you need to choose aliterary piece to perform for the class. You may use any appropriate*literature, which may be monologues, scripts, poems, essays, or prose of your choosing.When choosing a piece, choose one that will work well for oralinterpretation. Literature that tell stories or have characters talking might be best for your performance.


Your speech must have an introduction, body and conclusion. The intro and conclusion must follow the same basic rules as previously discussed. The body of the presentation must contain the following elements:


  1. The performance – no longer than 3 – 5 minutes.
  2. A brief analysis of the piece– this is a short research element where you dig into the journals and find out what the professionals or the author says the piece means (requires appropriate citations).
  3. A brief review of the critical success, failure or obscurity of the piece – Once again this will be an element requiring some research (and a citation or two).
  4. An explanation of your choices for the interpretation – why you chose to read it the way you did, the vocal variations, the emphasis, the nonverbal, etc.
  5. A thorough introspection into the personal meaning/impact of the piece. (This should constitute the bulk of your speech time, about 5 -7minutes worth of material)


This speech must be a minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of12 minutes.


Do’s and Don’ts

  • Don’t just read your selection. Use your voice to create images, add emotion, power, volume, tension…whatever is appropriate for the piece.
  • DoUse nonverbal communication to communicate with the audience. Part of your grade will be determined on your use of non-verbal to communicate your message. This is not “Acting” but it is a performance.


*Appropriate: Adj. – suitable for a particular person or place or condition etc; “Always present speeches with material that are appropriate for a classroom setting”; “Please use language that is appropriate for the audience and occasion”; “Failure to follow the appropriate rules of conduct will result in a failing grade for the course.”

Last Updated on February 14, 2019 by