Public Speaking

Course Overview

Units at a glance

In this unit, you’ll learn about the history of public speaking and rhetoric, including both Aristotle and Cicero’s ideas on what makes a good rhetorical argument. You’ll also begin to look at how to recognize rhetorical devices at work in the speeches of others and how to assess the effectiveness of an argument.

In this unit, you’ll learn about how rhetoric influenced the development of democratic and republican political systems in ancient Greece and Rome, which in turn influenced the development of the modern world. You’ll learn about how Hitler used rhetoric for destructive purposes during World War II, as well as how rhetoric has more recently been used to create hope in the American people by Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama. You’ll also begin learning how to recognize bias, prejudice, and propaganda, and how repetition can be used to create an emotional effect.

You’ll learn about the different types of public speech and their different characteristics and begin learning about how a speech is structured in order to create an emotional effect.

In this unit, you’ll learn all about planning speeches including how to identify the purpose of your speech, how to choose an appropriate subject and tone, and how to choose a persuasive angle.

In this unit, you’ll learn how to thoroughly research a topic in order to begin building a strong argument for a speech. This involves learning where to find information as well as how to assess the quality of that information, how to identify bias and vested interests, and how to analyze that information.

In this unit, you’ll learn how to use both inductive and deductive reasoning, how to organize a strong argument using the Toulmin Method, and the various common organizational forms of speeches. By the end of this unit, you will know how to prepare a speech outline and be ready to move on to speech writing.

In this unit, you’ll learn all about writing speeches, including how to use the correct language register, how to use emotive language, and how to integrate specific literary techniques. By the end of the unit, you’ll be ready to write your first well-argued and emotionally powerful speech.

In this unit, you’ll learn all about developing the two essential aspects of confidence: a sense of self-efficacy and self-esteem. You’ll also learn about techniques to reduce your fear of public speaking, visual aids to enhance your presentations, and rehearsal strategies.

In this course, you will learn all about how to use body language effectively as well as how to avoid common body language pitfalls, how to develop a strong vocal technique, and how to effectively engage with your audience.

In this unit, you will learn how to critically evaluate the speeches of others in terms of their purpose, presentation, organization, argument, introduction and conclusion, word choice and literary techniques. You’ll also learn how to stand back and critically examine your own work in order to identify areas for improvement.

Course Highlights

Explore how to write great speeches and express your points.
Examine how to use body language, rhetoric, and listening skills to become a better public speaker.
Use strategies to help you be more comfortable speaking in front of people.
Evaluate others’ speeches to help you improve your own.

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