Formal Speech

Throughout our “Reacting to the Past” simulation, you’ll deliver several speeches as your character, some formal, others spontaneous. Your role sheet provides guidance on the key speeches your character will likely make, and ways to prepare for those speeches.

To receive erga credit for giving a speech, you need to complete the following steps: (1) “talking points” you email to us ahead of time; (2) the speech itself, which might not exactly match your talking points for the purposes of not speaking too long, or taking into account sudden developments or speeches made by others; and (3) a “speech reaction” you email to us after delivering your speech.

You can complete this ergon with your partner; if you do so, make sure you are thoughtful and explicit about how you are dividing this labor equitably, and include a note with your final speech about who did what.

Talking Points

Email your talking points to us at least 24 hours prior to your speech. This should be a bulleted list of 4–6  items, each one sentence or shorter, including:

  • your law proposal as you will write it on the board (if applicable)
  • the basic arguments you will use
  • a quote from at least one ancient source that we read in class or that your character sheet or we suggested that you read (i.e. not the internet) 
  • how you will rebut likely counterarguments
  • a list of all sources you consulted in preparing your talking points
  • an explanation how your speech fits into your faction’s agenda (or, if indeterminate, your own agenda)

The Speech

Deliver your planned speech during class. Make sure you line up early enough to be sure you have a chance to give your speech! If you make a genuine effort to deliver your speech but aren’t able to because of time constraints, you can still submit your speech and reflection, but please do make an effort to deliver your speech during class.

  • use only your notes as you deliver your speech (i.e. don’t read your speech)
  • deliver your speech practicedly and skillfully:
  • use appropriate pacing and volume
  • use appropriate tone
  • speak with clarity
  • speak within the expected time (~ 5 minutes)
  • actively and preparedly respond during the question/discussion period

The Text

After you have delivered your speech, write up the text of the speech as closely as possible to the version you delivered in class (though, like ancient speech writers, you may add details or improve style, as long as the speech is still recognizable as a version of what you delivered in class). Email the speech to us by the ergon submission deadline. When you do so, please also include a very brief reflection, considering some of the following:

  • in what ways were your speech and delivery successful? unsuccessful?
  • what will you focus on for your next speech (in this game or in life)?
  • how did you feel your speech was received in class?