CCOG for COMM 111 archive revision 202004

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Effective Term:
Fall 2020

Course Number:
COMM 111
Course Title:
Public Speaking
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces speechmaking based primarily on a traditional public speaking approach. Covers classical rhetorical theory and highlights rhetoric's importance to public speaking. Presents theory and practical applications of oral communications skills. Includes techniques in controlling speech anxiety, how to structure and organize information to present to a variety of audiences, and physical and vocal delivery skills. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

1. Create and present organized and focused messages in public speaking settings.

2. Analyze audience demographic and psychographic information to create audience-centered messages.

3.  Employ verbal and nonverbal presentation skills for confidently and effectively delivering oral messages.

4. Evaluate arguments and reasoning from an audience perspective.

5. Employ strategies and skills to manage communication anxiety.

6. Create and present effective presentations using digital and non-digital presentation tools.

7. Apply traditional rhetorical methods and modes of persuasion to speechmaking.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

Communication is essential to being human. Communication courses inherently provide a foundation for understanding human interaction. While all humans use some form of communication to navigate the societies in which we live, each culture has its own set of ethical and social communicative norms. This course examines those norms by teaching students how to organize and make meaning of their own and others’ experiences, and meet personal goals in a public speaking setting.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Students will deliver at least three (3) formal oral instructor-graded presentations before an audience in the classroom. “Formal” means prepared, researched, outlined, structured. This excludes such “speeches” as self-introductions, “my favorite things” speeches, “my least favorite things” type of speeches.
  • At least one of the required speeches will be an informative speech and at least one will be a persuasive speech.
  • Students will critically analyze oral presentations and express understanding via written and/or oral formats.
  • Other forms of assessment may include:
    • Examinations
    • Essays
    • Journals
    • Research papers
    • Portfolios
    • Digital recording of student speeches
    •  In-class participation
    • Group projects
    • Peer evaluations
    • Self-evaluations
    • Peer evaluations
    • Service learning
    • Observations

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts, and Issues:

  • Rhetorical theory & analysis
  • Creating the Public Speech
    • (thesis, content, organization, outlining)
  • Speech purpose: to inform, to persuade, to entertain
  • Modes of delivery: impromptu, extemporaneous, manuscript, memorized
  • Audience Analysis
  • Language Usage
  • Delivery
  • Active Listening
  • Critical thinking
  • Communication Anxiety
  • Use knowledge of digital presentation tools

Competencies and Skills:

I.  Speakers

A.  Determine the purpose of the speech as appropriate to the speaking context.
B.  Choose a topic and restrict/narrow it according to the purpose, audience, and time constraints. 
C.  Formulate and use a proper thesis statement.
D.  Provide adequate and credible supporting material that is appropriate based on the topic, audience setting and purpose. Demonstrate awareness of available types of support.
E.  Select a suitable organizational pattern that is appropriate to the topic, audience, context, and purpose. Demonstrate awareness of alternative organizational patterns and their functions.
F.  Demonstrate careful choice of words. Select words appropriate to the topic, audience, purpose, context, and speaker, while avoiding words that express prejudice. Demonstrate appropriate grammar, syntax, and intelligible pronunciation. Demonstrate the effective use of appropriate technical vocabularies, slang, idiomatic language, and regionalisms. Present speeches using an extemporaneous style.
G.  Provide effective transitions that, establish connectedness, signal movement from one idea to another, and clarify relationships among ideas.
H.  Employ vocal variety in rate, pitch, and intensity. Demonstrate vocal variety as suitable to the message, occasion, and audience.
I.  Demonstrate appropriate nonverbal behavior that supports the verbal message.

J. Demonstrate effective use of digital presentation tools.

II.  Listeners-

A.  Attend with open minds.
B.  Recognize and recall main ideas.
C.  Identify supporting details.
D.  Distinguish between emotional and logical arguments.
E.  Examine whether asserted relationships exist between ideas.        
F.  Detect bias and prejudice- recognize and appreciate the effects of personal, ideological, and emotional biases on the message.
G.  Synthesize and evaluate information by drawing logical inferences and conclusions.
H.  Recognize discrepancies between the speaker’s verbal and nonverbal messages.
I.  Be an active participant during other student’s speeches through being attentive and providing appropriate nonverbal feedback to the speaker. 

A textbook is required. Approved texts are listed. Alternative texts need Department/SAC Chair approval.

The Art of Public Speaking, Lucas

Public Speaking: An Audience-Centered Approach, Beebe & Beebe

Speaker’s Handbook, Sprague, Stuart & Bodary

Mastering Public Speaking: The Handbook, Grice & Skinner; Pearson

Mastering Public Speaking 9th ed., Grice/Skinner/Mansson (2016), Pearson

A Pocket Guide to Public Speaking, O'Hair, Rubenstein & Stewart. Bedford/St. Martin's

Public Speaking Strategies for Success, Zarefsky