Oratory Art is in the air and the iPad can help!

It just goes to show you how English lacks the panache of the French. Why call it the dull and let’s face it, terrifying, word “speech” when you could call it something as grand as “Art Oratoire”? Isn’t that something you want to live up to? Do you not want to be a master in the oratory arts?

Little known fact about me: though I was petrifyingly shy as a kid, I happened to be adept in the art of speechifying. In grade eight I even made it to the provincials (in fairness, it was art oratoire and the lack of actual french people in BC made this a much easier accomplishment than it sounds. Still, I got a free trip to Vancouver and a new outfit. I think my speech was on teen suicide.

But why all this talk of speeches you ask? Because the annual, oratory arts fest is beginning. And the iPad can help!

Full disclosure:  I took these apps from this presentation from Edudemic:

Idea Sketch

Get them idea mapping!

The crux of a good speech is the flow of ideas. Students can get a jump on organising  their thoughts with Idea Sketch.

Price: free

Here is the description from the website:

“Idea Sketch lets you easily draw a diagram – mind map, concept map, or flow chart – and convert it to a text outline, and vice versa. You can use Idea Sketch for anything, such as brainstorming new ideas, illustrating concepts, making lists and outlines, planning presentations, creating organizational charts, and more!”

In the spirit of the speech, I have decided to debate the subject of Public transportation: Public Good or Public evil?  I am taking the stand that it is a public evil.

Here is a general sketch of my ideas:

You can remove the arrows by swiping and the boxes by tapping and holding then moving with your finger.

You can also change the shape and colour of your boxes:

Once finished, you can email it to yourself, print it, save it to Photos or post to Facebook…

You can also see your mind map in a linear, hierarchical format:

Throw them a bone!


Price: Free

The main problem for me when confronting a speech is my abysmal memory (there is a reason I’m a librarian- can’t remember anything but know where to find it). i-prompt could potentially allow a student to perform her speech with little prompts.

However. I think it needs to be paired with a remote, which I don’t own so can’t test.

Here is how it looks on the screen:


Downside though- You can’t manually control the speed of the scroll and even at its slowest pace, it is still too fast to read. You can pause it by tapping the screen, but that would be jarring while having to actually deliver a talk…

Here are the options:


Record them!


Use imovie to record the students’ performance so they can see what they need to improve!


Inspire them!

Ted Talks

Show them how speech giving can be fascinating with the world of TED! Edudemics also has a link of 2011’s 10 best TEd Talks to share with Students.

And just for a bonus for getting through this novel length post, I will share with you one of my favourite Ted Talks by one of my favourite musicians and all round smart guy, David Byrne:


Any other ideas how the iPad can help in this oratory arts season?

Please share!




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