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Introduction to Public Speaking: Impromptu Speaking is a Course

Introduction to Public Speaking: Impromptu Speaking

Ended Dec 21, 2014

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Full course description

Starts November 17, 2014

In this class, we will study the principles of public speaking, and critically examine our own and others’ speeches through interactive practice.

This course is designed to help you become a more effective and confident public speaker. We will demystify the process of writing, practicing, and performing a clear and engaging speech, work through the unique traits of oral versus written communication, and learn how to prepare speeches that are easier to deliver orally and understand aurally. One of the best ways to refine your own speech ability is through a close study of others' speeches. We will have a number of opportunities to examine and discuss sample speeches and speakers. Growing out of our analysis of speakers, we will discuss who you hold up as a model speaker and analyze what makes that speaker effective. We will critically examine our own speeches and the speeches of others.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Design and deliver basic arguments clearly.
  • Design and deliver informative presentations clearly.
  • Design and deliver complex arguments persuasively.
  • Speak confidently with appropriate rate, projection, movement, and vocal variety.
  • Evaluate and critique speeches insightfully.

Estimated student effort per week: 3-5 hours per week

Required Materials: To complete assignments, you need to be able to record video (cell phone or digital camera) and have access to YouTube or Aptara.

Dr. Matt McGarrity

Senior Lecturer in the Communication Department at the University of Washington

Dr. Matt McGarrity is a Senior Lecturer in the Communication Department at the University of Washington. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in public speaking, argumentation, classical rhetoric, rhetorical criticism, and communication pedagogy. He founded and continues to direct the University of Washington Speaking Center, which offers speech coaching to students. He has published academic articles and teaching materials on communication education and public speaking and has won multiple top paper awards for public speaking research at academic conferences. He has won a number of teaching awards, including the National Speakers' Association's Outstanding Professor Award.