Public Speaking Syllabus for 2021-2022
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Instructor Information

Office Location

Moore County Campus, Rm. 150

Office Hours

On campus: Thursday@11:30 am - 4:00 pm

Also, 30 minutes before class in the Blackboard Classroom.

Video conference available by appointment

Course Information

COVID-19 Protocols

Recording Policy

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SPCH-1315-021 Public Speaking


Course Description

Application of communication theory and practice to the public speaking context, with emphasis on audience analysis, speaker delivery, ethics of communication, cultural diversity and speech organizational techniques to develop students' speaking abilities, as well as ability to effectively evaluate oral presentations.

Student ResourcesStudent Resources Website

Department Expectations

Occupational License Disclaimer

Notice to Students enrolled in an educational program for preparation of issuance of certain occupational licenses:

Students enrolled in an educational program in preparation for obtaining certain occupational licenses are potentially ineligible for such license if the student has been convicted of an offense. For further information, please contact:

Melodie Graves
Justice Involved Advocate
Student Service Center 117
Make appointment at

You can also contact the Legal Clinic, or the faculty member in charge of the educational program that you seek to enroll in. The further information you will receive will include notification to you of your right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the licensing authority in order to clarify your particular situation.


(3 sem hrs; 3 lec)

Class Type

Tech Supported

Syllabus Information


A Speaker’s Guidebook, 7th edition by O'Hair, Stewart, & Rubenstein ISBN: 978-1-319-05941-5


  • Textbook
  • You must have regular access to a computer/with camera & microphone for this course.

Student Performance

Learning Objective



Demonstrate an understanding of the foundation models of communication.

Critical Thinking

Assessed through quiz questions

Apply elements of audience analysis

Critical Thinking

Assessed through informative and persuasive speeches and audience analysis survey

Demonstrate ethical speaking and listening skills by analyzing presentations for evidence and logic.

Communication (written)/Critical Thinking

Assessed through two, 2-page essays

Research, develop, and deliver extemporaneous speeches with effective verbal and nonverbal techniques.

Personal Responsibility

Assessed through informative and persuasive speeches and Persuasive Group Work assignment

Demonstrate effective usage of technology when researching and/or presenting speeches.

Communication (visual)

Assessed through Prezi, PowerPoint or Google Slides presentations prepared by students for introduction and Persuasive Group Work assignment

Identify how culture, ethnicity, and gender influence communication.

Team Work

Assessed through Persuasive Group Work assignment

Develop proficiency in presenting a variety of speeches as an individual or group (e.g. narrative, informative, or persuasive).

Communication (written/visual)/Critical Thinking

Assessed through written outlines and public performances of three speeches.

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Log in using the AC Connect Portal

In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

Speech Performance Days

  1. If you arrive late to class, do not enter while someone is giving a speech.  Wait outside the classroom door until you are sure the speech is finished before you enter.
  2. Please turn off cell phone ringers before entering the classroom.
  3. Students will be required to dress appropriately on presentation days. For example, do not show up in a baseball cap or a slouchy knit cap, chewing gum, or wearing your sweaty workout clothes if you are presenting a speech.
  4. Students will act respectfully to one another, meaning you need to pay attention to the presenter rather than doing other homework or looking out the window.
  5. Students will be good listeners while others are giving speeches.
  6. Do not come in and expect to give your speech and leave.  I will take off participation points if you leave before class is officially over.  I take roll at the beginning and ending of each meeting.
  7. I will record each student’s speech presentation.  I will use it to assist me in grading, as well as, help you learn. 

Regular Class Days

  1. No administrative withdraws will be initiated by the instructor.
  2. Students are expected to participate in each day of class.  Participation for the sake of this class is reading the required readings before class, coming prepared to add to conversations about the ideas presented in the required readings, preparing for in-class activities, working with groups, etc.  There are some days where students must have completed homework prior to class.  Students who do not complete the requirement will be allowed to stay in class, but will not have their attendance counted toward final exam exemption.
  3. Students will use American Psychological Association's (APA) citation style.  For a detailed look at this style, please reference the Amarillo College Library’s APA page, Purdue's OWL page, the Washington State University Library APA Quick guide, or the APA's Style Resources page.
  4. Students may not use any type of social media within the classroom.  Students may not record or live-broadcast any portion of the class without the consent of the faculty member and a unanimous vote of all class members present.
  5. Students are expected to contribute to the overall classroom-learning environment.  Students who disrupt the environment will be asked to leave and will be required to meet with the faculty member during a scheduled appointment during office hours.  During the meeting, the faculty and student will develop a plan for success.  If a student continues the disruptive behavior, s/he will be reported to the Vice President of Student Affairs.
  6. Students should not start packing up their belongings until the class has been released by the faculty member.  Doing so disrupts the learning of others and isn't respectful of their time, effort and energy.
  7. Students are expected to take notes.  My lecture style is based on conversations; however, students must take notes on the conversations to help develop meaning from the material covered.
  8. If you need to use the restroom, please, make yourself comfortable.  However, excessive restroom breaks may require a note from a medical professional.


