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ERIC Number: EJ888813
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Apr
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1740-4622
Getting to Know You: Breaking the Ice in the Public Speaking Course
Pulaski, Michelle M.
Communication Teacher, v21 n2 p58-61 Apr 2007
Objective: To allow students an opportunity to speak publicly on the first day of class while becoming familiar with fellow students. The activity encourages students to examine the perceptions and stereotypes they have about one another by blindly guessing certain characteristics about their partner. By participating in the exercise, students will begin to think about how they will deal with anxiety in a speaking situation, and they will be introduced to the concept of audience analysis. The exercise also allows the instructor an opportunity to assess beginning speaking ability and level of speaking comfort while getting to know students quickly. Course use: The exercise is intended for the basic Public Speaking course but can be adapted to many other communications courses. The icebreaker is ideal for public speaking because it gives students a chance to speak publicly, often for the first time, without the pressure of getting a grade. Being paired with a partner also seems to help students reduce their speaking anxiety. The activity would also work well in a basic communication course as it allows for the exploration of key concepts such as perception and stereotypes. Regardless of the course, the key to the successful execution of the ice breaker is to conduct it on the first day when most students are unfamiliar with each other. [A list of references and suggested readings is included.]
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A