Fundamentals of Speech Communication

Course Details

Course Number: SPCH 1133  Section Number: 201

Spring 2014

Location: Fain Fine Arts Center

Classroom Number: B114

Days & Times:

MWF 8-8:50

Course Attachments

Fund. of Speech Syllabus  Fund of Speech syllabus Sp 2014-20140131-162221.pdf


 Metcalfe, Sheldon. Building a Speech. Wadsworth Publishing.
MSU Faculty Member
Walter F. Wojciechowski   
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Course Objectives

Course Description

You will study basic principles/methods of speech communication as applied to public speaking. You will develop skills in research, preparation, delivery, and critique of oral speeches. Skills will be demonstrated through classroom work.  These will help you communicate with others in your future careers.

Course Objectives

After successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate and explain the communication process.
  • Construct effective presentations based on astute audience analysis.
  • Select appropriate and effective topics for assigned presentations.
  • Organize presentations in a unified an effective manner.
  • Utilize supporting materials for effective presentations.
  • Present solid evidence and arguments in order to produce effective presentations.
  • Select and integrate appropriate visual aides into presentations for impact.
  • Effectively manage communication apprehension.


The goal of this course is to focus your ability to prepare the speech, understand how to tailor the content for a specific audience for real world applications.  Many people think that because the talk to their friends that they can effectively give a speech.  The rules for social communication are quite different from formal speeches or presentations.  The training for delivering a speech at a meeting, a job interview, presenting a demonstration, or a power point presentation takes time and planning.  This course will introduce you to the pre-planning that has to be done for it to be effective.


The student speaker must learn to:

Write the speech before giving it and have it approved by the instructor.

Correctly outline a speech on 3x5 cards and how to use them at the lectern.

Speak extemporaneously and how to introduce another speaker.

Give an Informal Speech, A Persuasive Speech, Lead a small discussion group.

Know the types of speech Introductions and Conclusions.

How and where to use A Thesis and Three Reasons, and/or Transitions.

Find Sources that go with your premise and where to use them in a speech.

Know the right to paraphrase something and when its plagiarizing.

Construct a Poster, Power Point Slideshow or Overhead Slides.

How to let go of the podium, what to do with your hands and how to dress.

Establish eye contact with the audience, listing to the audience and know the speaking code of ethics.


The Student As An Audience Member:

Sit still, listen, no talking, no emailing, no texting, and no cell phone pictures.

When to take notes on the speech.

Know how to evaluate the speaker and the subject matter

Course Expectations


The Personal Crest Presentation

For your introductory performance, the “Personal Crest” presentation, you will formally introduce yourself to the class via a visual aid that you construct. Your “crest,” or banner, should represent the “unique you!”

For this assignment, you are initially encouraged to conduct a self-awareness inventory. The self-awareness inventory is a great way of discovering unique and exciting information about you. Some questions you may want to ponder as you conduct your self-evaluation (do not attempt to answer all of the questions in your presentation!):

  1. Is your cultural background the most important thing about you? How?
  2. Has your environment influenced you? How?
  3. Did some person (or persons) have an impact on your life? Explain.
  4. Have you been shaped by some unusual experience? Explain.
  5. Is there an activity/organization of which you participate that reflects your personality? How?
  6. Can you be characterized by the work you do? How?
  7. Do you have some special purpose or goal in life? What?
  8. Does some value have great meaning for you? What is it?

Next, construct the informative portion of your presentation by using the “introduction-body-conclusion” format. How is the banner a reflection of you? What have you learned about yourself? You will need to turn in a brief yet thorough outline for this presentation reflecting your organization. The outline must be submitted to the instructor the day you are assigned to speak. No outline = no presentation. BRING TWO COPIES OF THE OUTLINE TO CLASS. Use the outline template given to you in class as a guide for your outline.

