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COURSE NAME: "Public Speaking: Oral Rhetoric and Persuasion"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2019

INSTRUCTOR: Thomas Govero
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 1:30-2:45 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

. 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.
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
xxxxxxxxxxxx Almost Corner
Thank You for ArguingJay HenricksThree Rivers Press978-0-8041-8993-4xxxxAlmost Corner

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 for the
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.


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SessionSession FocusReading AssignmentOther AssignmentMeeting Place/Exam Dates
1.1Introduction 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 speakingArticle: "Sound" W. Moran, "Only Connect"One outside public speech critique. Résumés (at least one per week) Announced quizzes on text book contents 
1.2Paired 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. Review of "Only Connect"Artilcle: "Parts of Speech" First Speech Assignment: "Deliberative" Due: 2.2 (Criteria and Guidelines distributed)  
2.1Listening skills. Choosing a speech topic, brainstorming, outling the speech, basic rules of speech delivery, use of notes and props. Impromptu speech.Heinrichs, Chapters 1- 5  
2.2Deliberative speech presentations. Critique and review of speech. Critiquing the speech: logos, ethos, pathos Note: If you are called on to speak and you are not prepared, there will be no make-up as the class is large and no extra time can be dedicated to missed speeches. This will be a "F" grade for this speech assignment. 
3.1Video: Pagels, Speech and Man's Evolution Continued presentations of Deliberative speeches   
3.2Video: Julian Treasure, "How to Make the Succesful Speech" Quiz 1, Heinrich, Chapter 1 - 5Heinrich, Chapters 6 - 13  
4.1General 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. Article: In-class reading of article with résumé. Such articles with résumés will continue through the semester.Speech 2: "Pro/Con" Guidelines and Criteria will be distributed. 
4.2Impromptu speeches No. 2 Articles with résumé.  
5.1Guest Speaker: Barack Obama, "Philadelphia Speech" Review and critiquesArticle and résumé  
5.2Elements of non-verbal communiation. Gestures and body language. Impromptu speech 3Article and résumé.  
6.1Presentation of Speech No. 2, "Pro/Con"   
6.2Continued presentation of Speech 2: "Pro/Con"   
7.1General critique of speeches. Confession: What I need to do to Impove. Quiz, Heinrich, Chapters 6 -13 Video: J.K Rowland, "Harvard 2008 Commencement Speech" Speech No. 3: Interview Speech. "Criteria and Guidelines" Due: 9.1 
7.2Interviewing Techniques. Paired interviews Quiz 2: Heinrichs, Chapters 6 - 13Heinrichs, Chapters 7 - 25  
8.1Impromptu speech 3 Catch-up Article, Résumé  
8.2Impromptu speeches (con't)Article, Résumé  
9.1Speeches 3 Interview speeches    
9.2Speech Presentations No. 3: Inteview Speeches   
10.1Continued Presentations of Speech No. 3: Interview Speeches   
10.2Persuasive speech "Guidelines and Criteria" Techniques of the Persuasive SpeechArticle résuméSpeech No. 4: Persuasive Speech Due: Final 
11.1Embellishments in Language: Epigrams, Proverbs, Crystalized Speech and Language Video: K. Robertson, "A New Paradigm".  
11.1Catch-up day    
12.1Impromptu speeches    
12.2Impromptu speeches (con't)Article, résumé   
13.1Video: Toastmaster Champion Impromptu speech   
13.2. Impromptu speechArticle, Résumé  
14.1Cicero Speech Contest Guest Speaker. TBA Review and critique of speech   
14.2 Quiz: Heinrichs, Chapter 17 - 25   
15.1Overall review.   
15.2Last Class: Overall review and summation