Making the Speech DVD: Reviews and Awards
|Making the Speech wins a Telly Award.|
Making the Speech wins a telly award in the Best Educational DVD category.
|Parents' Choice Award Approved Winner!|
Making the Speech was awarded the Parents' Choice Award for its oustanding production, entertainment and human values. A Parents' Choice Approved seal indicates a wholesome product that helps children enjoy developing physical, emotional, social or academic skills.
--Parents' Choice Awards
"Set in a real high school, this informative and entertaining program is another great entry from Jumby Bay Studios - a company that really understands how to maximize the DVD format. " --L. Stevens, Video Librarian
Taking the fear out of creating and delivering a good speech, this program features Stanley, the "king dweeb boy" whose grand finale at last year's speech content included falling off the stage.
If Stanley is going to survive the rest of high school, he has to redeem himself and win this year's contest with the help of cool coach Doug Masters, who is brought in to save Stanley from a lifetime of emotional damage.
Breaking down the process speechwriting into doable steps, Masters guides Stanley through researching, writing, and present his speech - including tips on outlining, word choice, notecards, and props - with winning results.
Set in a real high school, this informative and entertaining program is another great entry from Jumby Bay Studios - a company that really understands how to maximize the DVD format.
Bonus features here include "Doug's Drills" (offering quick lessons on specific speech topics), onscreen and printable quizzes, a teacher's guide with discussion questions, and printable versions of 25 famous speeches.
"This program is packed with detailed information to help viewers write and a deliver a successful speech." --Edie Ching, Booklist
This program is packed with detailed information to help viewers write and a deliver a successful speech. Somewhat of a geek, Stanley is made fun of because he fell off the stage during last year's speech contest.
A speech guru emphatically takes Stanley through every aspect of the process, including choosing and interesting topic, conducting extensive research, writing an outline, and finalizing and practicing the speech.
Each section concludes with a quiz and informational tips and drills. Unfortunately, shots of Stanley giving his award-winning speech focus on him looking at his notes rather than maintaining good eye contact. And during another scene, viewers may be more interested in the hallway artwork featuring naked female torsos than the pithy advice.
However, despite some corny acting, the information is solid and useful, and students will get a kick out of Stanley and his desire to do better.
Special DVD features include famous speeches, course notes, quizzes, and teachers' guide.
"...Making the Speech is certainly a notch above the competition." --Extempprep.org
Most "educational" videos seem to fall within two categories. The first are rather boring lecture based instruction. The instructional videos from the National Forensic League certainly fall into this category. The sound quality is usually awful and the video is very amateurish. Then there are the videos that fall in the Bill Nye the Science Guy category that are more about fun than learning.
Making the Speech finds that rare nice balance. The whole program is a story line where we follow the public speaking inept Stanley Reed who fell off a stage at a speech competition last year and is trying to wow the audience at winter recitation. How much more of an underdog can you rout for in this story? Much like a good speech the DVD starts out with a great attention-getter. Anyone watching this is not going to forget that the Stanley fell off the stage at the beginning of the video is the same guy who turns 180 degrees by the end of the hour thanks to his speech guru, Doug Masters. The opening scene should reel in the often short attention span of the typical high school audience on how to write a prepared speech.
The first thing that hits you is that this DVD feels very professional. The graphics are aesthetically pleasing, but not overwhelmingly gaudy. While the film is very professional it certainly isn't perfect. When I started watching the subtitles were on, which I assume is the default setting, but what was rather unusual was how different the subtitles were compared to the audio.
Unlike so many other videos Making the Speech attempts to take advantage of the DVD format. When you start the video the viewer is given the option of built in quizzes at the end of each section. The interactive element is very unique and novel, but a few questions could have used slightly better distractors. When the viewer selects a correct/wrong response they are given a short little video clip commending their learning or chastising the viewer. A few more answer video clips would be nice, but the feature is pretty neat nevertheless.
One great thing is the video has an actual plot line. Unlike many other instructional videos where the plot is contrived the dialogue in this video is actually believable.
The one important aspect of the video is that it emphasizes research of the topic. Too many people expect for the sky to open up and a speech to come to them through osmosis, but few people who are good public speakers had a great deal of natural ability. I did find the refrain only use "reputable websites" a bit simple, but you could create a another DVD just upon that subject so some vagueness of the term reputable is acceptable.