After pondering the information you have gained from the self-inventory, construct a visual aid that represents the information that you have garnered about yourself. Your “crest” should be about the size of a full piece of poster board – that is – large enough for the entire class to see. Use your creative license in the construction of your banner!

Finally, practice your presentation! You will have 5-7 minutes to enlighten the class about yourself! This assignment is worth 100 points. Good luck!


The Informative Presentation

The informative presentation is a bit more in depth than the introductory presentation. This assignment requires you to research a topic of which you are passionately interested and relates well to your audience (the class). Remember, your guiding question for any presentation: Why should my audience care about this topic/issue/problem? What are some timely topics that might appeal to the audience? The following guidelines will assist you in completing this presentation.

  • Select a worthwhile, relevant, well-researched topic.
  • Conduct a thoughtful audience analysis.
  • Include at least three credible sources of supporting material – not including your own testimony.
  • Develop three main points to cover in your presentation.
  • Determine the appropriate organizational pattern.
  • Utilize “introduction-body-conclusion” format.
  • Determine and develop at least two prepared presentation aids.
  • Practice your speech using the tenets of extemporaneous delivery.
  • Submit a typed “presentation outline” for this presentation. The outline must be submitted the day you are assigned to speak. No outline = no presentation. BRING TWO COPIES OF THE OUTLINE TO CLASS.
  • You are allowed 7-9 minutes for this presentation.
  • Orally cite sources in your speech appropriately.
  • Your attire should reflect commitment to a job well done!
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your presentation (not included in your time).

This assignment is worth 100 points. Good luck!


The Persuasive Group Presentation

Working in groups of four, you are to devise a persuasive presentation that urges your audience to make a choice. Examples include:

  1. A Question of Policy: Today, we hope to convince you that assisted suicide should/should not be legalized in the United States.
  2. A Question of Fact: With the evidence we present today, we hope to convince you that Intelligent Design is responsible for the universe and all living things.
  3. Take Action: Today, we hope to persuade you to get involved with Meals on Wheels

Remember, your guiding question for any presentation: Why should my audience care about this topic/issue/problem? The following guidelines will assist you in completing this presentation:

  • Select a worthwhile, relevant, well-researched topic/issue. Your group should be in complete agreement on the topic. Why is this topic relevant to your audience?
  • Utilize Monroe’s Motivated Sequence to present your topic/issue. This form of presenting evidence follows a very logical thought process for persuasion.
  • Develop the proper steps within the body of the speech in regards to Monroe’s Motivated Sequence (need, satisfaction, visualization, action).
  • Include at least (10) credible outside information sources. Remember, you are using information as evidence in order to move your audience to action. What types of evidence will best support your ideas?
  • Include a thorough introduction (attention, thesis/central idea, preview, and credibility/relation to the audience steps)
  • Include a thorough conclusion that includes a summary statement and an apparent “call to action”—what do you want your audience to do?
  • Cite sources appropriately during the presentation.
  • Utilize transitions for unity and flow.
  • Each group member must present and utilize at least one presentation aid?
  • Construct a thorough outline of your presentation (a single outline to be turned in by the group). Use the convenient outline template provided by the instructor. The outline should resemble the example on pg. 335. Document your sources within the outline as well as on a bibliography! The outline must be submitted the day you are assigned to speak. No outline = no presentation. BRING TWO COPIES OF THE OUTLINE TO CLASS.
  • Rehearse the presentation using the tenets of extemporaneous delivery (Chapter 7)
  • Dress accordingly/appropriately! This is a professional presentation!
  • You are allotted 12-15 minutes for this presentation.
  • Be prepared for a question and answer session.

Note: The persuasive presentation must be presented in a practiced, polished, and cooperative fashion. Although this assignment is a group effort, you should reflect on the aspects of your previous individual presentations that require improvement. What can you do to assure a stellar individual performance within the group?

This presentation is worth 100 points! Good luck!


