COURSE CODE & TITLE

COCR 1034: Public Speaking and Voice Training: Finding a More Confident You

NO. OF CREDITS: Three (3)
LEVEL: One (1)
PREREQUISITES: Open to all Students from all Faculties except Communication Studies Majors and Minors (of the Faculty of Humanities and Education). No pre-requisites are required to undertake this course.

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course will train the student to give effective presentations in the classroom and in other professional circumstances. It also focuses on instilling and developing confidence in the student as a speaker both in public and private interactions. The student will also receive training that will assist in refining and improving his or her voice – this will be particularly centred on correct pronunciation, projection, diction, as well as control of tone and pitch. Finally, the student will learn and practice effective presentation techniques that can improve the quality of his or her performance in a wide variety of speaking situations.

Course assessment will include a mix of in-course assignments, presentations and workshops which will be conducted throughout the semester. In-course assessments sum to 100% of the students’ final grade and will result in the student either obtaining a pass / fail on final completion of all given assessments.

 

COURSE RATIONALE

Very many job opportunities across numerous industries and disciplines now require strong oral communication skills as an indispensable part of the core competencies expected of any university graduate. Furthermore, in order to function, succeed, and excel at one’s career, a professional is now expected to embody strong oral communications skills. To add to this, the UWI Strategic Plan outlines Key Attributes of the distinctive UWI Graduate and identifies being an effective communicator as a critical competency. “Public Speaking and Voice Training” is a course that is designed to equip the student with the skills and training that will enhance his/her confidence and ability as a professional. This course will also strengthen the student’s communication skills and will assist the student to speak professionally with both small and large audiences.

Content

Topics to be covered in this course include:

  • Developing your best professional voice: confidence, pronunciation, projection, and diction
  • Organizing your content when speaking publicly and privately
  • Overcoming speech apprehension through repeated practice
  • Analysing your audience to shape your presentation’s messages
  • Speaking to inform audiences
  • Speaking to persuade audiences
  • Using your voice to effectively convey your messages
  • Avoiding common grammatical errors while speaking
  • Using different communication perspectives to be an empathetic speaker and listener
  • Communicating through nonverbal behaviour
  • Audience Analysis
  • Using visual aids effectively

 

Goals/Aims

The goal of this course is to ensure that each student will learn the essentials of effective public speaking, and will develop a strong professional/speaking voice.

 

This course aims to:

  • Give students as much practical speaking experience as possible.
  • Empower students with speech confidence.
  • Reduce communication apprehension.
  • Equip students with speech outlining, topic selection, and delivery skills for the wide array of public speaking needs that they will have in their careers and in their personal circumstances.
  • Enable students to better critically analyse and evaluate their own and others’ speeches.
  • Help students develop strong listening skills and behaviours which will improve their ability as communicators and also assist them in being able to assimilate information quickly and sustainably.
  • Better develop persuasion, group communication, and interpersonal skills in students.
  • Assist students in integrating “best practice” into their public speaking performances.

 

General Objectives

This course will focus on developing the necessary skills that are fundamental to public speaking and to cultivating a professional voice. From the first day of the class, students are expected to begin their journey into better communication skills in an effort to reach the objectives of the course. The general objectives of this course are to:

  • Manage anxiety due to public speaking
  • Conduct simple audience analyses
  • Synthesise and deliver a variety of oral presentations
  • Analyse and evaluate oral presentations
  • Speak with greater confidence and style
  • Speak grammatically correct English without sounding contrived
  • Develop greater control of one’s voice
  • Prepare Speech outlines

 

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate competencies in speaking and listening
  • Produce speech with improved grammatical accuracy
  • Speak with improved fluency
  • Distinguish between correct and incorrect vocabulary usage
  • Outline the main ideas of a speech compellingly
  • Compare multiple perspectives and develop a sense of broad-mindedness
  • Assess the needs and inclinations of different audiences
  • Utilize appropriate speech strategies as it relates to audience composition
  • Illustrate and defend a point of view
  • Handle objections with appropriate language, professionalism, and transitions
  • Offer valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work of others in a collaborative and constructive manner
  • Evaluate the construction of effective stories, public speeches, and debates
  • Present with confidence, poise and passion

 

Course Assessment

Assessments will be based on a student’s final mark from the components below.

Component

 

% Final Grade

 

Description

 

In-course

Assignments

100%

 

Six to eight (6 – 8) simulated public speaking and voice assignments

 

Practice Assignments

 

0%

 

2 Practice exercises which are not marked, but that are very valuable for orienting the student to the course

 

 

Assignments

  • In-course assignments (100%): Six to eight (6 – 8) simulated public speaking and voice assignments
  • Practice assignments: The first two presentations are practice exercises and will not count towards your final grade.

 

Course Evaluation and Feedback

  • Feedback on the course will be obtained informally from students on an ongoing basis by regular interactions and meetings among students, tutors and the Course Coordinator in lecture sessions and, particularly, in tutorials.
  • Formal evaluation of the entire course will be accomplished via a UWI Course Evaluation questionnaire administered anonymously and confidentially at the end of the semester.
  • All feedback will be considered on an on-going basis and corrective action or adjustments made or discussed with students promptly or incorporated the next time the course is delivered.

 

Teaching Methods

Credits:  3

Lectures: 1 hour of lecture time/week

Tutorials: 2 hours of tutorial or workshop time/week

 

  • Lectures: Lectures will provide valuable synthesis and evaluation of the growing body of available information, while also presenting and studying examples of best practice. Lectures will also prioritise content that is relevant to course assessment. Lectures will generally be ‘flipped’ i.e. students are expected to use online resources to read and prepare in advance of the lecture (preparation will also include viewing videos of speech performances online in advance of class) so that the session can focus on questions, clarification, analysis, expansion and discussion.
  • Tutorials: The two hour tutorial session will be used to give students a weekly opportunity to train in both public speaking and voice refinement. The tutorials will be where students are given frequent and detailed feedback regarding their performances. Course work assignments will also be executed in tutorial. Tutorials will utilize an interactive format using a variety of collaborative active learning techniques.
  • myeLearning: The online teaching tool, myeLearning, will be used during this course for
    • communication among students and staff (email, discussions)
    • official posting of important notices (coursework assessment notices, instructions, and in-course results)
    • provision of course details, lecture notes, practical guides, tutorial briefings
    • provision of recommended resource materials and links to resources on specific websites
    • self-test quizzes, questionnaires, surveys

 

Instructors

Name: Roddy Batchasingh

Office Address and Phone: Room 307, FHE Building;

Email: Roddy.Batchasingh@sta.uwi.edu  

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