© Sandra Rosenberg 2017
Impromptu speaking is something our texting students will increasingly lose the ability to master. When asked a simple question by a colleague face-to-face, eyes drop and incomplete phrases emerge.
This skill is increasingly important for both job interviews and networking in a live situation. A fun assignment, or even just a new ice breaker for the first day, “One Minute at the Dollar Store” has proven successful in both an introductory communication course, and an advanced professional presentation course (where more is demanded from participants).
Any collection of objects will do. The Dollar Store is used since the assignment originated for a Retail course when this new retailer emerged; but the increasing success of the store and its familiarity for students allows it to be a convenient source of objects. Instructors can even request students bring in an object of their own, without telling them why.
If used as an ice breaker, some object on hand, or even a photo on a phone, can serve as inspiration for self-introduction on the first day. The important part is the shape of the presentation, as outlined in the assignment.