Communication and Culture | Public Speaking
C121 | 1053-1096 | C. Smith
This is a contemporary course in the ancient and practical art
of rhetoric. It is founded on the premise that rhetorical action (
including the focus of this course-public speaking) is public action.
It is a course designed to help you recognize situations in which your
rhetorical action can contribute to the well-being of a community.
Each assignment and speech is an opportunity to engage a rhetorical
situation in order to (1) create an audience out of a collection of
individuals and (2) invite that audience to understand something in a
particular way or motivate them to help resolve some important
problem. C121 rests on the premise that public speaking is an ongoing
process rather than an event. We will work together to meet our
learning objectives. At the end of the class you should be able to:
1) Select and narrow a relevant and engaging topic.
2) Determine the main idea of your speech, constructing your main
points in support of that thesis.
3) Analyze and adapt to an audience, respecting the uniqueness
and integrity of its members and recognizing the ethical
responsibilities of both speakers and audiences.
4) Gather information by conducting research and employ this
research soundly, clearly, persuasively, and ethically.
5) Organize materials strategically for a specific audience and
occasion, and to enhance the clarity of your presentation.
6) Prepare and present a well-documented and fluidly delivered
7) Use language accurately, powerfully, and ethically.
8) Better control your body and voice to deliver your message in
a fluid and convincing manner with less apprehension in an "
9) Listen effectively and critically to others, and offer
constructive critique of peer performances based on criteria used in
Work in this class will center around four rhetorical events: (1)
Self-Introductory Speech, (2) Ceremonial Speech, (3) Informative Team
Presentation, and (4) Advocacy Speech. Speeches 2 and 3 will be
videotaped, and you will be asked to review your tape to improve your
speaking skills. For speeches 2-4, you will also prepare a "
Rhetorical Situation Proposal," and either a "Formal Outline" or "
Manuscript Outline" as specified for the assignment. Detailed
assignment descriptions can be found in the C 121 Workbook. In
addition to your prepared public presentations, you will deliver 3
impromptu presentations during the semester. You may also take
quizzes during the semester, or be asked to complete written homework
related to your readings and course content. Some may argue that this
"isn't a course in writing." However, the writing assignments in this
class are designed to help you understand public speaking as a complex
process rather than a one-time event. Doing so will better prepare
you for the variety of presentations you will encounter in your
academic and professional life.