Studying public speaking is important for two reasons.


1.    Effective public speaking empowers you when you speak in a variety of situations.

2.    Effective public speaking can bring the jobs we really want.


Public speaking differs from conversation in three ways.


1.    Public speaking is more planned than conversation

2.    Public speaking is more formal than conversation

3.    In public speaking the roles of the speaker and the audience are more clearly defined.


Communication is a process of

·       Action.

·       Interaction.

·       Transaction.


Linear graphic models typically illustrate the active process of communication.


Basic models show five components of the communication process.


1.    The speaker is a source of information and ideas for an audience.

2.    A message, in public speaking, is the speech itself.

3.    The channels, through which the messages are transmitted are primarily visual and auditory.

4.    The receiver of the speaker’s information and ideas is the individual audience member.

5.    Noise is anything that interferes with the communication of a message. Noise may be external, physical noise or internal, within listeners, from either physiological or psychological causes.




Communication is interactive.


Interactive, circular models replaced the basic linear models.


Such models added two elements to our understanding of communication


1.    Audiences are not passive, but provide responses for speakers to see and hear. This is called feedback. I believe that reading and perceiving, identifying and acting on this feedback is the golden key to public speaking. That is why I choose the textbook based on an “Audience-centred Approach to Public Speaking”.


2.    Speakers and audience constantly send and receive verbal and nonverbal messages in context. Sometimes the non-verbal messages are even more important than the verbal messages.


Communication is properly viewed as a transaction.


Linear models of communication did not account for the simultaneous nature of communication.


Speakers and audience constantly send and receive verbal and nonverbal messages in context.


As students of public speaking you will participate in thousands of years of tradition.


The “Golden Age” for public speaking (known as “Rhetoric”) took place in classical Greece, under the leadership of people such as Aristotle.


Romans such as Cicero followed the Greeks in studying public speaking (“known as “oratory”).


From ancient Rome to today, famous teachers and practioners have perfected public speaking.


Martin Luther King Expounded Protestantism through oratory. History is filled with spectacular oratory.


Through the centuries, public speakers have provided information, influenced thought and action, entertained, and paid tribute.


In the last century, some special forms of public speaking were stressed.


In declamation, speakers “polished” and redelivered famous speeches of other speakers from immediate and distant pasts.


Example: Thucydides: Pericles’ Funeral Oration



For a time, exaggerated and florid delivery, known as “elocution” was practiced.


VHS/DVD: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence For a perfect model of elocution see John Caradine as a last century politician and elocutionist in the Jimmy Stewart/John Wayne/Lee Marvin film.


In our century, actors, politicians and students of public speaking use a variety of media to speak to the public.


EXAMPLE: Electronic archive of American oratory and related documents.


Public speaking education continues to add theory in this century, especially in the area of public speaking and diversity.


The gender, ethnicity and culture of both speaker and audience are increasingly viewed as critical for analyzing speech effects and results.


To be effective, public speakers need to understand, affirm, and adapt to diverse audiences.


As with our predecessors, the AUDIENCE must be the focus of successful speaking.


Example: First lecture Introduction COMS 201


The Internet is a powerful tool for public speakers.


ASSIGNMENT: On camera introduction: “What’s my name?” Conduct a formal research (library, Internet) into the etymology of your name. Plan a number of memory assists, such as repetition, association, nicknames etc.


Name tags:The nametag must communicate something quite important about the nametag wearer.



Course outline







Beebe, Steven., and Beebe, Susan. (2003). Public Speaking. “An Audience-Centered Approach. Fifth Edition. Pearson Education Inc. Boston, Mass.


Villagran, Morris; Wise, Charles and Ivy, Diana. (2003). Public Speaking. “An Audience Centered Approach”. Instructor’s Resource Manual for Beebe annd Beebe. Pearson Education Inc. Boston, Mass.

Zeuschner, Raymond. (1997). Communicating Today. Allyn and Bacon. Needham Heights, Massachusetts.