View Full Version : I've got a bad grade in Speech Class

November 7th, 2006, 07:35 PM
And only YOU can help me!

Not really... I did really poorly on the first two speeches 'cause I got very nervous, and the last one I got a perfect grade on. So it is possible! Anyway, on Thursday (yeah in two days) I have a persuasive speech that is worth as much as my final.

And I can't think of a topic. The best I could come up with was... "Open source 4 the win, proprietary software makes me sad." I'll word that better of course.

But I had a hard time finding reasons besides... "Open source is free." and "Open source makes it quicker to fix bugs."

So... tell me, why does proprietary software stink?

Oh, and please help me have answers that would be appropriate to give an audience who knows very little about computers.

November 7th, 2006, 07:42 PM
Be carefull about picking topics that people might find boring.

November 7th, 2006, 07:48 PM
You can make the speech interesting if you relate it to current events, like the election (if you're in the USA). Talk about electronic voting machines and the risks associated with their closed-source software because they are not open to public review.

November 7th, 2006, 07:59 PM
Be carefull about picking topics that people might find boring.

Yeah, I wrote a persuasive essay in a writing class once about oss and when did peer reviews nobody even knew what my topic was about.

November 7th, 2006, 08:00 PM
It might indeed be hard to make this subject interesting to some people.

Anyway, tell them proprietary software is holding back development. You could give examples from the medical industry where medicines get expensive because pharmaceutical companies have to pay for the intellectual property of investigators.
Give examples of what open source software has achieved by now.

A question bound to be asked: "Doesn't exposing code to hackers make software vulnerable?" No, as soon as a hacker finds a vulnerability someone else will repair it way faster then proprietary software could dream of. It will only make the software safer.

Well Im no oss expert so perhaps people have to correct me, but I hope its of any use for you.

November 7th, 2006, 08:01 PM
Be carefull about picking topics that people might find boring.

That's part of making a good speech. Make it entertaining in a serious way.

There's an awful lot I could say about proprietary vs open source. I spent most of today cursing my work computer (windowz).

Open source nurtures innovation - proprietary software can actually impede innovation - just look at windows xp - what has changed in those 5 years?
A: Service pack 1 and service pack 2. Well, that was exiting wasn't it.

Proprietary software has poor integration with other proprietary software. Why? Because it's all closed source! In some instances only an API is available to allow proprietary software to talk to each other.

Open Source and Proprietary software are like two different philosophies.
One is open, free for everyone to scrutinize and enhance, for the benefit of us all.
The other is there purely to make money, most of the benefits are for the company that is producing the software.

If you want to find out more info, just do a search here for "ubuntu vs windows vista" or something along those lines.

Hope this helps.

Old Pink
November 7th, 2006, 08:11 PM
One of my latest public speaches was on my strong disbelief in God. I engaged the audience, welcomed and argued opinions and was an overall hit, although many people had varying beliefs.

If you're being graded, I can only imagine your at school, in which case your teacher/lecturer will be sitting through tens/hundreds of similar speeches per. day, if you want a good grade, you're going to have to stand out from the crowd.

Choose something controversial, something different. Religion, or current affairs. Not an operating system. Personally, if I were to given an open speech assignment I'd choose the recent news on the hanging of Saddam Hussein.

Here are some helpful links:

November 7th, 2006, 08:23 PM
1. Proprietory software forces the user to comply with standards outside his control. Because the user cannot modify the software, his work is shaped by the purpose of the company that makes the software. Think about it: this is a very dangerous situation. Open source software is completely adaptable to the needs of the user; he decides what the software does and how it does it. This frees the user from influence or domination by two or three corporations.
Do you use your computer --- or does it use you?

2. Not only does open source software make computing possible to millions of people who can't afford proprietory systems, it gives a much more instructive
experience of computers. If I were going to teach a computer class for beginners, I would start with Linux, because it allows complete access to your computer: everything is there for you to see. By the time you have learned it, you have also learned how your computer works. And open source
encourages innovation and adaptation. So again, do you use your computer, or does it use you?

November 7th, 2006, 08:41 PM
I once held a talk on software patents in the context of an seminar for people that applied for stipendia. When my talk was over I noticed that people did not even understand what I was talking about and that I made far too many assumptions that did not hold for non-technical people.

So if you want to talk about open source, perhaps focus more on the aspect of freedom and pick some provactive topic like "free software: a weapon against suppresion".

In general try to talk more in analogies and images that people meet in their everyday lives - maybe you can take inspiration from the "Corruptibles" spot. Do not hesitate to exaggerate a bit and use stereotypes. In the end, most people love stereotypes because either they feel assured in their opinions or they are a bit offended and can show "how smart they are" by talking against them ;)

And last but not least - believe in yourself. A firm believe alone can mark the difference between success and breakdown.

November 7th, 2006, 08:53 PM
Thanks a lot! I'll tell you how it goes :)

November 7th, 2006, 09:22 PM
Read my essays: see sig.