Children may be given the task of preparing a personal or solo talk to perform to the rest of their class. The class teacher will give information about the subject of the talk and how long it should last. The teacher will also give information about the success criteria, for example “The talk must have a suitable introduction and conclusion”. The success criteria will vary depending upon the age of the child and the subject of the talk.
You can help your child by listening to their talk, going through the success criteria with them and offering constructive criticism. This could be in the form of two stars and a wish. The two stars should be positive comments, two things that the child has done well. In a solo talk this might be that the speaker made good eye contact or kept within time. The wish is a constructive comment that would help the child to improve their talk. Perhaps they could use a visual aid to explain a point or look up from their notes more.
Examples of success criteria
Eye contact: the speaker should look at their audience from time to time.
Length of talk: The class teacher will give details of the required time the child is expected to talk for.
Organisation: the information should be organised in a way that it makes sense and flows.
Use of notes/cue cards: headings and key points can be noted to aid memory and act as a prompt without the speaker reading the whole talk.
Easy to understand and holds the audience’s attention: the information given should be easily understood by the audience. Even if the speaker is an expert on their subject, they should remember to explain it really clearly. If the audience doesn’t understand they will not be interested.
Use of visual aids: visual aids such as a PowerPoint presentation, photographs, items of clothing or equipment related to the talk, can enhance a talk by keeping the audience’s attention and interest. For example, if the talk was about a favourite hobby and the child played golf, the visual aid might be a golf ball and club.
Clear introduction and ending: a clear introduction will tell the audience what the talk is about. It may also let the audience know why the child has chosen the subject and can catch their interest. A conclusion is important to let the listener know that the talk is finished. It is a good chance to summarise the key points and thank the audience for listening.
Does the speaker make eye contact with the audience?
Does the talk last for the required amount of time?
Is the speaker able to be heard and using a clear voice?
Is the talk well organised?
Does the speaker make good use of cue cards?
Is the content easy to understand and able to hold your attention?
Does the speaker make good use of visual aids?
Does the speaker give a good introduction and an ending to their talk?
The class teacher will assess your child in accordance with the specific success criteria. Some teachers also choose to have the children peer assess each other before delivering their talks to the class. This can help to rectify any problems or help your child make improvements. Below is just one example of an assessment sheet used in the upper primary.
Solo Talk Assessment Sheet
Subject of talk ___________________________ Date________