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Persuasive Communication

Course registration will be available for this course once it is scheduled.

Course Description

This course introduces students to the art of public speaking. Learn to speak with confidence, and to create and deliver engaging presentations. In Persuasive Communication, you will develop the communication skills necessary for success in college, and beyond.

Persuasive Communication combines the practice of public speaking with a theoretical exploration of what makes communication effective. Over the course of two weeks, students will plan, practice and deliver several short speeches. Students will improve and refine their communication skills by learning to incorporate feedback on their presentations from the instructor and members of the class. The practice of public speaking will be paired with discussions about delivery styles, the key functions of rhetoric, and research on effective communication from the field of social psychology.

We will begin by focusing on essential elements of delivery, such as posture, gesture, tone, pacing, and eye contact. We will then move on to an investigation of the art of persuasion. You will learn how to grab an audience's attention, effectively organize a speech, integrate sensorial aids such as PowerPoint, and craft an argument using appeals to logos, ethos, and pathos. You will also become effective critics of public discourse by watching and analyzing a variety of speeches, from Ted Talks to political speeches to everyday communication that occurs inside and outside of the classroom.

By the end of the course, students will develop the skills and confidence necessary to be effective public speakers and critics of public discourse.

Prerequisites: This course is open to all students who are interested in communication and want to improve their public speaking skills.