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COURSE NAME: "Public Speaking: Oral Rhetoric and Persuasion"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Summer Session II 2019

INSTRUCTOR: Thomas Govero
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MTWTH 3:40-5:30 PM
OFFICE HOURS: By appoinment including weekends

This course provides students with an introduction to the fundamentals of rhetoric and how they are applied in oral communication, and how these principles and concepts lead to effective public speaking. Students will learn how to prepare and organize persuasive speeches by learning the fundamental structures of the persuasive speech. In addition, students will begin to acquire basic skills in critical reasoning, including how to structure a thesis statement and support it through a specific line of reasoning using idea subordination, coordination, and parallel structure.
Introductions and presentations

. A review of rhetorical theory and development from the Greeks to modern times.
. Topic selection, brain storming, topic refinement, outlining, developing a thesis statement
. Techniques of persuasion; format for reports
. Structuring an argument with supporting arguments, and rhetorical devices
. Adaptation of content and style to the audience.
. Introductions and conclusions - formats, variations, appeals.
. Review of great speeches in history and speakers. (with critiques)
. Listening skills.

This is a hands-on course designed to build skills. This does not mean that it has no cognitive
content, however. We shall also examine the rhetorical tradition from the Greeks to modern
times and consider its applicability today as noted above.

At the termination of the course...

. You should be able to confidently, calmly be to develop and present a 10-15 minute prrepared speech using clear diction, logical development, persuasive ideas, apt quotations, data and statistics...and maybe some humor too.

. Have a critical arsenal to judge content, style and persuasiveness of public speeches

. Be a critical, more attentive, careful listener.

. Have the skills to deliver informative reports clearly and precisely

. Have developed and employed interview skills as a means to collect data for your speeches.

. Know your own shortcomings and be on the way to improve on them.

. Be able to use appropriate voice control and body language when speaking publicly.


5 Resumes 10%
Participation 10%
Speeches - 4 60%
Impromptu Speeches 20%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

Please note the following "housekeeping" guidelines:

. If you are late, please do not enter the classroom if a student is speaking. Too distracting. Wait until the speaker
has finished and then enter - better, don't be late!

. Order of speakers: this will vary for each speech. In most cases I will designate the speaker on the spot. If you are
not prepared, THERE WILL BE NO MAKE-UP or POSTPONEMENTS. Speeches can be delayed only for the most grave reasons such as serious illness.

. Please respect (as you wish to be respected) the speakers by listening (and not talking during their presentations)
or otherwise distracting them.

As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


Bottom of Form

SessionSession FocusReading AssignmentOther AssignmentMeeting Place/Exam Dates
Tuesday, Jan. 19Introduction to the course: review of syllabus, logistics, "burning questions", evaluation, goals; self-introduction (non-graded). Definition of terms: rhetoric, persuasion, deliberative speaking, judicial/forensic speaking, celebratory speaking. Article: "Sound" Article: "Only Connect"Two outside, public speeches. One due at Midterm, March 10th 
Thursday, January 21Paired introductions. Overcoming anxiety and fear. Benefits of public speaking. Adjusting speech to audience. Review of "Sound". The voice: producing sound, projecting sound, the voice as an instrument.Artilcle: "Parts of Speech" Film, Mark Pagels, "Language and Culture"  
Tuesday, January 26Listening skills. Choosing a speech topic, brainstorming, outling the speech, basic rules of speech delivery, use of notes and props.  Speech No. 1: Deliberative-Informative Speech "Guidelines and Criteria" Due: Tues. January 28 
Thursday, January 28Brainstorming, outlining, preparing and using notes. Film: J. K. Rowland, "Harvard Commencement Speech 2008" Critique and review of speech. Critiquing the speech: logos, ethos, pathos   
Tuesday January 27Speech Presentation No. 1: Deliberative Speeches   
Thursday, January 29Continued presentation of Speech No. 1 Note: this is the last day for presentations.   
Tuesday, February 2General critique and review of speeches. Confessions: What do I need to do to improve? Overview of the development of rhetoric and communications since the Greeks. Harold Innis, article.  
Thursday, February 4Impromptu speeches No. 2 (non-graded)The Alphabet Effect (In-class reading)Speech No. 2: "Pro/Con" Speech" Guidelines and Criteria Due: Tuesday, Feb 16 
Tuesday, February 9Guest Speaker: Barack Obama, "Philadelphia Speech" Review and critiques   
Thursday, February 11Elements of non-verbal communiation. Gestures and body language. Impromptu speech 3   
Tuesday, February 16Presentation of Speech No. 2, "Pro/Con"   
Thursday, February 18Continued presentation of Speech 2: "Pro/Con" Note: this is the last day for presentations.   
Tuesday, February 23General critique of speeches. Confession: What I need to do to Impove. Speech No. 3: Interview Speech. "Criteria and Guidelines" 
Thursday, February 25Interviewing Techniques.    
Tuesday, March 1Impromptu speech 3 Catch-up    
Thursday, March 3First speech critique due Oral review of critiques.   
Tuesday, March 8 TED talk: Ken Robinson "A New Paradigm"   
Thursday, March 10Speech Presentations No. 3: Inteview Speech   
Tuesday, March 15Continued Presentations of Speech No. 3: Interview Speeches Note: Last day for speech presentations.   
Thursday, March 17Persuasive speech "Guidelines and Criteria" Techniques of the Persuasive Speech Speech No. 4: Persuasive Speech Due: Tues. April 5 
Tuesday, March 22Embellishments in Language: Epigrams, Proverbs, Crystalized Speech and LanguageHandout to be discussed in class.  
Thursday, March 24 Roberts Rules of Order Impromptu speeches 4   
Monday, March 28 - Friday, April 1: Midterm Break    
Tuesday, April 5Presentation of Persuasive speeches   
Thursday, April 7 Continued presentation of Persuasive speeches. Note: Last day of presentations   
Monday, April 13Continued Presentation of Persuasive Speeches. Last day to present speech   
Tuesday, April 12Review and Critique of Speeches No. 4 Film: Julian Castro as Democratic keynote speaker Review and critique of speech   
Thursday, April 14 Impromptu speeches 5 (graded) Speech no 5: Commemorative Speech: Criteria and Guidelines   
Monday, April 19Catch-up day   
Wednesday, April 21General Assessment   
Tuesday, April 26, 28Impromptu speech 6 Overall Review