Public Speaking

Does the thought of speaking in front of people makes you break out in hives? Maybe you want tips on how to make that first great impression? In both cases, Public Speaking may be just what you need. In this class you will learn from famous orators, like Aristotle and Cicero, how to communicate effectively, uphold your arguments, and effectively collaborate with others. You’ll master the basics of public speaking through practice such as building a strong argument and analyzing the speeches of others eventually learning to speak confidently in front of large groups. Grab your notes and get ready to conquer public speaking!

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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.

Units at a Glance

Unit 1: Introduction to Rhetoric

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.

Unit 2: The Influence of Rhetoric

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.

Unit 3: Listening & Analyzing

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.

Unit 4: Speaking Strategies

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.

Unit 5 - Building an Argument

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.

Unit 6 - Deductive Reasoning

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.

Unit 7 - 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.

Unit 8 - Self-Efficacy and Self-Esteem

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.

Unit 9 - Body Language & Vocal Techniques

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.

Unit 10 - Speech Evaluation

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.

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