Students are expected to have read assigned chapters BEFORE each class begins.  This makes class discussions more interesting and increases the opportunity for activities that demonstrate theories.  This is a tool we can use to show our respect for ourselves and classmates.  Students are encouraged, but not required to complete a handwritten “passport” with pertinent information from each unit to be turned in before the discussion begins.  Passport information can be organized using or typical note-taking format.  Students may earn one “passport point” each Monday.  Passports will be reviewed and returned to students that week.  For each “passport point,” students will earn an extra point on their final exam.  A total of five "passport points" are available.


Throughout the course, citing sources is critical.  In public speaking, verbal citations are necessary.  Students often think if they cite the source on their visual aid it counts as citing the source.  This is not true.  Students must cite their sources verbally during the course of their speeches.  To learn how to do this, please review the document included in Week 3 “How To Cite a Source in your Speech” for guidance.  A student may also review the speeches in their textbook to learn more.  In short, sources must be cited by saying the author’s name, when and where the information was published, and where the information was found.  The Amarillo College Library has a LibGuide specifically written for APA citation style.


Speeches are to be delivered on the assigned day.  Speakers who are absent on the assigned speaking day will receive a zero unless prior arrangements are made with the instructor.  Prior arrangements must be made at least three hours before class starts.  Medical excuses require documentation.  Speaking order is determined by a random selection process and is posted in an announcement at the beginning of the week.


Throughout the course of the term, I have invited several individuals to come into our classroom to talk about how they use communication or about how it is used in their profession.  Here are the guidelines I expect us to adhere to prior to and during our guest’s time with us.

  1. Prior to our guest coming to class, I will give you a biography of the guest.  Based on their information, and the information located on pages 139-141, create a list of questions you are interested in knowing more about.
  2. Everyone is expected to have three prepared (written) questions for each speaker.  We will have limited class time to work on these, so please plan on spending some of your own time outside of class working on these.
  3. When our guest is in class with us, please use their time wisely.  It isn’t fun to be a speaker who has made time to be somewhere to speak to students when they don’t have any questions or want to have a conversation with you.  It sucks.  It’s rude.  Do your homework (Step #2).
  4. Treat our guests with the utmost respect.  Period.

Grading Criteria

Grading Criteria: It is the student’s responsibility to complete all assigned tasks by the specified due date. Individual assignments are evaluated by the instructor. Students are expected to complete all requirements with no less than 75% accuracy. Incomplete assignments, analyses, participation attendance concerns will be reported to specific department chairs, division chairs, and Associate Vice President of Instruction.


Letter grades will be assigned on the following basis:












59 and below

I do not assign or accept extra credit work in this course.

No administrative withdrawals will be initiated by the instructor. It is each student’s responsibility to drop a class or withdraw from school in the event he/she decides to quit attending class. To withdraw from the course, you must request a form from me.


In order to succeed in this class you have to actively attend and participate, in-person, using BLACKBOARD COLLABORATE

Actively attending class means being on time, and vocal in the class, as well as, participating in the class activities.  I will do my best to help you keep engaged in the course.  Together we can make it a reality!

Courses require all students to come to class prepared to participate in discussions, activities, and lectures.  It's critical that our time together is spent as economically as possible. Please note, students who do not actively participate will not receive attendance credit for the day.  

