Communication 1100

Course Description:

This one-semester basic course in speech is designed to develop each student's ability to communicate effectively in his or her academic, business, and social life. The major emphasis is on the preparation and delivery of formal speeches, but many areas of the communication process are explored. (Prerequisites: Eligible for ENGL 1005 or higher and ENGL 0850 or higher or permission of instructor) Lecture: 3 hours.


Full-time instructors have the option of selecting a text for the course. Over the years, various textbooks have been successful. Beebe and Beebe, Public Speaking: An Audience-Centered Approach, 10th edition is ordered for adjuncts.


View sample syllabus.

Class Profile:

Oral Communication I is a required course in most academic programs. Therefore, enrolled students represent the demographic diversity typical of CCRI classrooms, ranging from traditional high school graduates to older, returning students. While some students may have some exposure to public speaking as part of a unit in a high school English course, others students will have had little to no exposure to public speaking. Given the anxiety that accompanies public speaking, students often delay taking this course until later in their academic program.

Course Objectives:

  • To increase public speaking skills by providing students with a variety of public speaking opportunities
  • To increase knowledge of the parts and functions of a speech
  • To understand the dynamics of audience demographics
  • To foster an awareness of the ethical responsibility of spoken discourse
  • To adapt to the needs of people of different backgrounds and culture, as well as to the rhetorical expectations of diverse contexts and occasions
  • To increase students confidence in themselves as public speakers in their academic, professional, and social lives

Student Learning Outcomes (based on those from the National Communication Association):

1. Speaking Competencies:

The competent speaker should present speeches that include the following:

  • A solid understanding of communication theory, in particular, the various purposes of oral discourse in relationship to different contexts
  • Effective research techniques, including web-based
  • Coherent organization in relationship to purpose, audience, and occasion

The competent speaker should fulfill the speech's purpose by:

  • Formulating a thesis statement
  • Incorporating and documenting, if necessary, relevant and sufficient verbal and visual support
  • Selecting a suitable organizational pattern
  • Employing careful and vivid word choice
  • Incorporating language that enhances the speaker's ethos, promotes, the speech purpose, and increases the audience's understanding
  • Providing effective transitions
  • Demonstrating technological support skills

The competent speaker should use delivery skills to craft an effective presentation:

  • Employ a variety of suitable vocal elements (rate, pitch, and intensity) to heighten and maintain audience interest
  • Articulate the American English language
  • Use appropriate non-verbal behavior (physical, spatial, and personal elements) to support and clarify the message
  • The competent speaker should use constructive criticism to improve upon future speeches

2. Listening Competencies:

The oral communication class participant should develop the following in relationship to a speech's content:

  • Recognize main idea
  • Evaluate the effectiveness, relevance, and quantity of supporting material
  • Identify organizational and transitional cues

The oral communication class participant should develop the following in relationship to informative and persuasive speaking:

  • Analyze the types of verbal and nonverbal support
  • Draw valid inferences from the information
  • Distinguish between emotional and logical appeals (pathos and logos)
  • Analyze patterns of reasoning and judge the validity of arguments

The oral communication class participant should employ active listening:

  • Formulate questions that clarify or qualify
  • Paraphrase the speaker's message
  • Provide constructive feedback

Course Measurements:

  • Attendance
  • Journals
  • Participation in class discussion, activities, and exercises
  • Quizzes
  • Tests
  • Mid-term Exam
  • Final Exam
  • Speech outlines with appropriate documentation for outside sources
  • Written and/or oral critiques (of self, peers, outside speaker)
  • Analyses of written and taped speeches
  • Tapings (audio and/or video) of speeches
  • Five to six oral presentations that vary in length and purpose. These may include individual speeches (informative, demonstrative, persuasive, and special occasion) as well as group projects (problem-solving, debate, symposium, forum presentation, and panel discussion).

Course Content Outline:

  • Communication theory
  • Organizational methods
  • Supporting material
  • Research principles and techniques
  • Language and style
  • Delivery techniques
    • Vocal
      • Voice
      • Diction
    • Non-Verbal
      • Eye Contact
      • Gestures
      • Body position and movement
  • Purposes for speaking
    • To inform
    • To entertain
    • To stimulate
    • To persuade
    • Special occasions
  • Evaluation Method
    • Teacher's comments
    • Student's comments
    • Video tape
  • Purpose
    • To learn to evaluate self
    • To learn to evaluate speeches heard outside the classroom

Contact Information

Sandra Luzzi Sneesby, MFA
Associate Professor of Communication
Website Content Manager
Tel: 401-825-2004

Kathleen Beauchene
Professor of English
Communication Coordinator
Website Content Manager

Gail Yanku
Administrative Assistant
Knight Campus
Room 3232
Tel: 401-825-2262
Fax: 401-825-1193

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Last Updated: 8/29/17