The Farewell Presentation

For the farewell presentation, you are to reflect on the personal goals for public speaking you set for yourself at the beginning of the term. For this brief presentation, you should address the following:

  • Reflect on your specific goals for this course (your goal statement from the second week of class).
  • State how you have been able to start working on your specific goals during the term.
  • Address how your peers have been instrumental in helping you achieve your speech goals.
  • Indicate how you plan to continue working on these goals once our class is over. Remind your audience why these communication goals are critical to your professional success.
  • What message do you want to leave with the class?
  • You have 2-3 minutes to deliver your farewell message.
  • The outline must be submitted to the instructor the day you are assigned to speak. No outline = no presentation. BRING TWO COPIES OF THE OUTLINE TO CLASS.

This presentation is worth 100 points. Good luck!



Outlines are a very important aspect of this course. You are required to complete four formal outlines during this course: one for the personal crest presentation; one for the informative presentation; one for the persuasive presentation, and one for the farewell performance. All outlines must be created as a Word document and submitted the day you are assigned to speak. Late outlines will not be accepted. No outline, no presentation!

Personal Crest Performance Outline (25 points possible)

Informative Performance Outline (25 points possible)

Persuasive Performance Outline (25 points possible)

Farewell Performance Outline (25 points possible)

Goal Statement

Beginning any new task requires a solid goal statement. The same rings true for Speech 1133: Fundamentals of Speech Communication as you embark on the challenging yet rewarding experience!

Using your textbook, conduct some brief research regarding the art of public speaking, and write an essay. Identify your strengths as a public speaker! Next, identify aspects of public speaking you feel are a personal weakness.  Then set three specific public speaking goals you want to achieve during the term. Specifically discuss why these goals may prove rewarding for you both professionally (career-related) and personally (not career-related).


Finally, discuss how you expect this communication course will help you accomplish your goals. What is it about the planned activities for this course that will help you accomplish your goals. Your goal statement should be approximately 2-3 pages in length, 12 point font, double spaced, with 1” margins in a Word document and should be submitted to the instructor by the due date. Be prepared to informally discuss your goal statement on the due date. The goal statement assignment is worth 50 points.

Sample Presentation and Critique

Critiques are a vital part of learning. You can learn a lot from reviewing the work of others and evaluating their presentation’s strengths and weaknesses. Critiques also provide an additional opportunity to put concepts to words, and to help you learn how to speak intelligently and knowledgeably. This exercise will provide you and your classmates with fresh insights and perspectives.

At the beginning of the semester you will sign up for your day to present and critique a presentation. Your selection and critique should reflect concepts we are learning in class at that time. The length of the sample presentation should be 1-5 minutes long. You must bring your presentation on a CD before the class period you are assigned and you must come to class five minutes early on your assigned day to load your presentation so it is ready to play once class begins.  You must introduce the presentation, play the presentation, then provide your prepared commentary.

Final Caveat: I reserve the right to change any part of this syllabus for any reason. This includes changing or deleting assignments. Sufficient notice will be given to you if changes to the syllabus are necessary.

By accepting this syllabus and staying enrolled in this course, you are indicating that you understand and accept the terms of this syllabus.

Grading Standards

Final grades will be based on the following:


A:    900-1000 points

B:    800-899 points

C:    700-799 points

D:    600-699 points

F:     less than 600 points



Points Possible

Points Earned

Class participation and attendance (also called professionalism)



