This course provides instruction and experience in preparation and delivery of speeches within a public setting and group discussion. Emphasis is on research, preparation, delivery, and evaluation of informative, persuasive, and special occasion public speaking. Upon completion, students should be able to prepare and deliver well-organized speeches and participate in group discussion with appropriate audiovisual support.


This course focuses on the theoretical principles of public speaking and provides advanced practical experience in the preparation, delivery, and evaluation of public discourse. Emphasis is performance-centered and includes presentations, selected readings, examinations and classroom exercises on a more advanced level. Upon completion, students should be able to prepare and deliver well-organized speeches to a variety of audiences.


Elliott, Stephen P.

Adjunct Assistant Professor in Communication
Part Time
B.A. (1981), Ambassador University; M.A. (1992), Western Kentucky University.
Subject Matter: 

Stephen Elliott attended Ambassador College campuses in Big Sandy, Texas and Pasadena, California earning a B.A. in Theology. He has served in the full-time field ministry of the Church of God since 1981. During that time he taught and directed Spokesman’s Clubs patterned after Toastmaster’s International. In 1992 he received an M.A. in Organizational Communication from Western Kentucky University at Bowling Green. He has traveled and lectured in Europe, Africa, the Philippines, Israel, Mexico, the Bahamas, and Canada. In addition, he has authored articles for various Church publications. Mr. and Mrs. Elliott have two married sons and five grandchildren.

Course Credit: 
Three (3) semester credit hours.
Instructional Objectives: 

On successful completion of this course, a student should be able to:

  1. Choose suitable topics for public speaking;
  2. Understand just how much poor grammar, diction, regional colloquialisms, slang, and jargon can hinder effective public speaking;
  3. Develop confidence in public speaking;
  4. Comprehend the importance of understanding the audience when preparing and delivering public speeches;
  5. Differentiate between speech delivery methods designed for different audiences;
  6. Organize, develop, and support a chosen topic with appropriate sources;
  7. Deliver a speech within a specified amount of time;
  8. Understand the importance of persuasion in speech development and delivery; and
  9. Be able to effectively assess one’s own and others’ speech delivery and effectiveness.
Required Texts: 

Beebe, S & Beebe, S. Public Speaking: An Audience-Centered Approach. 8th ed. Allyn & Bacon, 2011. ISBN  978-0205784622

The Holy Bible. (most any authorized or traditional translations will work – KJV, NKJV, NIV, RSV, NRSV)

Additional Readings: 

Additional readings will periodically come from church literature. The appropriate web links will be designated on the course website.


Course lectures will take the format of both video and audio. Students should review course lectures before scheduled course meetings. Online meetings will be held through this course, so your instructor will work with enrolled students to establish workable online conference times that work best for all the students, based on their home countries and time zones.

VIDEO CONFERENCE PROGRAM TO BE USED: - download and install the free program.

ADDITIONAL LISTENING ASSIGNMENTS: From time to time, as part of your weekly assignments, you will be asked to review a sermon or telecast on a related subject. These listening assignments can be completed completely online.

