I. Course Prefix/Number: SPE 103
Course Name: Effective Speech
Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
Course offers opportunities to develop capability in oral communications. Content includes rhetorical theory, organization and structure of ideas, techniques for general speaking and listening effectiveness, practical experience in individual and group presentations. Recommended: EGL 101 or placement in EGL 101.
IV. Learning Objectives
- Use strategies that reduce speaker anxiety.
- Deliver extemporaneous speeches using vocal and physical delivery.
- Organize ideas using clear structure.
- Create speeches that connect with audience demographics.
- Collaborate with class members in small groups.
- Apply research to support ideas in speeches.
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.
There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
VI. Sequence of Topics
Example Schedule reflects topics covered in Stephen Lucas’ The Art of Public Speaking, 12th edition
|Week One: Introduction/Introducing|
|Ch. 1 – Speaking in Public|
|Ch. 3 – Listening|
|Ch. 4 – Giving Your First Speech|
|Ch. 5 – Selecting a Topic and Purpose|
|Ch. 6 – Analyzing the Audience|
|Ch. 7 – Gathering Materials|
|Ch. 8 – Supporting Your Ideas - Citing Research Used in Speeches|
|Ch. 9 – Organizing the Body of Your Speech|
|Ch. 10 – Beginning and Ending the Speech|
|Ch. 11 – Outlining the Speech|
|Ch. 12 – Using Language|
|Ch. 13 – Delivery|
|Ch. 14 – Using Visual Aids|
|Ch. 19 – Speaking in Small Groups|
|Week Seven: GROUP SPEECHES|
|Ch. 15 - Speaking to Inform|
|Week Nine: DEMONSTRATION SPEECHES|
|Week Ten: DEMONSTRATION SPEECHES|
|Ch. 16 - Speaking to Persuade|
|Ch. 17 – Methods of Persuasion|
|Week Twelve: PERSUASIVE SPEECHES|
|Week Thirteen: PERSUASIVE SPEECHES|
|Ch. 18 – Speaking on Special Occasions|
|Ch. 2 - Ethics and Public Speaking|
|Week Fifteen: COMMEMORATIVE SPEECHES|
|Week Sixteen: COMMEMORATIVE SPEECHES|
VII. Methods of Instruction
- Lecture/discussion of necessary information, including documentation and source citation.
- Instructor examples of effective/ineffective speeches, positive/negative speaker/listener behaviors.
- Student presentations: conversation, entertainment; information; demonstration; opinion support (commentary; persuasive-level one; call to action); impromptu; group (panel; symposium; debate).
Approximate time limits (will vary among instructors):
• conversation, entertainment: 3-5 minutes • information: 5-7 minutes • demonstration: 8-12 minutes • opinion/support: 7-9 minutes • persuasion: 9-11 minutes • impromptu: 1-2 minutes • group: 5 minutes per speaker
- Feedback on/evaluation of speeches
- video-taping/self evaluation
- instructor/audience comments
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
- Oral Presentations, with at least 4 substantive speeches, including informative and persuasive assignments delivered extemporaneously.
- All presentations require oral citations as prescribed by the instructor. Oral Citations must include Source: Author, Author’s Credentials, Publication and Date.
- Typed speech outlines/typed response papers.
- Structured peer evaluations.
IX. Instructional Materials
Text (required) to be selected from most recent editions:
Public Speaking - Beebe & Beebe
Art of Public Speaking - Lucas
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
Example Assignments & Evaluation of Progress/Grading
|2.||“PERSONAL OBJECT” SPEECH||20|
|3.||IMPROMPTU SPEECH (group)||10|
|4.||IMPROMPTU SPEECH (individual)||10|
|5.||GROUP INFORMATIVE SPEECH. (3 oral citation required*)||50|
|6.||DEMONSTRATION SPEECH (2 oral citations required*)||100|
|7.||COMMEMORATIVE SPEECH (2 oral citations required*)||75|
|8.||PERSUASIVE SPEECH (4 oral citations required*)||150|
|9.||QUIZZES (5@15 points)||75|
|Total Class Points||500|
*Oral Citations must include Source: Author, Author’s Credentials, Publication and Date
- Each assignment & examination will be awarded a point value. Your grade will be based on the number of points accumulated versus the total available for the semester: 90-100% is “A”; 80-89% is “B”; 70-79% is “C”; 60-69% is “D”; 59% or below is “F”.
- Please be aware that oral presentations & their supporting documents will constitute approximately 70% of the total points available.
XI. Other Course Information
Attendance is required in this course. The Speech Department maintains a formal attendance policy. This policy will be strictly adhered to. Please familiarize yourself with it at this time.
Speech 103 is a performance course, which requires a prepared, responsive audience to be effective. Hence, you must participate in this course in three areas: 1) at the podium, as speaker; 2) in the audience for each speaker; 3) in class activities. You will be held responsible for your attendance; the grade will be affected negatively for absences in excess of those allowed.
- You are allowed three (3) absences with no penalty. "Arriving late" to class, and "leaving early" from class and “sleeping during” sessions will be taken into account when attendance is tabulated.
- Three arriving late and/or leaving early and/or sleeping in class will be counted as one absence. Each absence in excess of the allowed number (3) will result in point reduction, reflected in lowering the final grade for the course according to each instructor’s point/grading schedule.
Course content or syllabus is tentative and may be altered due to unforeseen circumstances.
If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.
Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.
Resources and support for
- pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
- victims of sexual misconduct
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.