Introduction to Public Speaking … from Coursera

At a Glance

  • Self-paced online course
  • 18 hours videos, quizzes, and peer assessments
  • Statement of Accomplishment: None
  • Subtitles: English

About this Course

A report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows that employers want job candidates with strong communication skills. Similarly, educational success also requires the ability to articulate your thoughts clearly. In this class, we will study the principles of public speaking; critically examine our own and others’ speeches through interactive practice.

Unlike many oral communication courses and textbooks, this class spends a fair bit of time working through the unique traits of oral versus written communication in order to help students prepare speeches that are easier to deliver orally and understand aurally. The class’s focus on understanding the key parts of an argument and drafting clear and concise arguments translates directly to other academic assignments. In service of this goal, we will study the principles of argumentation and arrangement; critically examine our own speeches and the speeches of others. By becoming a student of public speaking, you join a long history of rhetorical study dating back to ancient Greece.


Dr. Matt McGarrity

Senior Lecturer
UW Department of Communication

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