What is YOUR Story?


For this assignment, I want to take you back to the beginning of public speaking and have you do what the ancient Greeks did: orate. The Greeks were known as the fathers of rhetoric. They studied rhetoric first not in its written form but as a basis for oration (speech). For this assignment, you will be speaking, creating your own Ted Talk.

STEP 1: WATCH at least 5 TED TALKS and fill out 5 TED TALK WORKSHEETS!

From this page, browse some of the talks that I have selected as my favorites. But if you don’t want to see my favorites, there are 54 pages and almost 2,000 talks, on the Ted Talk website. Go and choose any to watch. They are presented by all kinds of folk, famous and not, and they cover a HUGE range of topics. Some of the presenters are professionals and some are just like you.

You can listen to as many as you like, and you can listen to parts of as many as you like, but for this assignment, you need to select FIVE to report on. Some are longer than others, so you may wish to factor time into the equation. For each of the FIVE talks you select, please fill out a TED TALK WORKSHEET. For each worksheet you turn in, you will receive 25 points. So 5 worksheets is 125 points!!!

Once you have an idea of how a casual yet well-prepared presentation can be delivered, it’s time for you to create one yourself. Some of these talks are very long, but yours will only be a minimum of two minutes and a maximum of three minutes.


What in the world should you talk about? The one thing all Ted Talks have in common is that they are delivered by people who are passionate about and believe in what they are saying. So find something you are passionate about. It could be a particular belief you hold, a political event, an experience you had, a person in your life, a pet, dietary choices, a class you took, a place you visited, a hobby, music you enjoy, an expectation you have for people, etc. You do not have to persuade someone to do something; you may simply present something beautiful.


You will not be handing in an essay. You may write your talk out as if it was an essay, but you will not be able to read it word for word. So outline your talk on the PLANNING sheet. What you do to elaborate upon your outline is up to you. If necessary, you may use note cards during your talk. You will also prepare a visual to go with your talk. This could be a PowerPoint presentation, a poster, a photo, a prop, a chart/graph, whatever visual you think works best with your talk.


Even if you are a practiced orator, you must practice, practice, practice. You will be graded on the quality of your content and also the quality of your talk. What makes a good speech? Well, beyond the obvious (content), it's presentation. You must speak at an even pace (not too fast and not too slow), you must speak clearly, you must use inflection, you must rid your speech of “like,” “um,” “ya know,” etc. The only way to make sure you are addressing all of these elements is to practice. You also need to be attentive to body language and posture: what you do with your face, your hands, and posture—they all speak volumes (pun intended). Watch yourself perform in a mirror, record yourself with your phone and that will help you to get it ready for evaluation and performance!


You will need 3 peer evaluations. These will come from 3 of your group members. You will do your speech for them and they will evaluate you. You must also do 3 peer evaluations. So if they watch yours and evaluate you, then you watch theirs and evaluate them!


Performances will be May 21st-25th. Once all performances are done, WE ARE FINISHED FOR THE YEAR!!!

In case you lose your WHAT IS YOUR STORY? packet, here is another one to print out! I can't wait to hear your TED TALK!