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Section Name

The Public Speaking Basic Course

Abstract

This study investigated the use of role models as an instructional strategy in public speaking classes. The subjects in this study were 24 college students in two communication classes. One group viewed a videotape of seven informative speeches given by upper-division speech students and representing a range of ability. The other group did not view the video. Both groups were videotaped presenting their own speeches, and these speeches were rated by a group of senior speech majors at another college. Means of the ratings for each speaker were analyzed using a two-sample t-test. Results did not support the hypothesis that watching the role models would help the students prepare and present better speeches. Findings are explained in terms of the critical role of the instructor, the possible bias of the raters, and the difficulty in controlling classroom content.