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WGU Motivating Your Work Team to Take on A New Challenge Inspirational Speech “

WGU Motivating Your Work Team to Take on A New Challenge Inspirational Speech “


Touchstones are projects that illustrate your comprehension of the course material, help you refine skills, and demonstrate application of knowledge. You can work on a Touchstone anytime, but you must complete this unit’s assessments before you submit it. Once you’ve submitted a Touchstone, it will be graded and counted toward your final course score.

Touchstone 2: Special Occasion Speech

ASSIGNMENT: For this touchstone, you will deliver a 3–5 minute special occasion speech on a topic of your choice. The speech can be for any context, but the purpose must be to commemorate an occasion. See the following list of example occasions for inspiration. 

Type of Special Occasion SpeechExamplesThe Speech of Introduction

Introducing a keynote speaker at a conference

Introducing a new employee at a company meeting

The Speech to Secure Goodwill

Welcoming new employees during an orientation session

Celebrating staff at a company retreat

The Speech of Presentation or Acceptance

Presenting an award for academic work (paper, research, report)

Accepting an award for original creative work

The Commemorative Speech: Dedications and Eulogies

Delivering a commemorative speech for the dedication of a new building

Delivering a eulogy at a funeral

The Inspirational Speech

Motivating your work team to take on a new challenge

  • Inspiring your work team with a vision for the future
  • Other Speeches: Farewells, Toasts, and After-Dinner Remarks

Giving a toast at a wedding or other party

Delivering a speech at a graduation

In order to foster learning and growth, all work you submit must be original for this course. Any recycled work will be sent back with a 0, and you will be given one attempt to redo the Touchstone.

Touchstone Support Videos

Connecting Your Audience, Purpose, and Message
Analyzing Your Audience

  • A. Directions
  • Step 1: Select a Special Occasion Topic

Your speech should be for a special occasion. You may use a special occasion from the list above, or choose one of your own. Consider the following brainstorming techniques as you generate your speech topic:

Word Association



Distilling Your Ideas

  • Doing a Little Homework
  • Refer back to the following lessons for support:

Special Occasion Speeches

Choosing and Developing a Good Topic

Step 2: Consider Purpose, Thesis, and Audience

Identify your purpose, thesis, and audience. Imagine your audience and how you would want to convey your message to this audience.

2a. Purpose

  • After you determine your topic, you should refine it into the general purpose and specific purpose by asking yourself what you hope to accomplish with your speech and what you hope your audience will take away with them. 
  • As you plan your speech and consider the purpose, ask yourself the following questions:

What do you want your audience to know?

What do you want your audience to think?

What do you want your audience to feel?

What do you want your audience to do?

2b. Thesis

  • Your thesis statement should clearly articulate the purpose and main points of your speech. Defining a thesis is essentially constructing the structural outline of your speech. When you have defined a thesis, you have essentially articulated to yourself what your speech will say, what position you will take up, and what the speech’s purpose is.
  • As you plan your speech and consider the thesis, ask yourself the following questions:

What is the most important message of your speech?

Why should/will your audience care about your message?

2c. Audience

When planning your special occasion speech, it is important to know about the audience and to adapt the message to the audience. You want to prepare an audience-centered speech, or a speech focusing on the audience.

The audience is the target of your speech, and effectively communicating your theme to them is the goal of good public speaking. As such, you should always keep the audience in mind both before and during your time on stage.

  • As you plan your speech and consider the audience, ask yourself the following questions:
  • What is the correct context for the speech? Where and when will it be given?

Who is the audience and what are their characteristics? 

Why has the audience come to hear the speech?

What are the interests of the audience?

What does the audience know about your topic?

What is the audience’s point of view on the topic?

How will the audience likely react to your speech?

Refer back to the following lessons for support:


Context: Situation, Environment, Culture, and Bias

The Purpose and Thesis Statement

Best Practices in Public Speaking

How to Use Your Knowledge of the Audience

Step 3: Create Notes

Create notes or bullet points that you can refer to while presenting your speech. You should not read your speech word-for-word from your notes. 

Step 4: Use Clear Language

Ensure that the language you use is consistently clear and appropriate to the audience, which helps the audience connect with you and your topic. Explain any technical jargon you use where necessary. Cognitive psychologists and linguists suggest that word choice has significant framing effects on the perceptions, memories, and attitudes of speakers and listeners. 

Refer back to the following lesson for support:

Practice presenting your speech. Aim for a speech that is 3–5 minutes in length.

Step 6. Review Rubric

  • Before filming, review the rubric to ensure that you understand how you will be evaluated.

Step 7: Film Speech

  • Film yourself presenting the speech. Be sure that you can be easily seen and heard, and direct your speech to the camera.

Step 8: Review Video

Review your video to ensure that you can be seen and heard. Refilm as needed.

Step 9: Review Checklist and Requirements

Review the checklist and requirements to ensure that your Touchstone is complete.

Step 10: Submit

Upload your video using the blue button at the top of this page.

Refer to the checklist below throughout the writing process. Do not submit your Touchstone until it meets these guidelines.

? I have selected a special occasion speech topic.
? My speech includes a purpose and a thesis.
? I have considered my audience.
? I have used language that is appropriate to my audience.
? I have filmed a video of myself presenting my speech.
? The video of my speech is 3–5 minutes in length.
? I have reviewed the video and I can be easily heard and seen.
? In my speech, I am focused on connecting with the audience, only looking at my notes occasionally.
? I have adhered to all the requirements.
? I have read through the rubric and I understand how my Touchstone will be evaluated.

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