Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Attracting an Audience with Purpose

Vicky Nichols
Bay District Schools


Making sure that the purpose of an oral presentation or speech, and the intended audience are compatible will help students become good speakers.


The student uses a rating sheet to compare and contrast effective and ineffective presentations according to volume, stress, pacing, and pronunciation.

The student uses language which is clear, audible and suitable.

The student uses words and images that best express intended messages.

The student uses language appropriate to purpose and audience.


-Audio of MLK, Jr.'s speech, the I Have a Dream part
-Internet accessible computer with speakers (see Weblinks) OR
-Tape recorder if using a cassette of the speech
-Worksheets and checklist for each student found in the Associated File
-Chart paper or blackboard space
-Student Folders


1.Duplicate all sheets in the Associated File.
2. Download and copy (for each student) a copy of the What Makes a Good Speaker? rubric which is located in the Summative Assessment #3 file. (see Extensions)
3. Practice reading the Teacher Speech located in the Associated File.
4. Make sure all equipment is working.
5. Prepare a copy or use the copy from the previous lesson of MLK, Jr's speech OR
6. Bookmark the Website to use in playing the speech for the students.
7. Prepare examples of the criteria (see the previous lesson in this unit, What Makes A Good Speaker, for instructions on how to do this).
8. Look ahead and schedule Media Center, computer lab time and/or gather needed research materials for students to use in the classroom.


Note: This is lesson 2 of a unit called Speak for Yourself found on the Beacon Learning Center site.

1. Review yesterday's classwork and homework. Students were asked What's the difference between a good speech and one that isn't so good? Allow them to share what they've written. They may also take notes since these answers are study material for a summative assessment later on. If they do not mention any of the following, include these in the discussion: speeches can be too long or too short, humorous, boring or exciting, to a large audience or a small one, formal, informal, infomative or persuasive, not easily understood.

2. Return the diagnostic writing that students completed prior to this lesson. Keep your version of their feedback. This will be returned AFTER students have been given an opportunity to self-assess. Give them a copy of the checklist for the prompt found in the Associated File. Discuss it with students and then allow them to score their writing. Students will need specific examples of the critieria in order to correctly score themselves. Assure them that this is not a grade and is formative feedback given in order to help them improve. After scoring, staple the checklist to the writing and place in students' folders.

3. Hand out copies of the What Makes a Good Speaker? rubric (See Extensions). Explain that this rubric will be used to score their speeches on the Significant Leader that they learned about in the previous lesson. Point out the sections referring to Audience and Purpose. These will be the sections they will learning about today. Once this review is complete, have students place the rubric in their folders and inform them these rubrics will be used each day. (NOTE: By now a timeline for the unit should have been created and shared with students so they know when the summative assessments will be administered.)

4. Replay MLK, Jr.'s speech, I Have a Dream. Ask students to orally discuss the purpose of the speech and the audience. Help them to see that the purpose was to unite people of all races and that the intended audience was everyone, not just those who were actually in attendance that day.

5. Read the Teacher Speech worksheet found in the Associated File. The directions and questions for discussion are on the sheet.

6. Distribute the Who Are You Talking To? sheet found in the Associated File. The directions are on the sheet. After students have completed it, ask for answers and discuss them, mentioning audience and purpose. These will be used in another lesson in the unit so direct students to put them into their files after sharing.

7. Hand out Billy Bob's Speech found in the Associated File. Assign each student into one of 3 groups--A, B, and C. Each student will write the speech, directing it to a different audience to which they have been assigned. Group A will write the speech in order to give it to a group of fourth graders. Group B will write the speech to present to the class as though a grade was being given. Group C will write the speech as though it was being delivered to a group of friends in the media center. (For clarification- while students are assigned a group, each student writes his OWN speech.) Detailed instructions are on the sheet.

8. Allow students to share orally and enjoy. Emphasize audible speech and praise those who can be heard well. Collect Billy Bob's speeches for formative assessment.

9. Each day, students will be given a Question of the Day to answer for homework. Yesterday's question asked students to think about speeches they've heard. These questions can be written on the board, or on a piece of chart paper. Answers will be discussed and then the papers will be placed in the folders. Students will need these questions and answers to study and use for the summative assessments.

Great Speeches Question #2
Why is it important to consider the purpose and the audience when making a speech or oral presentation?


As students are using the checklist to score the writing prompts from a previous lesson, circulate to make sure that they are scoring their papers to the best of their abilities, for the given criteria.

The written speeches for Billy Bob serve as the formative assessment to make sure that the purpose and language are appropriate and suitable to the audience. Make sure that each student understands that the purpose of the speech and the intended audience must match according to the group to which he was assigned. Provide feedback to each student that will aid the learning and praise the knowledge thus far.

Formatively assess each student's volume and clarity as he/she shares orally. Offer feedback and guidance. Note those that have difficulty being heard.


The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unitís link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

Web Links

Use this Weblink to find the I Have A Dream speech
The Archive (of speeches)

This is the entire unit including files and instructions.
Speak for Yourself

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.