Course Calendar: 
Week Topics
1-2 Lesson 1:  Overview of Public Speaking & Knowing Your Audience
3-4 Lesson 2:   Speaking Ethics, Learning to Listen, Analyzing Your Audience
5-6 Lesson 3:  Basic Speech Development, Organization, Introductory and Concluding Remarks
7-8 Lesson 4: Outlining and Editing, Using Language & Delivery
  Mid-Term Exam
9-10 Lesson 5: Informing Your Audience and Using Presentation Aids
11-12 Lesson 6: Supporting Material
13-14 Lesson 7: Using Persuasion in Speaking
15-16 Course Completion Assignments
  Final Exam
Course Requirements: 
  1. Due dates and extensions: Submit assignments on or before the date due.  No late or make-up assignments will be allowed except for extreme circumstances (permission of instructor is necessary).
  2. Icebreaker assignment: All students are required to post a brief Icebreaker biography to the forum by the end of the first week of class. This will give your fellow students an idea of who else is taking the course. In this biography, cover who you are, where you live, where you grew up, Church background, why you chose to take this course, and any other relevant information. Try to limit the biography to one typed, single-spaced page or less (20 points).
  3. Discussion forums. Students are required to post ONE different discussion post for each chapter specified (total of 6). The discussion posts will be a reaction to the chapter and one of the corresponding questions. A “rubric” provided will be used for students to “grade themselves” on their participation in the discussion forum at the end of the semester (30 points total). Forum posts are always due by Friday. 
  4. Speeches You will be required to prepare and deliver four different speeches this semester (100 points each). Each speech is designed to build on the previous one and to help you incrementally build your skills. Each speech should take 5-6 minutes, with a 30 second grace period. In order to complete the speech on time, students should practice their speech before delivering it and use a time piece (watch) when speaking. We will use Zoom video conferencing where possible to both give and evaluate the speeches. If a student is  not able to do so for technical or jurisdictional reasons, speeches may be posted on YouTube for all the class to view and evaluate. And if that is not possible they can be audio recorded and sent to my personal email address. The following are your speech assignments: 
    • Speech 1 - Icebreaker: This speech is designed for you to tell your audience about you! It is also designed to help you develop some comfort in speaking to the audience. See the specific directions on the “Handout” listed under Lesson 4 on the course website for more detail on how to develop this speech. As you develop this speech, keep your audience in mind. This speech should not be a “laundry list” of everything that has ever happened to you. Instead, it should briefly touch on several aspects of your life that really helped form you into the person you have become. Think about sharing situations that your audience will appreciate and find interesting and useful as you help them “get to know” you.
    • Speech 2 - Descriptive: This speech is designed to get you thinking about the detail of your descriptions and diction. Part of the job of speakers is to teach and make their material not only informative, but also “real” to their audience. Making material “real” requires accurate and colorful description. In this speech you should have an overall purpose, but in achieving that purpose, you should make special effort to add detail to your descriptions – detail that makes your descriptions “come alive.” Choose a topic and content that lend themselves to deep and colorful description. Use chapter 12 of the textbook to help you.
    • Speech 3 - Informative/Factual: Credibility of a speaker is essential if you want your audience to believe what you are saying. A very important way to lend credibility to your speech is to use accurate sources to validate your claims. This is a two-fold challenge. First, you need to articulate a source that supports your claims. Often this takes the form of “quoting” from a source. In citing or quoting from a source, clearly articulating the source is important. For example, be sure to state the author, the title of the publication, the publication year, and the page number when providing a direct quote (e.g.- “Dr. Roderick Meredith made that statement on page five of the January-February 2009 Living Church News”). Second, you must be sure to use “credible” sources. If you cite a source that your audience does not respect, you will hurt your own credibility. Additionally, it is important to cite “primary” sources. For example, do not cite a quote from the London Telegraph that we quote in the Tomorrow’s World magazine. Cite the London Telegraph quote directly. This Informative/Factual speech should use at least four (4) references to support your point. See chapters 7, 8 & 15 in your textbook for additional detail and guidance in preparing this speech.
    • Speech 4 - Persuasive: This speech should clearly describe something that you value very much, and aim to persuade your audience to take a specific action. In it, you should attempt to use descriptions, factual information, and also emotion to persuade your audience to understand how deeply you value this thing. Persuasive speeches use emotion carefully in order to “win over” an audience or to motivate them to act in a certain way. It is critical to pick a topic and an action that you can completely get behind and that you personally feel is valuable to your audience. Use chapters 16 & 17 to help you identify some “persuasive strategies” that you can employ in your speech delivery.
  5. Speech self-evaluations: Self-evaluation or self-critique is one of the most powerful tools used by highly effective speakers. For each speech you complete, you also need to turn in a brief critique. In this critique, you need to review and address the criteria outlined below. Additionally, you need to consider how well you met the criteria or expectations for the speech. After you give and “save” your speech, let is “rest” for a day. Then come back, “listen to it,” and evaluate yourself. With this assignment, note areas for future improvement, but also be sure to note your strengths and things you did well. That way, in future speeches, you can BUILD ON your strengths and modify your weaknesses. This write-up should accompany and be submitted along with your speech. It should only be a few paragraphs long. Pick two or three strengths of your speech and two or three areas for improvement (20 points each). The criteria for your “self evaluation” are as follows:
    1. Voice tone (is the voice mono-tone or appropriately varied?)
    2. Speech organization (does the organization and presentation of material make sense or is it confusing?)
    3. Interest catching (is the speech interesting or boring?)
    4. Appropriateness for the audience
    5. Overall effectiveness (was the speaker effective in getting his or her point across?)
    6. One or two areas to work on for future improvement
    7. Two or three strengths of the speech
  6. Peer speech evaluation exercises (25 points each): You will be required to evaluate the speeches of two different peer speeches during the semester.  (These brief exercises are designed to teach you to effectively, critically, and encouragingly learn to evaluate the effectiveness of a speech. To do this, you need to have the speech criteria at hand (as listed below). Additionally, your evaluation should follow the format: encourage and praise -> instruct -> encourage and praise. The rationale for peer speech evaluation is as follows:
    “…In concentrating on another’s speech you not only give him/her ideas on how to improve, but you also learn how to improve yourself. As you learn the essentials of a good speech you put it to double practice – to improve your speaking and to help your neighbor. This concentration on what makes for improvement in speaking promotes rapid growth. In showing the other person how easy it is for him/her to overcome his/her weaknesses, you discover how easily you can overcome your own. Progress is often surprising.

