Public Speaking Courses

A performance course designed to introduce basic principles of communication and the classical roots from which they were derived. Students will prepare and present speeches in both formal platform settings and informal group discussions. While attention will be given to extemporaneous delivery, the emphasis of the course is on work behind-the-scenes: organizing ideas, structuring messages, and adapting messages for specific audiences. Attention will also be given to methods for evaluating oral discourse. Students who experience anxiety in public speaking situations are encouraged to enroll. Fall and Spring. Levels: Undergraduate.

PSPK 080: 3 credits

01: M 3:30pm-6:00pm HEA 104, Prof. Arthur Murphy

02: TR 12:30pm-1:45pm WAL 398, Prof. Kate Yust Al-Shamma

03: WF 12:30pm-1:45pm WAL 396, Prof.Kate Yust Al-Shamma

04: T 11:00am-1:30pm HEA 104, Prof. Arthur Murphy

This course is an introduction to the fundamental practice and theory of public speaking and oral communication using theatrical techniques of both performance and the craft of storytelling. Students will investigate communication through the lens of the performer and apply performance techniques to enhance communication and presentation skills. The class will explore how to speak authentically to a group of people, use body language to express ideas, develop a more dynamic vocal presence, and engage more deeply with an audience. This class focuses particularly on how presence can be utilized to awaken powerful, persuasive and connected communication. Some of the performance techniques used in class include skills and exercises for voice, breath, body awareness, listening, relaxation, collaboration and improvisation. Emphasis will also be given to ways in which a performer uses language and text analysis to convey complex thoughts and emotions to an audience. Approaches to communication will be practiced in one-on-one conversations, small group work as well as speaking to large groups of people. Class topics will increase awareness of artful communication in daily social engagement, individual presentations, business practices, leadership roles and global citizenship. Levels: Undergraduate. Schedule Type: Studio.

PSPK 105-01: 3 credits

Professor Robert Jansen

MW 1:00pm-2:50pm

DPAC 036

This course focuses on expanding each individual’s capacity for telling the truth. We cover practical techniques for public speaking, participating in groups, and performing both onstage and on camera. Students choose topics and deliver a variety of texts in order to develop greater self-awareness and self-confidence, and to polish presentation skills. We go deeply into relaxation, breath work, and body opening for voice and vibration in order to cultivate presence, connection with others, storytelling abilities, and public performance of all kinds. 3.000 Credit hours. 3.000 Lecture hours. Levels: Undergraduate. Schedule Types: Studio

PSPK 106-01: 3 credits

Professor Kate Yust Al-Shamma

TR 2:00pm-3:15pm

DPAC 036

Training to become an effective speaker including basic public speaking sustains the first segment of the course. How to organize your thinking, construct a speech, decide upon length of speech and determine what is important – the point(s), are explained and developed as part of these skill sets. Assigned speeches include self-selected topics of interest to the speaker. 

The second segment is development of speaking skills and techniques for all professions and careers including business, law and medicine. Experiences in graduate business school and law school will be presented. Certain assigned speeches are based upon actual business problems/cases and others upon actual law cases, and medical cases distributed by the Professor. 

Assigned papers will include evaluations of speakers and speeches by law and/or business and/or political leaders observed during the course of this semester. We also navigate normal apprehension/anxiety for new student speakers and welcome all. 

Success in Public Speaking – The Professions will contribute directly to your career and your personal success.

PSPK 205-01: 3 credits

Professor Arthur Murphy

M 11:00am – 1:30pm

Healy Hall, Room 106

View a list of Public Speaking courses through the Schedule of Classes online.