Public Speaking

Course Description

The Public Speaking course has been specifically designed to address the weaknesses commonly exhibited by women speakers and to highlight the strengths of their unique qualities. The course aims to help women develop their public speaking skills and gain the confidence to speak effectively in a variety of public settings. Throughout the semester, the course focuses on improving the skills and confidence needed to speak effectively. The course recognises that students may be nervous and inexperienced in public speaking at the start, but will make rapid progress by the end of the semester.

Weeks 1 to 6 of the course teach students how to use their bodies effectively when speaking, including correct posture, hand positioning, gestures, pauses, voice projection and eye contact. These skills are essential for building confidence and authority when speaking in public.

Weeks 7 to 11 focus on learning how to create effective content for speeches, including topical and issue-based speeches, as well as personal stories and first-person narratives. The course emphasises how women can use their unique qualities and experiences to create powerful speeches that connect with their audience.

In the final weeks 12 to 15, the course will teach students how to use academic presentation software such as PowerPoint to complement their speeches. This will help students to create compelling visual aids to enhance their presentations.

By the end of the course, students will have improved their public speaking skills and gained the confidence needed for a customer-facing career. They will also have developed their English language skills, which will be useful for those planning to study abroad. The Public Speaking course is useful for any student who wants to improve their public speaking skills and achieve success in their personal and professional lives.




Introduction to Public Speaking

Course Explanation:

- This course aims to teach students the essential skills and techniques necessary for delivering effective speeches to a live audience.

What Makes a Good Public Speech?

- Students will learn the key components of a successful speech, including clear and concise messaging, engaging delivery, and effective use of supporting materials.


Body: Posture, Hand Position


- Proper body alignment and positioning to convey confidence and engagement during a speech or presentation.

Hand position:

- Strategic placement and movement of hands to enhance communication and expressiveness during a speech or presentation.


Body: Gestures, Pauses

Gestures and nonverbal communication:

- Physical movements made by a speaker that can enhance the meaning and impact of their message.

- The use of body language, facial expressions, and other nonverbal cues to convey meaning and influence an audience's perception of a speaker's message.


- Brief moments of silence used strategically by a speaker to emphasize a point, allow for audience reflection, or to transition between ideas.


[ON-DEMAND CLASS] Memorising Speeches

Memorising speeches is a public speaking technique where the speaker commits their speech to memory to deliver it without referring to notes or a script.

This week, we will learn how to effectively memorise a short speech. 


Body: voice projection, eye contact

Voice projection and other delivery techniques:

- Approaches used by a speaker to effectively convey their message, such as using vocal variety, pacing, and tone.

Eye contact:

- Eye contact is an important aspect of public speaking that can help establish credibility, build rapport with the audience, and convey confidence and sincerity.


PRESENTATION 1 (Body - 20%)

You have to give three speeches in Public Speaking class. 

This first one will be graded on how well you use your body to communicate. 

Make sure you pay attention to your posture, hand movements, gestures, pauses, voice volume, and eye contact.

For this speech, choose any topic you want and talk about it for a maximum of 2 minutes. You should use what you learned in the first five weeks of class to help you prepare.

Write the topic and the text of your speech on Manaba. 

You'll present your speech in front of the class during week 6.


Content: Using Stories, Phrasing

Speaking to inform involves delivering accurate and relevant information to an audience in a clear and concise manner, and is an essential skill for many public speaking contexts.

Using stories:

Incorporating personal anecdotes or narratives to engage the audience and illustrate key points is a common strategy when using stories in a public speaking lesson plan.


Phrasing refers to the intentional structure and wording of speech to convey meaning and emphasise important information, and is an important aspect of effective public speaking.


[ON-DEMAND CLASS] Content: Make the Audience Care, Use Speaking Words

Make the Audience Care:

- Engaging the audience emotionally and intellectually through storytelling, humour, or personal experiences.

Use Speaking Words:

Improve verbal delivery by incorporating proper tone, pacing, inflection, and enunciation of spoken rather than written words.


Content: Introduction

Developing a speech outline:

- Creating a structured plan for the content and organisation of a speech.

Writing your introduction:

- Crafting the opening section of a speech that grabs the audience's attention, establishes credibility, and previews the main points of the presentation.


Content: Main Speech, Conclusion

Researching and organising main speech content:

- This involves gathering information, selecting relevant and reliable sources, and organising the information in a logical and coherent manner.

Writing your main speech:

- This involves developing a clear and concise thesis statement, outlining the main points of the speech, and supporting each point with evidence.

Writing your conclusion:

- This involves summarising the main points of the speech, restating the thesis statement, and leaving the audience with a memorable and impactful message.


PRESENTATION 2 (Content - 30%)

This is your second presentation for the Public Speaking course. 

Your grade will depend on what you learned in weeks 7-10 about content. 

Your speech can't be longer than 2 minutes, so pick a short topic. 

Share your topic and speech on Manaba. 

You'll present it to the class in week 11.


[ON-DEMAND CLASS] Presentation Software: Design Principles

Design principles of presentation software such as PowerPoint refer to the best practices and guidelines for creating visually appealing and effective presentations.

These principles include using legible fonts, contrasting colors, incorporating images and graphics, and maintaining consistency throughout the presentation. 

The goal is to create a clear and engaging visual aid that enhances the speaker's message and supports audience comprehension.


Presentation Software: Adding Content

This class includes instruction on adding content to presentation software such as PowerPoint, which can help enhance the visual aids used during a speech or presentation.

Students can learn how to effectively use multimedia tools to support their message and engage the audience, as well as how to avoid common mistakes such as overloading slides with too much text or irrelevant images.


Presentation Software: Delivery

Integrating presentation software into your public speaking can enhance the delivery of your message, but it's important to balance the use of technology with your own vocal delivery and presence.

It's important to ensure that your presentation supports your message rather than becoming a distraction, so be sure to keep it simple and avoid cluttered slides that may confuse or overwhelm your audience.

Additionally, rehearsing your presentation with the software can help you identify any technical issues or areas where you may need to adjust your delivery.

We will practise presentation in class and learn how to deal with unexpected issues or problems.


[***ON-DEMAND CLASS] PRESENTATION 3 (Slide Presentations - 30%)

Presentation 3 is your final presentation for the Public Speaking course. 

You must make a slide presentation about a topic you like. 

You can choose a new topic or use the same one from your previous presentations.

Your slide presentation should be no longer than 2 minutes and have a maximum of 10 slides. 

Check your presentation for spelling and grammar errors and make sure it's easy to understand. 

Also, think about how your slides look and make sure they're visually appealing and easy to see from different parts of the room.

When you're done with your presentation, upload a file of your slide deck to Manaba. 

You can use software like PowerPoint, Google Slides, or OpenOffice to make it. 

But remember, don't put any audio, video, or other media in your slides because of file size and security limits on Manaba.

*** Students with specialised public speaking needs (see below) are encouraged to work one-on-one with the professor during this class. 

This is a supplement not replacement for the on-demand class, so students must ALSO do the work required for the on-demand class. 

CLASSROOM: Specialised public speaking (e.g. TED Talks, announcers, TV/radio presenters, debate)