COMM101: Public Speaking


The purpose of this course is to systematically examine the elements and factors which result in an effective speech. The textbook and associated lectures present an element-by-element examination of the essentials of public speaking while also identifying traits of the individual speaker and how they impact preparation and presentation. In addition to these resources, a comprehensive series of brief videos demonstrate specific, performance-oriented aspects of public speaking. Tying each of these course elements together are the themes of information and ethics, emphasized in each resource because they are becoming increasingly important to all communicators. For example, the textbook constantly returns to the discussion of society’s ever-increasing access to information and the demands on the individual to use it effectively and ethically. The authors note that “the New York Times has more information in one week than individuals in the 1800s would encounter in a lifetime,” which illustrates the challenges speakers face beyond the ready-made burden of coping with the inevitable anxieties of speaking to the public. In spite of that environment, ethical communication means not only accepting responsibility for the information one presents, but also speaking up when others abuse their information platforms.

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