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

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This course is being offered in an experimental format. Students are welcome to audit the course, and participate in all course activities. Certificates will not be issued.

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 becoming a student of public speaking, you join a long history of rhetorical study dating back to ancient Greece.

This course is adapted from a similar class offered by the Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Social Sciences, a fully online degree completion program from the University of Washington.

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 See more about Introduction to Public Speaking

What you’ll learn

  • 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

Meet the instructor

  • bio for Matt McGarrity

    Matt McGarrity

    Senior Lecturer, Communication DepartmentUniversity of Washington

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