Community College Public Speaking Syllabus Assignments

                  COMM 1 - Public Speaking (5 units)

De Anza College


  COMM 1-Public Speaking-Section 15Y--MW--1:30-3:20 p.m. L 45 
   COMM 1-Public Speaking-Section 19Y--MW--3:30-5:20 p.m. L 45 

 Online hour: Mondays & Wednesdays - 8:00 to 9:00 p.m.


Instructor:James Ahern

Online Office Hour: Mondays and Wednesdays - 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Phone: 408-864-8999 Ext: 3179


Faculty Web Site:


Visit the Student Success Center:


Textbook:Beebe, Steven A., and Susan J. Beebe. A Concise Public Speaking Handbook. 5th ed. Hoboken: Pearson, 2017. Print


 Materials:4 by 6-inch note cards. 


Note:One additional hour to be arranged working in Cross Cultural Partners and/or use of the Listening and Speaking Lab. 

Note to Students with Disabilities: If you have a disability-related need for reasonable academic accommodations or services in this course, provide me with a Test Accommodation Verification Form (also known as a TAV form) from Disability Support Services (DSS) or the Educational Diagnostic Center (EDC). Students are expected to give five day notice of the need for accommodations. Students with disabilities can obtain a TAV form from their DSS counselor (864-8753 DSS main number TTY:408.864.8748) or EDC advisor (864-8839 EDC main number).

 Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Organize, compose, present, and critically evaluate informative and persuasive presentations appropriate in content and style to the audience and situation.

  • Display increasing confidence in speaking extemporaneously.

  • Demonstrate effective listening skills in various public speaking contexts.

  • Identify, locate, evaluate and use information technologies and information sources.

Course Objectives:

1. Examine historical and cultural traditions of public speaking inboth domestic and global contexts and their impact on our views, beliefs, and practices relating to speaking in public.


2.Evaluate how making the decision to respect diversity, speak ethically, and think critically influencescommunication outcomes.


3.Demonstrate skills in analyzing diverse audiences and creating presentations appropriate to those audiences.


4. Research, analyze, organize, prepare, and evaluate informative and persuasive speeches.


5. Develop confidence in delivering speeches extemporaneously.


6.  Develop listening skills to foster respectful, reflective, and critical listening appropriate for public presentations.

Course Requirements:

1. Attendance and Participation: This class requires your attendance and participation for every class session. Because your role includes being a speaker, a listener, and an evaluator, your attendance and promptness are vital to this class. Students will be dropped for more than three (3) absences (excused or unexcused) and if absent during the first week of this course. School policy dictates: "The student must officially drop classes in which s/he no longer wishes to be enrolled." Students must attend the final class session. Two late class entries or two early class departures will count as one absence.

2. Reading Assignments: You will be responsible for assigned readings and will be called upon to participate in the class discussion. 

3. Written Assignments: Designated speeches must be accompanied by a typed, double-spaced full-sentence preparation outline that must be submitted to the instructor before a presentation. Five points will be deducted for late assignments. Written assignments must be submitted to the instructor and not e-mailed.

4. Examinations: There will be two multiple choice examinations during this course that will cover assigned readings and lectures. 

5. Speeches: There will be five graded speeches and other speech activities throughout the course. Five points will be deducted for each late speaking assignment. Students unable to speak on an assigned day should request another student to trade places to avoid losing five points. The instructor must be notified 24 hours in advance for any change of speaking dates.

6. Academic Dishonesty:Plagiarism or cheating may result in failing this course.


Speech Assignments:

1.Introductory speech of a classmate: not graded

Time limit: 2-3 minutes

2. Impromptu speech: 10-points

Time limit: 2-3 minutes


3. Demonstration speech: 30-points

Time limit: 4-6 minutes


Preparation Outline


4. Analyzing a Famous speech: 30-points

Time limit: 4-6 minutes

Preparation Outline


5. Informative speech: 50-points

Time limit: 5-7 minutes


Preparation Outline


6. Final: Persuasive speech: 70-points

Time limit: 6-8 minutes

Preparation Outline

Audience analysis

Audience analysis synopsis


TOTAL: 190 points



Your final grade for the course will be based upon the following:


1. Speeches - 190 points


2. Preparation outlines - (four @ five points each) 20 points


3. Self-critiques** (two @ ten points each) 20 points


4. Online assignments -  20 points


5. Examinations (two @ twenty-five points each) 50 points


TOTAL:300 points





























Students are responsible for keeping track of their assigned grades throughout the duration of this course. There are no provisions for extra credit.  

NOTE: This course depends on your active participation and it will be as exciting, interesting, stimulating, and as fun, as the energy and enthusiasm that you bring to the class. The more you give, the more you will learn about your own strengths and limitations. You will also learn from and about your classmates and that you can be a part of their learning experience as well.


