For my final in speech class, I have my students prepare and deliver a two minute speech. It is an easy, short assignment. I’m just checking to see if they’ve learned the basics – how to introduce a speech, how to have a clear thesis, how to have clear, main points in parallel form. I give them a list of topics to choose from, and they all finish this sentence: “I encourage you to____.”
Frequently, I take one of the left-over topics, and present a two minute speech of my own. My favorite is: “I encourage you to develop a life-long travel plan,” closely followed by “I encourage you to be a life-long reader.” Today, I presented a speech on “I encourage you to always aim at self-improvement.” I boiled it down to three life choices:
Choice one: You can succumb to self-stagnation (you stay the same, and go nowhere)
Choice Two: You can be overcome by self-destruction (you actually go backward, and get worse)
Choose Three: You can aim for self-improvement (you can actually get better, in a multitude of ways, over and over again)
I think these are three pretty clear choices. And the best one, to constantly and consistently aim at self-improvement, is a tough assignment.