Introduction to Public Speaking

开始时间: 04/22/2022 持续时间: 10 weeks

所在平台: CourseraArchive

课程类别: 人文

大学或机构: University of Washington(华盛顿大学)

授课老师: Matt McGarrity



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Unlike many oral communication courses and textbooks, this class spends a fair bit of time working through the unique traits of oral versus written communication in order to help students prepare speeches that are easier to deliver orally and understand aurally. The class’s focus on understanding the key parts of an argument and drafting clear and concise arguments translates directly to other academic assignments. In service of this goal, we will study the principles of argumentation and arrangement; critically examine our own speeches and the speeches of others. By becoming a student of public speaking, you join a long history of rhetorical study dating back to ancient Greece. 


Course Objectives:

The overriding goal of this course is to demystify the process of writing, practicing, and performing a clear and engaging speech. In so doing, I hope this course can help each student improve the quality of their speeches and confidence with which they present them.

More specifically, upon successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Design and deliver basic arguments clearly,
  • Design and deliver complex arguments that adapt to audience concerns,
  • Design and deliver stylistically rich motivational arguments,
  • Speak confidently with appropriate rate, projection, movement, and vocal variety
  • Evaluate and critique speeches insightfully

Assignment Overview:

In designing this course, I wanted to provide a wide range of activities and assignments for the wide range of student interest and needs.  Some students may want only to watch the video lectures and take the quizzes; others may invest more fully and post sample videos and participate actively in discussion forums. Whatever your path, my goal is that this class can give you the information and space you need to improve your public speaking skills. Here are some of the course assignments and activities: 

  • Video lectures: Most of the course content is delivered through a number of video lectures. Each video runs 10-12 minutes and teaches a specific public speaking ability or concept.

  • Discussion forums: This class thrives on discussion. There are a number of discussion forums that emerge from the lectures and sample speeches. You will have the ability to articulate your views on public speaking as well as learn from your peers.

  • Quizzes: Many video lectures have short quizzes embedded that reinforce basic knowledge of certain concepts and argument structures.

  • Google hangouts: Throughout the course, a few Google hangouts will be hosted for chatting with selected students about their experiences and challenges with speech composition and performance.

  • Speech Analysis and Modeling: One of the best ways to refine your own speech ability is through a close study of others' speeches.  We will have a number of opportunities to examine and discuss sample speeches and speakers. Growing out of our analysis of speakers, we will discuss who you hold up as a model speaker and analyze what makes that speaker so good.

  • Peer Assessment Assignments - Speeches and speech outlines: There are three optional speech assignments: an impromptu, informative, and persuasive speech. Students can elect to record and post videos of their speeches. Students can also post and receive peer feedback on their outlines for each speech.



A report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows that employers want job candidates with strong communication skills. Similarly, educational success also requires the ability to articulate your thoughts clearly. In this class, we will study the principles of public speaking; critically examine our own and others’ speeches through interactive practice.


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