Wishing you all the best in the days ahead!

Public Speaking Syllabus

Instructor:  Tara Sanchez

VUB Summer 2002

  • This is an introductory class in Public Speaking.
  • For the purposes of this class, "public speaking" will be defined as ANY kind of speaking in front of more than one person, not just giving speeches.
  • Below I list
  • the goals of the class (what you should learn)
  • the requirements of the class (what you must do in order to pass)
  • my expectations of you (what you need to do to act like a college student)
  • and other important things that you need to know about this class.
Goals of this class:
  1. students will learn to give informative and persuasive speeches.
  2. students will learn to prepare a speech outline.
  3. students will learn to participate appropriately in class discussions.
  4. students will keep up with current events
Requirements of the class:
  1. you must complete all assignments, both oral and written.
  2. you must participate in class in the form of asking questions, commenting, taking notes, paying attention, supporting other students.
My expectations of you:
  1. you must complete all assignments on time.
  2. you must come to class on time-this means, be sitting in your seat with your coat off and notebook and pen ready at the time when class is scheduled to start.
  3. you must come to every class prepared -this means, having done all assignments and readings, with all supplies (like pen and paper), and ready to participate.
  4. you must not ask questions at inappropriate times.
        #  you must be considerate of other classmates. You can disagree, but don't insult.

Your grade-your grade in my class will be composed of the following:

Speech 1 20%
Speech 2 20%
Speech 3 20%
Speech 4 20%
Class participation 20%

Two things are important here.

  1. if you do not participate in class, the highest grade you can get is a B, and you can only get this if you get a perfect score on every speech (which has never happened before).
  2. the grade for each speech is composed of two parts: your outline and your presentation. If you don't hand in any outlines, but give all the speeches and participate in class, the highest grade you can get is a D, and only if you get a perfect score on class participation and every presentation (which has never happened before).
Speeches: Each speech will be graded according to content, organization, and delivery. You will turn in an OUTLINE of every speech the week before you give the speech in class. If you don't turn in an outline, you will not give a speech. Speeches are graded as follows:

Content 6 points

  • Is the topic related to current events?
  • Are facts accurate?
  • Are the main points supported by evidence?
  • Is anything missing that should have been included?
Organization 7 points
  • Does the speech have a clear introduction?
  • Is the purpose of the speech communicated in the introduction?
  • Does the speech have a clear conclusion?
  • Does the conclusion reiterate the main idea of the speech?
  • Are the main points clearly articulated?
  • Does the author follow a logical order?
Delivery 7 points
  • Does the speaker maintain eye contact with the audience?
  • Does the speaker avoid distracting mannerisms?
  • Is the speaker prepared enough so that s/he does not have to read from notes?
  • Is the speaker speaking loud enough?
  • Does the speaker use gestures appropriately?
  • Are visual aids used appropriately? (if used)
Class activities:
    1. During class, I will lecture. What I say and what I write on the board is important-you should take notes.
    2. We will do class activities. The purpose of these activities is for you to apply and practice concepts that I lecture about. You should learn something. You will not be graded on how well you do the activities (so, it's OK to make mistakes). However, if you refuse to participate, your grade in the class will go down.
    3. You will give speeches regularly. You should practice these in advance-you will be graded on them.
Class readings: There is no textbook for this class. You should take notes in class. Also, I will distribute a couple of articles for you to read. We will discuss them in class. YOU MUST read the articles! Occasionally, I will give you handouts-treat these as you would a textbook. Put them in your notebook, don't lose them, refer to them when doing homework.

How to contact me:

This is my e-mail address. E-mail is the only way you can contact me, so I suggest you learn to do this ASAP. You should let me know 24 hours in advance if you will be late to class, absent from class, late with an assignment, whatever.

Below, you will find the class schedule and assignment due dates. This is SUPERimportant. Do NOT lose this syllabus!

Date of Class
Class TopicAssignment DuePreparation
May 15

course description

good/bad speeches 

May 22
informative speeches


self introduction speeches (not graded but required)Read Chapters 3 and 4
May 29
deliveryinformative speech OUTLINEhave topic for informative speech
June 5
June 12
handouts and visual aids; about academic presentations; presenting other people's work informative speech practice speech
June 19
about persuasive speeches  Read Chapters 5, 13, 17
June 26
 informative speechpractice speech
July 3
supporting your ideas  Read Chapters 12, 15, 16
July 10
organizing arguments Read Chapters 9, 10, 11;

have topic for persuasive speech

July 17
 persuasive speechpractice speech
July 24
dealing with audience questions  Read Chapters 6, 7, 8;
have topic for persuasive speech
July 31
 persuasive speechpractice speech

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