When reading Lombardi’s article all I could think about was the importance of giving my students the opportunity to hear feedback not only from me, but from their classmates as well. I cannot take credit for this aspect of my courses, because it was suggested by my boss for all GTA’s who teach public speaking, but I capitalize on this opportunity as often as possible.
As someone who teaches public speaking, I have a lot of tips on how to best engage an audience and how to write a speech that is easy to follow, but I am not afraid to admit that I do not know all there is to know about public speaking.
The greatest part of my job is not teaching my students to become great public speakers, but learning from my students what makes a great public speaker. Day in and day out I learn amazing things from my students, and I try to give them as many opportunities as possible to learn from not only me, but one another. One way I facilitate this learning is by having the students assess one another’s speeches. I am always interested in how honest my students are with their classmates about their performances. They grade one another much more harshly than I grade them.
After reading the Lombardi article I have decided that in my next class I am going to explain to my students why these assessments they provide for one another are so important. I want them to understand that they aren’t simply a way to receive participation point or my way of keeping them focused during speeches, but that they allow them to see a wide range of perspectives, because even though I may be the one giving them the final grade, in public speaking you can’t only cater to one member of the audience you must consider the group as a whole.