Thursday, 17 December 2015

How To Master the Expository Speech

Public speaking is an important element of Communications and like learning to walk, it is a human characteristic that requires practice, practice, practice. Here are three tips for mastering the Expository or Extemporaneous speech.

Tip 1 - Become an Expert
“90% of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.” – Somers White
Know your topic inside out; demonstrate expertise on the topic. Expert knowledge can come from personal experience and or doing thorough research well in advance of the speech. A good public speaker is also an expert on their audience. Doing research on the audience will help determine what points and what presentation tone will best engage them. 

Tip 2 - KISS
“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” – Mark Twain
When it comes on to excellent communication, wise words are usually the simplest. Use simple language always remember KISS (Keep It Simple Silly). As much as possible use words that have one definite meaning. The expository speech is usually brief so there's not much time to explain what you mean in detail. Choose words that are not ambiguous (containing multiple meanings). 
For Example instead of 'pontificate' use 'explain'.

Tip 3 - Practice Makes Permanent
“It takes one hour of preparation for each minute of presentation time.” – Wayne Burgraff

With this logic, if you have a 7 minute presentation, you need a minimum of 7 hours to practice. Vary the practice sessions:
  • Practice before the mirror to observe and correct yourself in real time. 
  • Practice before peers to receive constructive feedback
  • Practice voluntary public speaking  in various public gatherings (clubs, social groups, community events etc.)
  • Finally, have someone video tape you giving a speech and review your presentation.

Here's an example of an award winning Expository Speech from the 2014 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking

For more tips see Expository Check-list.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Paper 01 Changes: Introducing Multiple Choice Questions



TO: Teachers
FROM: The Pro-Registrar
DATE: 1 September 2014

The Caribbean Examinations Council wishes to advise that effective May-June 2015, the 
format of Paper 01 of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) Caribbean 
Studies and Communication Studies will change from structured/short answer to Multiple 
Choice. Effective May-June 2015, Paper 01 for these examinations will consist of 45 Multiple Choice items. 

The Multiple Choice papers will assess the same content as the structured/short answer 
questions tested on Paper 01. 

For more information you can access the original memo here

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Listening Comprehension Tips

Pre-Writing: Planning

  1. Read the questions carefully to understand what you are being asked to do.
  2. Listen actively. Keep your purpose for listening in mind by referring to questions.
  3. During the first reading jot down notes on significant devices of the passage based on the questions.
  4. During the second reading, check to see if your jottings from the first reading are supported by the entire passage.
  5. Give the answer the question asks for.
  6. Write your answers in complete sentences
  7. Use your summary writing skills. A long answer is not necessarily a better answer.


1. A main idea should not be a purpose. It should read:

"The main idea of the passage is that..." NOT "The main idea of the passage is to tell..."

2. When commenting on the effectiveness of a device used by the writer, you are to tell how the use of the device helps the writer to achieve his purpose for writing. 

Weak Answer: "The writer uses a metaphor to describe the beauty of the sunset and how night fell." or "The writer uses a metaphor to bring his point across."

Better Answer: "The writer uses a metaphor to convey his admiration for the magnificent sunset and to show how suddenly night fell upon the landscape."


  1. Check your responses against the questions on the exam to ensure that you have answered all the parts of each question with exactly what has been asked.
  2. Edit your work to get rid of grammatical errors, expression errors and unclear sentences.

Good Luck!