  • STUDENTS ARE RESPONSIBLE to log on to their class .It is the student’s responsibility to access content folder, with each weeks: Assignments, Critiques, Discussions Forums, Participation questions and Journals, according to the course calendar. Students are expected to access the online course every day to complete all requirements.
  • ATTENDANCE POLICY: Attendance,in class or online is CRITICAL for your success in this course. Please note, that under normal circumstances, Amarillo College allows only 2 absences for any reason, with the consequences of missing additional classes to be determined at the discretion of the instructor.
  • Student must LOG ON to computer before Census date: 03/28/2022(by noon)
  • Student demonstrated participation in class
  • Student engage in an academically related activity such as:
    • Contribution to an online discussion or
    • Initiated contact with a faculty member to ask a course related question
  • Final Date to Withdraw from Course without a Failing Grade: 05/03/2022


Week Month Day Activity/Assignment Reading Assignment
1 MARCH 22 Introduction/ Syllabus/Lecture           Part 1: The Visual World: Understanding the Art You See
TIMELINE PROJECT Chapter 1. Discovering a World of Art
Pre-Historic:  40,000 BC – 4,000 BC Chapter 2: Developing Visual Literacy
  Part 2: The Formal Element and Their Design
2 29 Lecture/Power Point  Describing the Art you See
Egyptian: 3,00 – 0, Ancient Greek: 1,200 BC – 300 BC, Roman: 3,000 BC – 500 AD Chapter 4: Shape & Space
DISCUSSION Chapter 5: Light & Color
EXAM : PART 1 Chapter 6: Texture, Time & Motion
  Chapter 7. The Principles of Design
  Part 3: The Fine Arts Media:
3 APRIL 5 Lecture/Power Point  Chapter 8: Drawing
TIMELINE PROJECT Chapter 9: Painting
Early Middle Ages: 500- 1100, Late Middle Ages: 1100-1400,  Chapter 10: Printmaking
DISCUSSION Chapter 11:  Photography and Time-Based Media
  Part 3: The Fine Arts Media: Learning How Art is Made
4 12 Lecture/Power Point  Chapter 12: Sculpture
TIMELINE PROJECT Chapter13: The Craft Media
Early Renaissance: 1400-1480, High Renaissance: 1480-1520, Late Renaissance: 1520 - 1600 Chapter 14: Architecture
DISCUSSION Chapter 15:  The Design Profession
  Part 4: The Visual Record Placing the Arts in Historical Context
5 19 TIMELINE PROJECT Chapter 16:  The Ancient World
Baroque: 1600 – 1700, Rococo: 1700 – 1800, Romance: 1800-1870 Chapter17: The Age of Faith
DISCUSSION Chapter 18: The Renaissance through the Baroque
EXAM: PART 3 Chapter 19:  The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
  Chapter 20: From 1900 to Present
6 26 Lecture/Discussion  
TIMELINE PROJECT Part 5: The Themes of Art Seeing Continuity and Change over Time
Impressionism: 1870 -1890, Post Impressionism: 1890 - 1920 Chapter 21: Spiritual Belief
EXAM: 4 Chapter 22:  The Cycle of Life
  Chapter 23:  Love and Sex
MAY 3 LAST DAY TO WITHDRAW Chapter 24: The Body, gender and Identity
  Chapter 25: The Individual and Cultural Identity
7 MAY 10 Lecture/Discussion Chapter 26:  Power
TIMELINE PROJECT Chapter 27:  Science, Technology and the Environment
Modern: 1920- 2014  
8 10 Final Timeline Presentation  

Additional Information

Computer files

Students will be required to submit all written documents (outlines, papers, assignments, etc.) as Portable Digital Files (.pdf). 

If you earned an "A":

  1. Excellent knowledge of basic communication terms, principles and superior application through analysis of contexts.
  2. Excels in preparing and presenting informative and persuasive speeches.
  3. Exhibits excellent ability to apply communication principles and theory to achieve best results for clients.
  4. Superior research ability to find, identify and effectively use supporting materials in verbal and written communication.  
  5. Demonstrates leadership in group environments, showing courtesy and respect for clients and co-workers.
If you earned a "B":
  1. The ability of and ability to apply basic communication terms, principles through analysis of contexts.
  2. Ability to prepare and present informative and persuasive speeches.
  3. Ability to apply communication principles and theory to achieve best results for clients.
  4. Ability research ability to find, identify and effectively use supporting materials in verbal and written communication.  
  5. Participates leadership in group environments, showing courtesy and respect for clients and co-workers.
If you earned a "C":
  1. Knowledge of basic communication terms, principles, and application through analysis of contexts.
  2. Knowledge of how to prepare and present informative and persuasive speeches.
  3. Knowledge of applying communication principles and theory to achieve best results for clients.
  4. Knowledge of research ability to find, identify and effectively use supporting materials in verbal and written communication.  
  5. Experience with working in group environments, with a focus on showing courtesy and respect for clients and co-workers.

Syllabus Created on:

01/07/22 2:58 PM

Last Edited on:

03/23/22 10:12 AM