When the final day arrives for the competition Stanley seems like a new man. No longer is he "balance beam," but he is confidant about his public speaking ability. We only see a small section of four speeches, a wishy washy speech on peace, another one on bugs, another by Stanley's implied romantic interest Julie on UNICEF, and finally Stanley's speech on protecting the rainforest. We see more of Stanley's speech than the others, but not enough to get a feel for everything he says. Nonetheless one sees enough to see a large contrast with Stanley falling off of a stage last year.
After the speech is over Stanley and Doug Masters sit in studio to recap the main things critical to writing and delivering a successful speech. While Masters emphasized what Stanley did well he gives suggestions for future improvement. I think it is good to recognize at the end that Stanley wasn't perfect, but that he did make a huge improvement. It would be a poor video if it implied that any student could go from incompetent fool falling off of a stage into a complete public speaking genius in only a week.
In addition to the optional built-in quizzes and the main video sequence there are also several segments that are referred to as Doug's Drills which emphasize several tips that weren't mentioned in the main video. I found it great that the viewer receives additional pointers on speaking in addition to the main plot line, which while fairly good for the time period seemed like it could have covered more material on public speaking. The separate "drills" most of which are no more than a minute fill in some of the holes that I think that one would want to mention. I think it would have been better were more of the pointers included in the drills had been included in the main storyline, but I think that such a criticism is a minor critique at best.
While this DVD only examines prepared speaking many of the lessons from prepared speaking can be transferred towards extemporaneous or impromptu speaking which is critical for the audience of this website. While I would like it if there were a additional disc (or optional chapter) to this package that went into how to prepare for impromptu/extemporaneous speaking I think that this DVD certainly is worthy of inclusion in any introduction to public speaking course or an introductory course in competitive forensics. Compared to the many awful instructional videos on public speaking Making the Speech is certainly a notch above the competition.
"A superb resource for helping young people and teenagers conquer their fear of public speaking." --Midwest Book Review
Making the Speech is a how-to DVD for reluctant or nervous speechmakers. Intended especially for students, Making the Speech follows a young man who, with the help of speech guru Doug Masters, learns the tips, tricks and techniques of public speaking and applies them to improve his performance from clumsy to smooth and suave.
As entertaining as it is a practical learning tool, Making the Speech enhances its educational program with on-screen and printable quizzes, printable notes, a teacher's guide, printable versions of famous speeches, and a selection of short drills and lessons.
A superb resource for helping young people and teenagers conquer their fear of public speaking.
"Strong content, a snappy script, a diverse cast, and upbeat background music make this an excellent production that will appeal to teen audiences. " --Lynn K. Vanca, Akron-Summit County Public Library, OH, School Library Journal
Many people, especially teens, fear public speaking. This energizing, live-action production entertains viewers while it explains the steps in preparing and presenting a speech.
A well-structured storyline, which incorporates humor, presents the bulk of the material. Doug Masters, a "speech guru," coaches Stan, a teen, as he prepares for a public speaking contest. A clear option smenu enables users to view the storyline, watch a choice of Doug's drills, take quizzes, plus print documents (using a DVD-ROM drive).
Doug teaches Stan useful tips for selecting and researching topics, writing the speech with recommendations on types of stylistic devices, delivering the speech, incorporating props, and practicing.
Frequent pop-up quizzes serve as excellent reviews of the material. The section on "Doug's Drills" addresses how to handle unhappy audiences, choose clothing, add comedy, and plagiarism. Within the documents portion, users may print out historic speeches (Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, and more), program notes, a teacher's guide, or quizzes. A subtitles option is available.
Strong content, a snappy script, a diverse cast, and upbeat background music make this an excellent production that will appeal to teen audiences. This is an effective tool for introducing middle and high school students to the processes involved in writing and giving a speech and would be a very worthwhile purchase for school and public library collections.
"Making the Speech is an innovative, creative production with amazing graphics that will captivate the interest of this visual audience." --B. J. Lawrence, Bradley University, Consumer
Your video is very well done and I've previewed a number of videos for our course this last year. Your approach should be prefect for high school students. I think they will relate to Stanley and to the practical tips for putting together a presentation. I didn't look at the quizzes but I think it's always good to test comprehension levels. "Making the Speech" is an innovative, creative production with amazing graphics that will captivate the interest of this visual audience.