    Other invaluable knowledge and experience is gained from speech contents, speech preparation, analyzing materials to separate good from bad, considering how to best reach your audience and practicing ways to help others and receive help from others gracefully and with appreciation.” (slightly adapted from: Spokesman Club Manual [1989]. Worldwide Church of God).

    As you view and evaluate each speech, you should measure it against the following criteria:

    1. Voice tone (is the voice mono-tone or appropriately varied?)
    2. Speech organization (does the organization and presentation of material make sense or is it confusing?)
    3. Interest catching (is the speech interesting or boring?)
    4. Appropriateness for the audience
    5. Overall effectiveness (was the speaker effective in getting his or her point across?)
    6. One or two areas to work on for future improvement
    7. Two or three strengths of the speech
  7. Examinations: You will have both a Mid-Term and a Final Exam. Each exam is worth 100 points and will consist of multiple choice, short answer and short essay questions. Exams are open book, however, you should study ahead of time in order to minimize the amount of time it takes to complete the exam. The Mid-Term Exam is cumulative up to the point of the exam (the first half of the course). The Final Exam will be cumulative only from the point of the Mid-Term to the Final (the 2nd half of the course). No proctor is required.

A course grade will be determined based on the number of points a student has earned over the semester as follows:

Summary of Course Requirements Point Value   Letter Grade Total Points
Icebreaker 20   A 700 points or above (90%)
Discussion Forum Posts/Class Participation (6 different posts) 30   B 630-699 points (80%) 
Peer Speech Evaluations (25 points each) 50   C 567-629 points (70%) 
Speech Self-Evaluations (20 points each) 80   D 510-566 points (60%)
Speech 1 - Icebreaker 100   F 509 points or below
Speech 2 - Descriptive 100      
Speech 3 - Informative/Factual 100      
Speech 4 - Pursuasive 100      
Mid-Term Exam 100      
Final Exam 100      
Total 780      

Students With Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities have a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. Students having a disability requiring an accommodation should inform the instructor by email (on the “Course Info” page click on the instructor’s name and then select “Send Email”).

Technology Access
This course requires web access and the student has to have an established e-mail account. The Adobe Acrobat Reader is necessary to view documents that are PDF files. One can download the reader free at

Course Evaluation
Student input is welcome for improving this course. Making suggestions by e-mail is helpful. Our goal in this course is to facilitate the successful achievement of all instructional objectives by all students. At the end of the course students have the opportunity of assessing the course. We want to make e-learning courses as effective as we can. We may also ask some other questions concerning a student’s experience in distance learning to help us improve our program. We appreciate students letting us know how we can improve our products and services for them and other distance learners.

Withdrawing From or Dropping This Course
It is the responsibility of a student to drop a course if he or she cannot meet the requirements of the course. Any student who stops attending a course without officially withdrawing from it risks receiving a punitive grade for that course. Withdrawal requests may be conveyed in any manner to the course professor, Registrar, or Vice President of Academic Affairs. This action is sufficient for ensuring any refund owed you. Please note the following: If a student drops a course on or before the “Last day to withdraw from a course without a grade penalty” as published in the University Academic Calendar, even if his or her work is not of a passing grade, then a “W” is recorded. If a course is dropped after that date, but before the last 21 calendar days of the semester, then the instructor determines the grade. The faculty member will at this time record a grade of “W” if passing (not computed in GPA) or “WF” if failing (computed in GPA). Students who drop a course, yet remain in one or more other courses during the last 18 calendar days of the semester, will receive a grade of “WF.” Students who completely withdraw from the University at any time during the semester may be given a grade of “W” on all courses. If students do not initiate the withdrawal process, the instructor is required to initiate the administrative process and to record a grade of “W” or “WF” for the course depending on the date the faculty member drops the student from the course. Students who register for a course as an audit, but then withdraw will be assigned a grade of “W” for the course.