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Speech rubric

Benchmarks being assessed:

  • Understand and convey both simple and detailed information and more complex information in an interesting and authoritative way.

  • Present facts, ideas, and opinions in an orderly sequence for a particular audience.

  • express effectively what is thought.

  • Speak audibly and intelligibly with appropriate tone, intonation, and pace.

  • Write a short persuasive speech and present it in a way that shows an understanding of effective verbal and nonverbal techniques (movement, gesture, eye contact, and facial expressions)



Mastery looks like

Skillful orientation of reader to topic(s) in introduction with a clear explanation of what is, i.e. the status quo, moving from ‘here's what's going on’ to ‘here's what could be’.


Creates a gap between the status quo and the end point as large as possible.  Continually contrasts the commonness of the status quo to the loftiness of your idea.  Middle of the speech goes back and forth from what is to what could be. (Speech characteristic = contrast)


Strong images the audience can relate to, created through simile/metaphor (speech characteristic).


Last turning point of the speech is a call to action. Describes the world as new bliss, utopia. (speech characteristic = directly addresses audience - including rhetorical questions and inclusive language)


Uses persuasive and valid reasoning to elicit a response from audience (speech characteristic = emotive/judgmental adjectives/adverbs).


Seamlessly and effectively integrates other textual references your audience will recognise (speech characterisic = allusion).

Repetition of words and phrases reinforce the main ideas (speech characteristic).


Uses purposeful and varied sentence structure to create an oral rhythm.


Intentionally uses intonation, pace and pauses to elicit a reaction from the listener.


Non-verbal communication such as movement, gestures, eye contact, and facial expressions are used for effect.

Proficiency looks like

Orientation of reader to topic(s) in introduction with a clear explanation of what is, i.e. the status quo, moving from ‘here's what's going on’ to ‘here's what could be’.


Middle of the speech goes from ‘what is’ to ‘what could be’ (Speech characteristic = contrast)


Conclusion includes a call to action  (speech characteristic = directly addresses audience).


Integrates textual references (speech characterisic = allusion).


Repetition of words and phrases reinforce the main ideas (speech characteristic).


Uses correct and varied sentence structure.

Uses intonation and pace to draw the listener in.


Non-verbal communication such as movement, gestures, eye contact, and facial expressions are used.  

Competency looks like

Makes an attempt to orient reader to topic(s) in introduction.

Provides a conclusion which repetitively or partially supports claim(s) made in introduction.

Uses language that directly addresses the audience (rhetorical questions, “you”)


Uses textual references, but they are integrated ineffectively.

Shows superficial understanding of topic/text.


Repitition of words or phrases included, but may be ineffective.

Uses mostly correct and some varied sentence structure.

Partial Competence looks like

Inadequately orients reader to topic(s) in introduction.

Provides an ending but it is not a conclusion.

Shows limited understanding and/or flawed understanding of topic/text

Uses limited, simplistic and/or flawed reasoning to connect evidence with claim(s)

Uses limited and/or repetitive sentence structure.



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