Sample presentation and critique









Exam 1



Exam 2






Personal Crest Outline



Informative Presentation Outline



Persuasive Presentation Outline



Farewell Presentation Outline






Personal Crest Presentation



Personal Crest Presentation Feedback



Informative Presentation



Informative Presentation Feedback



Persuasive Presentation



Farewell Presentation










More about Grading

  • In the professional world, if you can’t show up on time and make your deadlines, you won’t keep your job. Assignments must be completed on time in the format specified.
  • Reading assignments are to be completed by the day they are assigned.
  • Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date.
  • Each page of each assignment must be clearly labeled with your name, the assignment, the date, the page number and the total number of pages.
  • Spelling and grammar count. Grades will be reduced for spelling and grammar errors.
  • Lectures and class activities are intended to complement (not duplicate) text information.
  • Course quizzes/exercises and exams rely heavily on the text.
  • You are responsible for keeping all handouts and graded assignments.
  • If my recorded grade differs from yours, the only way to get your grade changed is to show the grade marked (or the grade sheet I completed) on the assignment.
  • You must complete all assigned speeches in order to pass the course.  I will not accept assignments/projects sent via email!!

Final Exam5/7/2014  8-10

Submission Format PolicyNote: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Because abundant lecturing tends to be counterproductive for both the students and the instructor, I try to include activities that are more interesting than straight lecture, such as discussions, critiques, hand-on application of what we are learning, etc. The success of this format depends on your willingness to actively participate in class discussions and other activities.

Attendance and participation are critical to your success. You are expected to arrive on time, be prepared, actively participate, and stay for the full class period. If you miss class, you miss the chance to participate in your education and the education of others in class. If you miss class without an acceptable excuse you get a zero for that day’s participation and class work and any work that is due.

The acceptable excuses are: the death of a family member, personal illness, required attendance at an official school function, and verifiable emergency. You must notify me before you miss a class, except when an emergency happens on the way to class. If an emergency happens on the way to class, you must notify me on the same day. If I cannot be reached, leave me an email.

If you fail to notify me before missing a class you will receive a zero for work due and/or performed during that class unless it is a verifiable emergency.

Your illness must be serious to be excused. Thus, you must see a medical practitioner and get a signed note on official stationary from your doctor or the student health clinic.

For an official school function, you must present a signed note before missing class. The note must be on official school stationary, and it must be signed by the appropriate university official. If you do not have a signed note on official school stationary, you will receive a zero for the work due or that you missed.

For a death in the family, you must notify the instructor before missing class. When you return, you must give the instructor a copy of the program for the funeral. If you do not have a copy of the program, you will receive a zero for the work due or that you missed.

If you have an emergency, you must provide documentation to me, such as an accident report or towing bill. If you do not have documentation, you will receive a zero for the work due or that you missed.

When you have an acceptable excuse, you are responsible for finding out what you missed and arranging to make it up with the instructor. Missed work must be made up within one week of when your return to class, or you will receive a zero.

If you miss more than three classes, or if you are habitually late or leave early, your final grade may be lowered by 1/3 letter grade for each instance beyond three absences. Three tardies = one absence.  Five minutes or more late = one tardy. Twenty minutes or more late = one absence. Leaving before class is dismissed = one absence. If you have difficulty with the attendance and participation (professionalism) requirement, you may be dropped from the class.

I reserve the right to determine what, exactly, constitutes an excused absence or when a late arrival is excusable.


Some additional guidelines:

  • You are responsible for all material presented in every class period, whether present or not.
  • If you miss a class period you should obtain the material presented from another classmate. (I will not repeat lecture material that was missed. Handouts are available from my office.)


