Intro to Speech Communication

Dr. Ermal Hasimja

Fridays 13.00-16.00.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 10.00-12.00.

Course Description: Theory and performance in communication and public speaking; the preparation, delivery and critical evaluation of representative oral presentations. The class will be organized in lectures combined with in-class activities, required readings from the assigned text, lecture notes, class discussions, class participation, group and individual presentations, and two written exams (midterm and final).

Course Goals:

1. Improve students’ skills in writing a speech

2. Improve students’ skills in debating.
Prerequisites: No prerequisite. Reasonable competence in written communication is necessary.

Readings Required: Lucas, Stephen (2008). The Art of Public Speaking. McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/ Languages.
Recommended: Pirie, Madsen (2006), How to win every argument. The use and abuse of logic. Continuum.

Grading and Assessment:

Beside the two speeches replacing the exams (see below) each student will have to present three assignments:

1. Presentation of one of the lectures topics (to be done in groups).
2. Analysis of a speech as a good example (historical speeches are preferable).
3. Analysis of a speech as a bad example (research in the media and especially newspapers is


Speeches and presentations:

There are no exams. Due to the specific and skill-building nature of the course exams will be replaced by the presentation of a topic proposed by the student and approved by the instructor. Each student will have to write and present two speeches, each of them replacing the classical mid- term and final exam.
Plagiarism is prohibited. Always cite your sources. If you have questions about this, ask me in class, or during office hours, before you hand in your assignment.


Grade Weights are as follows:



Participation in various in-class assignments


Speech analysis 1


Speech analysis 2


Final speech




Grade Breakdowns are as follows:

A A- B+ B B- C+

The Course Schedule

96-100% C 90-95% C- 87-89% D+ 83-86% D 80-82% D- 77-79% F

67-69% 63-66% 60-62% 0-59%






Session 1

Syllabus: Basic principles of Speech Communication/Speaking in Public.

Using critical thinking in public speaking.

Chapter 1 Lecture

Session 2

Ethics and public speaking Listening

Chapter 2 Chapter 3

Session 3

Selecting a topic and purpose Analyzing the audience

Chapter 4 Chapter 5

Session 4

Gathering materials Supporting your ideas

Chapter 6 Chapter 7

Session 5

Organizing the body of the speech Beginning and ending the speech

Chapter 8 Chapter 9

Session 6

Outlining the speech Using language

Chapter 10 Chapter11

Session 7

Presentation and analysis of mid-term speeches 1

Session 8

Presentation and analysis of mid-term speeches 1


Session 9

Using visual aids

Chapter 12 Chapter 13

Session 10

Speaking to inform Speaking to persuade

Chapter 14 Chapter 15

Session 11

Methods of persuasion

Chapter 16

Session 12

Speaking in small groups

Chapter 18

Session 13

Presentation and analysis of final speeches 1

Session 14

Presentation and analysis of final speeches 2

Session 15

Presentation and analysis of final speeches 3

General Policies:

  •   Lecture attendance is mandatory. If a student is absent for more than 20% of the course (i.e. 9 hours), then ‘F’ will be the grade awarded for the course.
  •   The workload assumes that students are spending two hours studying for every one hour in class. For this session that means that you should expect to study for about 6 hours a week outside of the class time.
  •   Students who are disruptive in class will be asked to leave. Disruption includes anything that negatively interrupts the flow of lecture or discussion. If you need to sleep, please do so outside of class. Cellular phones should be off during class. On no account should students answer their cell phones during class, or leave the room to do so unless you clear it with the professor before class starts.
  •   I encourage students to work together and help each other out as much as possible in terms of discussing and reviewing the material. However, each student must turn in or complete in class work they have completed originally for this class. Plagiarism involves passing of the work of others as your own or any other form of academic dishonesty such as copying from another student in class or submitting the same paper to two different classes.