(Tentative Syllabus—Check with instructor to confirm.)

Instructor: James L. Heflin, Ph.D.
Office: 112 Music Building
Office Phone: 581-2426
Office Hours: Posted on website


Art of Public Speaking, 8th edition, by Stephen Lucas.


To develop effevtive public speaking skills.


At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify the components of a communication-based model of public speaking.
  2. Understand the nature of communication apprehension, utilize stratigies designed to manage public speaking anxiety.
  3. Differentiate between the functions of informative and persuasive speaking.
  4. Demonstrate competencies in basic research techniques appropriate for public speaking.
  5. Utilize the processes involved in selecting, reseaching, organizing, writing and delivering a public speech.
  6. Compose a speech outline and organize the components of a speech.
  7. Recognize the extent to which culture influences the dynamics of communication.
  8. Recognize the importance of audience diversity in the speech preparation process.
  9. Utilize computer-assisted software as a presidential aid.
  10. Employ basic communication theory as appropriate to the perparation and delivery of public communication--specifically, public speaking.
  11. Develop critical thinking and writing skills as they relate to the primary focus of the course--oral communication.
  12. Understand the ethical responsibilities of communicatiors in a democratic society.
  13. Demonstrate knowledge of barriers to effective listening and strategies to increase listening skills of verbal and nonverbal messages.

This course is part of the general education requirments. However, more is at stake here than the completion of a degree requirment. At the end of the course you should be able to cope more effectively with what 70% of Americans lists as their greatest fear -- "giving a speech." (Lucas, p. 8)


The student will receive an "F" in the course for excessive absences unless an agreement has been arranged in advanced.

Excessive absences are defined as follows:


A penalty of 10 percent will be assessed for a speech not given on the assigned date unless the students makes arrangement with the instructor in advance.


  1. Original copy, full sentence outlines must be typed and turned in with each speech. As a model, the student is advised to consult pages 243-245 of the text. The central idea must be typed at the top of each speech outline. On speeches #1 and #3 the outlines should be submitted in advance. These outlines will be retured ungraded with comments. The student will then turn in his/her final draft on the day of the speech. The studen tmay utilize the computer labs all over campus to perpare outlines.
  2. Minimum of three sources is required in the bibliography for both of the Informative speeches. A minimum of five sourcse is required for both of the Persuasive speeches. You may not list yourself in the bibliography. A 5 percent penalty will be assessed for fewer than the required sources. An acceptable system of notation will be suggested by the instructor. Photocopies of the research must accompany each speech outline. A 5 percent penalty will be assessed if photocopies of research are not included with outline.
  3. A speech notebook is to be maintained with at least five major divisions. Four of the divisions should include all materials relevant to each of the four speeches (speech outline, photocopies of research, and instructor's critique). The fifth division should included notes and handouts.
  4. There is a 30-second grace period for speeches under and over the time limit. For each additional minute, or part of a minute, under/over, there will be a 3 percent penalty.
  5. A single notecard will be allowed for all four major speeches. The notecard should be no larger than 4x6 inches and contain no more than 50 words on that card.
  6. Please turn off all cell phones and pagers in class.


1. Informative speech - Object (w/ visual aids) 5:00 minutes 100 points_____
2. Informative speech - Event (w/ visual aids) 6:00 minutes 200 points_____
3. Persuasive speech - Value 7:00 minutes 200 points_____
4. Persuasive speech - Policy 7:00 minutes 200 points_____
5. Exam #1   100 points_____
6. Exam #2   100 points_____
7. Notebook/Speech   100 points_____
Exercise/Activities   ______________
  TOTAL 1000 points

Students will be required to persent at least one speech suppoted by a standard computer presentation program (e.g. PowerPoint) as designated by the professor. A 20-point penalty will be assessed.


A total of 1000 points may be earned during the course. The following grading scale will be used:

A = 900 - 1000
B = 800 - 899
C = 700 - 799
D = 600 - 699
F = 0 - 599

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