Course code:



I - Introductory

Class size limit:


Typically offered:


This class will be conducted as a workshop with an emphasis on students producing increasingly advanced speeches for public performance and/or consumption.  It will also include a brief survey of communication studies, which will allow for a discussion of collectively balancing needs for social distancing and social connection in trying times.  We will cover a wide variety of areas including those related to constructing the speech in advance (invention and arrangement), as well as those related to the actual performance of the text (style, memory, and execution). While the primary goal of the class is to create an environment in which students can improve these vital public communication skills, another important goal is to cultivate critical and respectful listening skills (which are themselves vital public communication skills). A wide variety of speaking genres will be covered during the term, though there will be a strong emphasis on public advocacy and persuasion.

This class is designed for students with varying levels of public speaking backgrounds. A diverse array of experiences, skills, and strengths helps foster a collaborative and supportive speaking environment. Throughout the term students will work on individual projects, in pairs, and in larger collaborative groups. There will be a minimal focus on theoretical questions in favor of a “hands on” approach to constructing speeches. Students will be evaluated on a number of “process” oriented assignments. Final evaluation will be relative to individual participation in the process and not to an objective scale of public speaking talent. As such, students who feel that they are less proficient in the area of public communication should not be worried that this would somehow disadvantage them in terms of grading.



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.