Advanced Public Speaking

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Course Code
CMNS 2125
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This highly experiential course builds on skills and concepts acquired in Communications 1125: Public Speaking to give advanced study and practice in preparing and delivering extemporaneous and scripted speeches. One of the primary focuses of this course is to connect public speaking to the workplace and to venues outside of the classroom for effective presentations. Students study advanced theoretical principles of public speaking and gain experience in preparing, delivering, and evaluating public discourse. Students also learn strategies for preparing and managing the question and answer period.
Course Content

1. What Theories Equip Us to Develop and Deliver an Effective Speech?

  • uncertainty reduction theory
  • anxiety and uncertainty management theory
  • social judgment theory

2. What Should the Speaker Know About the Audience?

  • finding basic information: demographics and psychographics
  • moving beyond the basics:
    • splintered or unified group
    • homogeneous or mixed role and status
    • naive or sophisticated knowledge base
    • culturally similar or dissimilar

3. How Can Speakers Best Use Information About Audiences to Enhance Presentations?

  • tailoring the purpose
  • adapting language and imagery:
    • cultural exclusion and inclusive language
  • adapting to audience mood, dynamics and reaction during the speech
  • managing anxiety associated with audience dynamics:
    •  theories of speech apprehension
  • applying adult education principles

4. What Are Some Essential Responsibilities of a Speech Writer?

  • researching the topic: finding accurate, current, reliable and credible information
  • researching opposing views
  • composing speeches for others
    • learning about the speaker
    • using language characteristic of the speaker(s)
    • creating a user-friendly speech document
    • providing cues

5. What Elements Create a Persuasive Message?

  • identifying kinds of persuasive speeches
  • selecting patterns for organizing persuasive speeches
  • choosing persuasive tools:
    • logos: using sound argument
      • deduction and induction
      • fallacies in reasoning
      • Toulmin model
    • pathos: using psychological appeal
    • ethos: building intrinsic and extrinsic credibility
  • considerations for using persuasive tools:
    • using repetition
    • being aware of timing
    • integrating persuasive tools

6. What Are the Elements of Effective Persuasive Delivery?

  • voice:
    • varying rate, pitch, tone, pause and emphasis
  • nonverbals:
    • using facial expressions, gestures, body orientation, eye contact, space
  • presentation aids:
    • ensuring effective use of equipment
  • practice:
    • creating an appropriate practice regime
  • venue:
    • maximizing the positives and managing the negatives

7. How Can Speakers Best Respond to Hostile, Neutral and Friendly Audiences?

  • responding to a hostile audience:
    • acknowledging the hostility
    • building credibility
    • dealing with overt hostility
  • responding to a neutral audience:
    • acknowledging multiple perspectives
    • providing convincing evidence
  • responding to a friendly audience:
    • affirming shared values

 8. How Can Speakers Prepare for and Manage the Question and Answer Period?

  • preparing for the question and answer period:
    • identifying goals
    • anticipating questions
    • formulating responses
    • allocating sufficient time
  • managing the question and answer period:
    • informing the audience of the format
    • ensuring audience attention
    • dealing with inappropriate or incoherent questions
  • ending the question and answer period:
    • giving notice of closure
    • ending appropriately

9. What Principles of Graphic Design Contribute to Effective Presentation Aids?

  • using images, space, text and colour
  • creating contrast and balance
  • ensuring simplicity 

10. What Technology Can Enhance the Presentation?

  • using established technology:
    • slides and videotape
    • cloud storage
    • computer software, e.g. Powerpoint & Prezi
    • video conference calls
    • 3D Printing (available at the Douglas College library)
  • considering newer apps:
    • Dropbox
    • Keynote

11. How Can Presenters Prepare and Deliver Effective Group Presentations?

  • identifying types of group presentations
  • recognizing advantages and disadvantages of working in groups
  • ensuring participation:
    • acknowledging interests and area of expertise
  • coordinating tasks and responsibilities
  • avoiding groupthink
  • using time effectively
  • managing participation in the question and answer period and evaluating group presentation
  • working efficiently in virtual groups using free services like Skype, Google Slides, Zoom, etc.

12. How Can Presenters be Prepared for Various Speaking Situations?

  • Identifying the difference in processes for:
    • narratives
    • speeches about speeches
    • on-camera speeches
    • manuscript speeches
    • Ted Talks

13. How Can Presenters Prepare and Deliver Effective Online Presentations?

  • identifying types of online presentations: Facebook live events, podcasts, webinars, conference calls, etc.
  • identifying reasons more and more consumers, investors, and business professionals are communicating through electronic media platforms in the 21st century.
  • recognizing advantages and disadvantages of virtual presentations.
  • helping audience to remain engaged.
  • maintaining vocal variety so that voice doesn’t seem to be reading from a script.
  • ensuring engagement:
    • acknowledging interests and area of expertise
  • using time effectively in online presentations.
  • managing participation in live events.
  • ending video or podcast so that audience responds and takes action.
Learning Activities

This experiential course requires active participation. Students work alone and with peers to prepare, deliver and evaluate professional presentations. They are expected to use appropriate tools, including presentation software, video recordings and graphic display to augment their visual and audio aids.  Presentations will be recorded (using smart phones) for the purpose of informed self-evaluation.

