Make your own free website on

Demonstration/How-To Talk


Submitted by: Joanie Wilcox 

After my classes had done How-To writing, we took it one step further, and did demonstration speeches. I started talking about this assignment about 3 weeks before we began it, so they could have lots of lead time to come up with a topic, and I also really encouraged them to talk with their families to help them come up with ideas. Then we discussed what should be included, how to present, etc.

I gave them each a copy of the handout (below) from a book by Jeff Golub.  We spent the last week of school giving speeches. It was a great way to end the year, and very entertaining! We had cooking demos...they all brought in a finished product to share with the class, and then showed how to prepare the item...we had enchiladas, fruit salad, brownies, banana splits, and an ice cream bombe made to look like watermelon slices!  Three different kids had their moms bring their dogs in, and one showed how to prepare a dog for a dog show, how to train a dog, and the last one showed how to bathe a dog! (did that one was hilarious!)

Several of our athletes demonstrated how to play football, basketball, soccer, and baseball. It was interesting to me to learn the different techniques used for pitching a baseball...I had no idea it was so involved!  Our musicians showed how to put together and/or how to play their instruments--everything from flutes and oboes, to an electric bass guitar, electronic keyboard, and a full drum set! We even had a pair of boys show how to hook up a PlayStation to the TV set! It was really fun, each kid got to be an "expert," and enjoyed listening to the other speeches as well!

Here's a copy of the handout:




Show how to...

administer first aid

analyze handwriting

build a model airplane

care for skis and/or ski properly

carve a pumpkin

create a holiday decoration

create a Web page

develop photographs

give a dog a bath

make a puppet

paint a picture

perform a magic

play a particular sport

play or care for a musical instrument

prepare or cook a certain food

read a musical score

read a nautical map or chart


Suggestions for a successful presentation:

Choose a subject that interests you and your audience.

Explain the subject simply but completely.

Define key terms

Keep the steps in proper order.

Use examples, charts, details, and/or pictures if appropriate and helpful.


Your Demonstration Talk will be evaluated in three areas:

Voice - volume; rate; articulation

Organization - clear directions; informative; sufficient details

Delivery - natural poised manner; demonstration proceeds smoothly; competent handling of materials