Public Speaking

Course Code
ENGL 1910
Margaret Gardiner

In this class, you will learn to prepare and deliver public presentations that resonate with your audience. We will learn techniques for handling speech anxiety, analyzing your audience, organizing and composing an effective argument, and improving diction, projection, and delivery. We will discern the difference between oral and written style in language, the role of the body in public speaking, and how to achieve specific goals in speeches: speaking to inform, to persuade, and to commemorate.

Ample class time will be given for student presentations, and students can expect to practice their speaking skills every day. We will begin every class period with physical, vocal, and relaxation exercises. Your performance will be evaluated on punctual attendance, engagement in paired, group and individual class activities, and the preparation and delivery of two 6-8 minute presentations. Our goal is neither to memorize nor to read these speeches, but to learn the art of extemporaneous delivery, where a carefully prepared and rehearsed speech seems to arise spontaneously in the moment.