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Speech

Course Definition

Did you know that a survey of employers found communication skills to be ranked number one in a list of skills you need to be successful? Can you guess what qualities occupied the number two and number three positions? “Giving speeches” is only a small part of what you’ll do in this class. Speech class will give you a broad view of many aspects of human communication. The following units will be addressed during the semester:

The Communication Process

Listening

Interpersonal and Small Group Communication

Public Speaking



As you can see, we are concerned with all types of communication in this class, from face-to-face communication to written communication. Please consider everything you say aloud and do (yes, nonverbal communication sends a message, intentional or not, and perception is reality) to be “public speech.” Express yourselves as clearly and articulately as possible. We will make ourselves aware of how crutch words are used in communication and work on eliminating those crutches by the end of the semester.

Materials and Supplies

Bring a notebook and pen to class. Most of our assignments will be written, edited, and saved electronically, but you’ll need some paper of your own for notes and activities. We will not use a textbook so a binder or folder might be useful for keeping track of papers and assignment handouts.

Classroom Rules and Expectations

The most important rule in this classroom is to respect your peers, verbally and nonverbally. Ridicule and rudeness will not be allowed. You may consider yourselves in a safe, secure

environment while you are in this classroom, and we will do everything we can to support your efforts to become a confident communicator. We will do plenty of laughing in this class, but we know the difference between laughing at and laughing with someone. When someone is communicating, give positive feedback and support to the speaker.

You will not have daily homework assignments in this class. Homework will consist of writing and revising written speeches and preparing for speeches. We can all tell if you are “winging it,” even if you are a terrific speaker. Writing, editing, and revising your speech several times will help you remember your presentation. Most of what we do will be done in class, so your participation and attendance are critical. I expect you to work hard in class and take advantage of the opportunity to improve your writing.

Signing up to give a presentation is a serious commitment. Your written speech must be proficient before you can deliver it, and it must be handed in on time unless you request an extension in advance. Unless you are seriously ill, I expect you to fulfill that commitment. You must call me to arrange for another spot on the speaking schedule unless a real emergency prevents you from doing so. I expect you to dress nicely on the days you are scheduled to speak.