Public Speaking and Communication

Maynooth University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Public Speaking and Communication

  • Host University

    Maynooth University

  • Location

    Dublin, Ireland

  • Area of Study

    Communication Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Outline:

    This course is designed to introduce students to the basic elements of communication, to provide practical experience in the preparation and delivery of public presentations, while also delivering key critical listening skills. Businesses expect university graduates to be able to deliver a high level of written and oral communication. In fact, communications skills are amongst some of the highest rated skills expected of Irish graduates in the Irish business community. Businesses and other organizations rely on successful communications to be able to operate successfully in a challenging local and global market. We hope to improve the students’ communications skills and give them the confidence they need to succeed in college presentations as well as in their future professional endeavours.

    Primary text:

    Beebe, Stephen A. and Beebe, Susan J. A Concise Public Speaking Handbook, 4th ed. Pearson.

    Preliminary Reading

    Students should prepare for the course by attaining a copy of the core text ( 35- 40 Euro). Weekly readings will develop from this text. A Moodle page will also provide other resources including videos and readings. Students will have access to this page prior to and during their time at DBS.

    Course Objectives

    The course objectives include:

    1. To relate the principles of public speaking to a variety of extemporaneous speech situations.

    2. To develop skill in researching a topic for a speech.

    3. To prepare and organize the content for speech in an outline.

    4. To improve the use of language in conveying messages.

    5. To develop critical analysis while listening to speeches.

    6. To deliver appropriate speeches with increased confidence and skill.


    Assessment will be by way of four formally graded speeches and one in-class test. Each aspect (1 test, 4 speeches) is worth 20% each. There will be other un-marked assignments during the term including peer assessment. A typed outline will also be submitted with each speech. Full guidelines for each will be given on Moodle and in class.


    1. Informative/Demonstrative speech: 4-6 minutes

    2. Informative Speech (definition or description, research required): 4-6 minutes.

    3. Sales Speech: 1-2 minutes.

    4. Persuasive Speech (conviction/actuation, research required): 7-10 minutes.


    Summary of Course Structure

    Week 1: Introductions/ General overview to Public Speaking and Communications/ Short ‘get to know each other’ speech

    Speaking in public: why and how/ History of public speaking/ Nerves and building confidence/ Ethics/ Listening skills/ How to analyse an audience/ Adapting to audience feedback and the feedback loop/ Speech 1 due

    Week 2: Prepare, Prepare, Prepare/ How to develop your speech/ Research and how to use it for support/ Organizing your speech/ Introductions/ Conclusions/ Effective outlining/ Preparation outlines/ delivery outlines/ Speech 2

    Week 3: A visit and guided tour to the old Parliament of Ireland building (Bank of Ireland) and a guided tour of Leinster House Revising/ Using English effectively/ How to effectively deliver your speech/ Body language/ Verbal and nonverbal communications skills/ Speech 3

    Week 4: Adapting and delivering/ Effective usage of presentation aids/ Types of speeches overview/ Informative speaking explored/ Principles of persuasive speaking/ Persuasive strategies/ Speaking on special occasions/ Small and large group speaking/ Speech 4/ Final test

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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