fall term

Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions per week, 2 hours per session

Course Goals

Study the techniques and develop the skills of preparing and delivering effective public speaking presentations. Learn how to engage an audience and maintain interest. Successfully organize materials and apply visual aids. Respond to difficult situations. Cultivate a personal presentation style and platform presence. Foster awareness in active listening, in identity and cross-cultural understanding, in visual presentations and project completion. Enhance overall confidence in oral communications.

Also, contribute new ideas to the classroom. Explore perspectives. Competently field questions. Reflect on what is learned and think of ways to make improvements.

Instructor Expectations

Learn and have fun! Respect varying points of view. Be present for class. Arrive prepared with finished work and all appropriate materials. Embrace academic integrity. Take responsibility for your own learning.


Speeches + Progress           50%

Reflections                            20%

Final Paper                           10%

Group Presentation              10%

Participation                           5%

(In-class contribution and interaction with other students and the instructor. Asking questions, offering answers, sharing opinions and ideas are all ways of demonstrating participation.)

Attendance                             5%

(Punctuality counts. Attendance is taken sharp at the start of class. Four absences will result in an “Incomplete” grade for the course.)

Pop Quizzes

(Unannounced quizzes are given based on reading assignments and class lectures. Quiz scores are included as part of the attendance grade.)

*Papers turned in late will receive one letter grade lower per day.

**Independent reading is a corollary component of the course.

***Drinks are permitted in the classroom. Students are expected to pick up after themselves.

****Plagiarism, cell phone use, text messaging during class…hmm.


Week              Topics                                                                 Key Dates

1                     Course Introduction, Active Listening

                       First Steps—Reading a Speech

2                     Communication Theory Overview                      Reflection

                       Engagement: Understanding Your Audience

3                     Personal Topic Speeches                                   

                       Personal Topic Speeches Continued

4                     Colloquium: Great Speeches, Great Speakers

                       Forming Content and Crafting Structure

5                     The Impromptu Speech

                       The Evaluation Rubric, Presentations                Reflection

6                     Compelling Delivery

                       Handling Distractions

7                     Current Event Speeches

                       Current Event Speeches

8                     Building Confidence, Being Relaxed                  Reflection

                       Colloquium: Non-Verbal Communication

9                     Advertising Techniques

                       Multimedia Imagery Workshop

10                   Creating and Applying Visual Aids

                       Preparing for the Event and the “X Factor”

11                   One-On-One Student Consultations, Group Preparation

                       One-On-One Student Consultations, Group Preparation

12                   Group Presentations—Choice of Three Topics

                       Group Presentations Continued

13                   Understanding Group Dynamics                        Reflection

                       in Creating a Successful Presentation

                       The Two-Minute Speech

14                   The Q&A Process: Using Sales Tactics             Reflection

                       to Field Questions and Overcome Objections

                       The Importance Storytelling

15                   Persuasive Speeches—Student Selected Topics

                       Persuasive Speeches Continued

16                   Ethics and Authenticity                                       Final Paper Due

                       Course Review