Other Policies
  • No cell phones, headphones, music, computer games, nor texting/IMing/e-mail/camera devices of any description are to be used during class: ZERO TOLERANCE. This means all aforementioned devices (and presently unknown versions of such) are to be turned off and out of your sight and mine.  This policy is based on my view that these things are distracting, hence counterproductive to the learning goals in this course.  Violation of this policy will be considered a conduct issue and an extremely bad plan. If your phone rings during class I reserve the right to answer it. If you feel compelled to send a text during class, I reserve the right to complete the text before sending it.Students are expected to adhere to the Standards of Conduct as published in the Student Handbook. Students should refer to the current MSU student handbook and activities calendar for University policies and Student Honor Creed on academic dishonesty, class attendance, student’s rights, and activities.
    1. The main statement from the MSU Student Honor Creed should be a guiding principal for you: “As an MSU student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else to do so.”
    2. I reserve the right to drop any student with an F if he/she engages in any form of academic dishonesty.  I further reserve the right to recommend other sanctions as may be appropriate.  Students are also encouraged to consult the following sources for additional discussion of students’ rights and responsibilities regarding cheating, attendance and general conduct:
      1. The MSU Student Honor Creed
      2. MSU Undergraduate Catalog
      3. MSU Student Handbook
    3. In addition, the university requires faculty to provide this statement to all students: “By enrolling in this course, the student expressly grants MSU a “limited right” in all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course.  The “limited right” shall include but shall not be limited to the right to reproduce the student’s work product in order to verify originality and authenticity, and educational purposes.”
  • On the Internet, plagiarism is especially easy. DO NOT give in to the temptation to copy-and-paste other people’s work! YOUR WORK MUST BE YOUR OWN. If you plagiarize as a professional and get found out, you will damage if not destroy your own reputation and do great harm to the reputation of any organization you work for. In this class, plagiarism will have dire consequences.


Federal privacy law prohibits me from releasing information about students to certain parties outside of the university without the signed consent of the student.  Thus, in almost all cases I will not discuss your academic progress or other matters with your parents.  Please do not have them call me.  Regardless of these important legal considerations, it is my general policy to communicate with the students, not their parents, even when a student has signed a consent form.  College students are adults and are expected to behave accordingly.

Special Accommodations

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information that needs sharing, or if you need special accommodations in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible.

Research and Creative Opportunities at MSU

Enhancing Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (EURECA) is a program that provides opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in high-quality research and creative activities with faculty. EURECA provides incentives and funding through a system that supports faculty and students in a cooperative research process. For more information contact the Office of Undergraduate Research, (940) 397-6275 or Information and resources are available at


Course Outline

The schedule listed below is TENTATIVE and lists topics and assignments by week. The specific days will be given to you in class. MSU academic calendar dates are in bold. Quiz dates will be announced in class.


Week #


Topic – Activity



Week 1






  • Introductions
  • What to Expect
  • Working in Groups






Week 2




  • Introducing the Study of Public Speaking
  • Building Your First Speech
  • Analyzing Your Audience


  • Read Chapters 1-3
  • Personal Crest Assignment Guidelines & Outline Template
  • Due: Goal Statement


Week 3





  • Personal Crest Presentations



  • Personal Crest Presentations





Week 4





  • Improving Your Listening Skills
  • Understanding and Reducing Your Apprehension
  • Considering the Ethics of Public Speaking
  • Read Chapters 4 – 6


Week 5






  • Exam 1 (Ch. 1-6)
  • Selecting the Topic and Purpose
  • Speaking to Inform



  • Read Chapters 7 & 15
  • Due: Informative Speech Topics


Week 6





  • Conducting Research


  • Read Chapter 8


Week 7







  • Choosing Supporting Materials
  • Organizing the Body of the Speech
  • Selecting the Introduction and Conclusion


  • Read Chapters 9-11



Week 8






  • Using Audiovisual Materials
  • Considering Language
  • Developing Delivery


  • Read Chapters 12-14


Week 9






  • Informative Presentations


SPRING BREAK 3/16-3/23


  • Informative Presentations


Week 10





  • Speaking to Persuade



  • Read Chapter 16






Week 11







  • Speaking to Persuade: Motivating Audiences


  • Read Chapter 17
  • Team preparation


Week 12





  • Persuasive presentations




  • Persuasive presentations


Week 13



  • Speaking for Special Occasions


EASTER BREAK 4/17-4/20

  • Speaking for Special Occasions


Week 14





  • Professionally Speaking: Interviewing



  • Professionally Speaking: Interviewing





Week 15



  • Farewell Speeches
  • Farewell Speeches



Finals Wk.



May 7


  • Exam 2

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.






Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.