This strictly introductory course presumes no formal training of any kind. Emphasis is on organization and delivery, with the goal of improving control over speaking habits and enunciation. A further goal is to introduce students to the foundation of rhetorical theory that underpins the practice of public speaking.
This is a course about how to make a powerful connection with your audience in order to build community and further cooperative goals. We will study and emulate talented speakers, with attention to the psychological dimensions of persuasion and audience engagement. To practice and strengthen your own public speaking, you will learn about, develop, and present five genres of speeches: gracious introduction of a colleague, compelling story, informational talk, persuasive pitch, and extemporaneous speech.
The course is designed to walk you through the steps needed to minimize stress and maximize your impact as a public speaker. To become a much more reflective communicator, you will assess your own strengths and weaknesses as speakers as well as give and receive feedback from your peers.