Activities will include but are not limited to:

  • Lectures
  • Discussions
  • Group Activities
  • Online Work
  • Classroom Exercises
  • Taped Speeches/Reviews
  • Classroom Presentations
  • Public Presentations/Speeches
Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. One example of an evaluation scheme is as follows:

Persuasive speech
  • Presentation Aids
  • Q&A Period
  • Self-evaluation


Group Presentation
  • Presentation Aids
  • Q&A Period
  • Analysis
Analysis of Speech (e.g., TED Talk)
  • Presentation Aids
  • Q&A Period
  • Self-evaluation
Narrative (Storytelling)
  • Presentation Aids
  • Emotional Connection
  • Expert Use of Rhetorical Devices
  • Self-evaluation
Genre Choice (Briefings, civic persuative appeals, crisis speeches, micro-speeches, etc.) 
  • Presentation Aids
  • Adherence to appropriate process
Peer Evaluation   5-10%
Attendance and Professionalism   5-10%
Total   100%
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the successful student will be able to:


  • Explain the importance of presentation skills in society and the workplace.
  • Discuss the need for speaking as a profession and in professional contexts.
  • Explain the practice of ethical public communication.
  • Develop an understanding of how public speaking may apply to students' career goals.
  • Understand the role of culture in public speaking.
  • Describe and evaluate one’s own speeches and the speeches of others.
  • Account for the effects of logos, pathos and ethos in speeches.
  • Describe and differentiate between the speaking process for various speech types like eulogies, civic persuasive appeals, crisis speeches, proposals, briefings, etc.


  • Demonstrate knowledge, confidence, verbal and non-verbal skills in speaking.
  • Show an understanding of ethical responsibilities in choosing, researching and presenting speeches for the audience and the occasion.
  • Demonstrate effective outlining and critical thinking skills through evidence and reasoning.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of speeches through constructive critiquing.
  • Demonstrate the ability to collect, analyze and use information to develop and adapt messages for specific audiences, purposes and settings.
  • Collect pertinent demographic, situational, behavioural and psychographic information about the audience.
  • Apply a variety of tools to influence the audience.
  • Apply a variety of rhetorical styles to the same speech topic.
  • Experiment with variations of voice and non-verbal behavior.
  • Adapt the purpose of the speech to appropriately respond to hostile, neutral, or friendly audiences.
  • Demonstrate a higher level of delivery skills using voice and body to fine-tune their platform skills.
  • Prepare for and effectively maneuver the question and answer period.
  • Engage in peer-to-peer speech coaching.
  • Work effectively with others to prepare and deliver a group presentation.


  • Demonstrate an understanding of and appreciation for diversity in thought and respect for others.
  • Demonstrate effective listening skills to other speeches through reflective critiquing.
  • Appreciate the importance of thoroughly researching a topic.
  • Acknowledge the special considerations required in analyzing a speech done by another speaker.
  • Recognize the importance of proficiency in using presentation aid equipment.
  • Appreciate the enhancing effects of high technical options in presentation aids.
Textbook Materials

Examples of suitable texts/materials include:

  • Advanced Public Speaking: A Leader’s Guide, 2nd edition. Pearson, 2017 by Hostetler, Michael J. and Kahl, Mary L.
  • Mastering Public Speaking, 9th Edition, Pearson 2015, by George L. Grice and John F. Skinner.
  • Advanced Public Speaking: Dynamics and Techniques, 2015, Xlibris Corp., by Ruth Livingston, Ph. D.
  • Smartphone



Courses listed here must be completed prior to this course:


No corequisite courses.


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for CMNS 2125
Alexander College (ALEX) ALEX CMNS 2XX (3)
Athabasca University (AU) AU COMM 2XX (3)
Coast Mountain College (CMTN) CMTN ENGL 141 (3)
College of New Caledonia (CNC) CNC ENGL 2XX (3)
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR COMC 2XX (3)
Columbia College (COLU) COLU GENE 1st (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU CMNS 1120 (3)
LaSalle College Vancouver (LCV) DOUG CMNS 2115 (3) & DOUG CMNS 2125 (3) = LCV COM 201 (3)
North Island College (NIC) No credit
Okanagan College (OC) No credit
Simon Fraser University (SFU) No credit
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU SPEE 2500 (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU MCOM 281 (3)
University Canada West (UCW) UCW COMM 2XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) No credit
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) No credit
University of Northern BC (UNBC) DOUG CMNS 2115 (3) & DOUG CMNS 2125 (3) = UNBC COMM 200 (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV CMNS 3XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC THEA 150 (1.5)
Vancouver Community College (VCC) DOUG CMNS 2115 (3) & DOUG CMNS 2125 (3) = VCC UNSP 1XXX (3)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU ENGL 208 (3)
Yorkville University (YVU) YVU GES 2XXX (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023