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Speech Proficiency Exam

Theatre and Speech

Speech Proficiency Exam

The Speech Proficiency Exam

The Speech Proficiency Exam is intended for freshman and sophomores, who believe they can exhibit all the skills taught in SPCH 111 and want to be waived from this required course. SPCH 111 is a public-speaking course that develops your organization and projection skills, ability to appear before an audience, order your thoughts rationally, and make logical well-structured arguments. If you know you can exhibit these skills and do not need the speech course, sign up for the exam. If you pass the exam, you fulfill the CCNY speech requirement.
 If you do not pass the Speech Proficiency Exam you will be placed in one of the following courses:
1. SPCH 11100 (Speech Foundations) - for those who need to improve their public speaking skills. 
2. SPCH 13300 (Articulation) - for those with strong foreign accentsor speech impediments.
3. SPCH 23300 (Voice and Diction) - for those with extremely faulty skills in English.
On the day of the Speech Proficiency Exam, please plan to arrive at the scheduled time. You will be expected to present a 5-10 minute speech. This speech can be one of two kinds: Informative or Persuasive.
NOTE: To fulfill the CCNY speech requirement, and to receive your degree, you must pass SPCH 11100, SPCH 00308 (for SEEK students only), or the Speech Proficiency Exam.

The Informative Speech

Pick an objective topic which interests you, and explain it to the audience. Your presentation should be clear, coherent and organized. You will be expected to explain your topic from beginning to end, making the assumption that the audience has no familiarity with it, and needs to know about your topic in detail. You must seem at ease with the subject, well-versed, and you must make the subject interesting and lively to the audience.

The Persuasive Speech

Choose a current event and convince the audience to agree with your opinion. Your presentation should be clear and organized around a series of propositions and supporting arguments. The forms of support you may use are statistical, authoritative (resorting to experts who agree with you), various forms of classical reasoning, etc. A complete speech will contain support for every proposition (assertion or main point).

Criteria for Passing the Exam

Apart from clear, orderly information or argumentation given, you will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

• You must deliver the speech without reading it from prepared text. Index cards are acceptable. Visual aids are allowed.

• Audibility: Can you be distinctly heard?

• Clarity: Can your speech be understood?

• Contact with audience: Are you really speaking to your audience and connecting with it, or are you hiding behind the notes?

• Adequate use of English: Are you speaking at an acceptable level of grammatical and stylistic use of the English language?

• Vocal variety: Are you using pauses, intonation and/or vocal rhythm to make your speech interesting and easy for the audience to listen to?

• Level of relaxation and ease in speaking: Are you comfortable with your speech and your audience?

TIPS: After your  speech is prepared, recite it several times in front of friends and family. See how it goes, and keep trying to improve your presentation. If you want to succeed, practice delivering your speech out loud before the exam.