Introduction to Public Speaking

A report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows that employers want job candidates with strong communication skills. Similarly, educational success also requires the ability to articulate your thoughts clearly. In this class, we will study the principles of public speaking; critically examine our own and others’ speeches through interactive practice.

About The Course

The overriding goal of this course is to demystify the process of writing, practicing, and performing a clear and engaging speech. In so doing, I hope this course can help each student improve the quality of their speeches and confidence with which they present them.

More specifically, upon successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

  • design and deliver basic presentations concisely;
  • 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the course take to complete?

The course will require approximately 3-5 hours of your time per week in total effort.

Is there a statement of completion or certificate issued for this course?

No, there is no statement of completion or credential any type awarded for this course.

Can I stop the lecture stream and/or the assessment quizzes without losing work?

The lectures are essentially like YouTube videos, so if you stop it mid-stream, you can just start it again. For the quizzes, there is a "Save Answers" button at the bottom of each quiz that will allow you to carry over answers from session to session.

Can I access the course and contents after it ends?

All quizzes and homework assignments need to be completed by the listed due dates. After this date, currently enrolled students can continue to access this course session via a “View class archive” button on the Coursera landing page for the course. As this course may be run in the future, students may choose to enroll in and attend a new session of the course if they wish. You can choose to Sign Up for future sessions on the Coursera home page.

Recommended Background

If you wish to complete the three speech assignments, you must have access to video recording equipment (e.g., digital camera, cell phone, flip camera, webcam, or video camera) and the ability to share this digital content via YouTube, Vimeo, or Aparat.

Since there is no certificate, the uploading of speeches is entirely optional. Students who choose to not post video will not be denied any access to the course content.