Course Syllabus

Comm 1 Syllabus: Introduction to Public Speaking: Section 5991 

Spring 2022 / Instructor: Jennifer Frances

What is public speaking, and why does it matter? How can improved public speaking skills help you achieve your educational and/or professional goals? How can you use your voice to better your community?

In this introductory Public Speaking course, you will develop a better ability to empower yourself and others using effective communication skills. You will gain knowledge and practice in public address, and you will increase your public speaking confidence. This course will also increase your critical listening and thinking skills, giving you the tools to be a more analytical consumer of the messages all around us. 

You will get guidance, clear instruction and lots of practice in presenting your ideas more clearly, concisely and coherently in different forms of public address. Whatever your starting point, you can succeed in this course if you show up and do the work.

Office Hours 

Tuesdays & Thursdays after class 10:30-11 a.m., Maggini Hall: Room 2714

Text Book: 
(please bring to class)

A Concise Public Speaking Handbook. 4th ed. Beebe, Steven and Beebe, Susan. Pearson. 2014. Note: You are welcome to use a different edition if you find it cheaper, such as on Amazon, but it will be your responsibility to identify correct reading content that corresponds to pages assigned from 4th edition.

Recommended Preparation: Eligibility for ENGL 1A.

Transferability: Speech 1A satisfies the oral communication requirement for transfer to any California State University. It is also IGETC transferable.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:  

  • Effectively prepare and present public speeches to a live audience using contemporary presentation aids.
  • Write well-organized outlines, speaker notes.
  • Understand and use academic terminology and concepts.
  • Demonstrate active listening skills and provide feedback effectively.  
  • Critically evaluate various types of speeches.  

Course Objectives: 

  • Identify the elements of a communication situation.  
  • Perform audience analysis.  
  • Selection of appropriate subject matter.  
  • Gather and select appropriate materials.  
  • Organize material into appropriate structure for oral presentation.  
  • Communicate thoughts effectively through verbal and non-verbal messages.  
  • Present the speech to a live audience.  
  • Listen, evaluate, and critique oral presentations by other students.  
  • Incorporate and use of visual aids into an oral presentation.  
  • Increase communication confidence.  
  • Recognize logical fallacies.  
  • Recognize emotional appeals.  
  • Identify the influence of credibility on message effectiveness.  
  • Acquire a foundation of the basic terminology, concepts, and theories in communication.


Overview of Student Responsibilities:

This in-person Public Speaking course requires that you:

  • Attend class;
  • Are an active participant;
  • Demonstrate active listening skills, toward instructor, peers, self;
  • Write brief communication journal entries each week;
  • Read your text (weekly Modules provide reading guidelines); 
  • Take 4 Self-paced Reading Quizzes;
  • Present 5 graded speeches: Identity and Communication: Self-Introduction; Demonstration; Informative; Persuasive; Special Occasion (Final).
  • Write outlines in Standard Outline Format for each speech as assigned. These are due on your assigned speech date.
  • Participate in course activities and discussions, and provide feedback to student speakers, demonstrating critical listening skills and application of course knowledge.


Topics and Scope

This course will cover: Introduction to Public Speaking as a communication process; elements of the communication process; managing communication apprehension/increasing confidence; types of public speaking (informative, persuasive, entertainment); speech preparation skills; audience analysis; research skills; evaluation of supporting materials; speech organization; style; modes of delivery; presentation skills; practice skills; delivery; vocal qualities; body language; presentational aids; oral citation of sources; critical listening to and evaluation of live, in-class student presentations and various other forms of communication (e.g. famous public speeches, political rhetoric and  advertising); evaluation of source credibility; evaluation of emotional appeals; evaluation of logical appeals.

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FINAL GRADE: Out of 1,000 points

A = 900-1000 points (90-100%)
Demonstrates advanced knowledge and skills.

B = 800-899 points (80-89%)
Demonstrates above-average knowledge and skills.

C = 700-799 points (70-79%)
Demonstrates basic knowledge and skills.

D = 600-699 points (60-69%)
Demonstrates some partial knowledge and skills.

F = 599 points and below.
Does not demonstrate basic knowledge and skills.

If you show up and do the work, you will succeed in this course!

Course Summary:

Date Details Due