Persuasive Speaking

I.     Course Prefix/Number: SPE 209

       Course Name: Persuasive Speaking

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

SPE 103

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course studies principles and practice of persuasion. Content includes analysis of methods for presentation of persuasive oral messages, motivational techniques, understanding and analyzing specific audience characteristics, preparation for and delivery of presentations.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Student will be able to: define persuasion.
  2. Student will be able to: identify principles of persuasive speaking.
  3. Student will be able to: use principles of effective reasoning.
  4. Student will be able to: employ effective emotional appeals.
  5. Student will be able to: adapt persuasive messages to various audiences.
  6. Student will be able to: use strategies for effective organization and presentation of ideas (or arguments).

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• 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

  1. Definition of persuasion
  2. Goals of persuasion
  3. Motivating listeners
  4. Establishing credibility
  5. Using logical arguments
  6. Using emotional arguments
  7. Strategies to analyze audience and occasion
  8. Strategies for preparing and organizing
  9. Breaking through barriers
  10. Strategies for effective delivery

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Text readings and discussions
  2. Handouts
  3. Audio-visual tapes
  4. Learning lab computer workshop
  5. Preparation and delivery of speeches
  6. Evaluation of speeches

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Reading - text, handouts and evaluation reports.
  2. Writing: five to seven outlined speeches which would be three to five pages
    • five to seven sets of note cards
    • five to seven feedback papers on topic areas involving two to three pages each
    • fifteen to twenty student critique sheets at one page each
  3. Oral Presentation
    • five to seven persuasive speeches
    • two to three “special topic” oral presentations

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Suggested texts: check with the chairman for current list
Case studies

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Graded outlines
  2. Graded notecards
  3. Graded oral presentations
  4. Test on text and handouts
  5. Quiz on text and handouts
  6. Graded class participation (oral student evaluations)

XI.   Other Course Information

Attendance is required in this class.  The speech department maintains a formal attendance policy.  This policy will be strictly adhered to.  Please familiarize yourself with it at this time.

Speech 209 is a performance course, which requires a prepared, responsive audience to be effective.  Hence, you must participate in this course in three areas:  1) as speaker;  2) audience;  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.  1) “Arriving late” to and “leaving early” from class sessions will be taken into account when attendance is tabulated.  2)  Four late arrivals and/or leaving early will be counted as one absence.  Each absence in excess of the allowed number (3) will result in a reduction of the final grade by one full grade.

In some special medical and emergency situations, the instructor will consider a request to omit an incident of tardiness, absence or leaving early from your record.  (No grade impact on assignment.)

Grading Policy:

  1. The final grade will be based on the student’s level of proficiency communicating and his/her knowledge of the principles of effective communication as demonstrated in the oral assignments and in written work.  Improvement is necessary to receive high grades as assignments get more difficult.
  2. In determining the student’s final grade, speaking ability will be given slightly more weight than written work.  BUT A STUDENT MUST BE PASSING IN BOTH SPOKEN AND WRITTEN WORK TO RECEIVE A PASSING GRADE IN THE COURSE.

Late Assignments:
Papers not turned in on the due date will be lowered one grade and must be in by the next class session, or a grade of “F” will be recorded.

Oral presentations not delivered on the due date will be lowered one grade and must be ready for the next class session (if instructor feels time allows), or s/he will re-schedule as class time allows.  If speeches are not ready at this time, an “F” grade will be recorded.

Writing Assignments:
College level work will be expected on all assignments.  Grammar and style will influence your grade.  Sloppy work will be returned at a reduced grade and must be resubmitted.


  • All papers require a coversheet with your name, section number, class number and title of project:  must use staple—not clip.  Failure to follow these directions will result in a reduction of grade
  • There is no make-up final!
  • No scratch outs, pencil, or pen marks may appear on outlines or papers.  Deductions will be made on grade.
  • All work will be typed unless otherwise stated.

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
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at