Public Speaking: Practice and Ethics Course

Public Speaking: Practice and Ethics

Public speaking in the twenty-first century is an art and a science that has developed over millennia. In a world that is bombarded by information, the skill set of public speaking is more important today than ever.

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Duration: Hours
Institution: Saylor Academy's
Type: Text
Price: Free

Course information


Public speaking in the twenty-first century is an art and a science that has developed over millennia. In a world that is bombarded by information, the skill set of public speaking is more important today than ever. According to an address given by Tony Karrer at the TechKnowledge 2009 Conference, the New York Times contains more information in one week than individuals in the 1800s would encounter in a lifetime. Currently, the amount of information available to people doubles every eighteen months and is expected to double weekly by 2015. In a world filled with so much information, knowing how to effectively organize and present one’s ideas through oral communication is paramount.

From audience analysis to giving a presentation, Stand Up, Speak Out: The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking will guide students through the speech-making process. We believe that it is important to focus on the practical process of speech making because we want this book to be a user-friendly guide to creating, researching, and presenting public speeches. While both classic and current academic research in public speaking will guide the book, we do not want to lose the focus of helping students become more seasoned and polished public speakers. We believe that a new textbook in public speaking should first, and foremost, be a practical book that helps students prepare and deliver a variety of different types of speeches.

In addition to practicality, we believe that it is important to focus on the ethics of public speaking from both a source’s and a receiver’s point of view. In 2006 Pearson, Child, Mattern, and Kahl examined the state of ethics in public speaking textbooks. Specifically, the researchers used the National Communication Association (NCA) Credo for Ethical Communication to guide their study of ethics in public speaking textbooks. Ultimately, the researchers focused on eight specific categories of public speaking ethics content areas: freedom of speech, honesty, plagiarism, ethical listening, ethical research, hate words, diversity, and codes of ethics. As a whole, the top ten public speaking books varied in their degrees of exposure to the various ethical issues. We believe that using the NCA Credo for Ethical Communication as the basis for discussing ethics within this book in addition to the latest research in ethics and communication will help students see how ethics can be applied to the public speaking context. The emphasis on ethics in communication is very important across the field, so a public speaking textbook that completely integrates ethical issues instead of sidelining them will be a welcome addition. All four of the coauthors on this text have conducted research on the topic of communication ethics and written about how ethics is important in every facet of our communicative lives.

Overall, we believe that the combination of practicality and ethics will present a new perspective on public speaking that will be welcomed by the field. We believe this book will be both intellectually stimulating and realistically applicable.


Jason S. Wrench

Jason S. Wrench (EdD, West Virginia University) is an associate professor in the Communication and Media department at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Dr. Wrench specializes in workplace learning and performance, or the intersection of instructional communication and organizational communication. His varied research interests include communibiology, computer-mediated communication, empirical research methods, humor, risk/crisis communication, and supervisor-subordinate interactions. Dr. Wrench regularly consults with individuals and organizations on workplace communication and as a professional speech coach for senior executives.

Anne Goding

Anne Goding (MS, Eastern Washington University) is a lecturer in the Communication and Media department at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Ms. Goding specializes in the intersections of intercultural communication, storytelling, and public communication. From 1981 to 1992 Ms. Goding worked as a teacher for the Medicine Chief of the Bear Tribe Medicine Society in Spokane, Washington. Ms. Goding taught outdoor summer programs for adults, which included Native American philosophy; ceremonial etiquette in native societies; earth rituals; traditional women’s studies emphasizing Native Americans; the Sacred Pipe emphasizing Ojibwe and Paiute-Arapaho traditions; the sweat lodge ceremony and its symbolism emphasizing Ojibwe tradition; and the Vision Quest, a traditional rite of passage for contemporary people. From 1986 to 1989, Ms. Goding also worked as codirector of Bear Tribe Publishing Company.

Danette Ifert Johnson

Danette Ifert Johnson is Professor of Communication Studies at Ithaca College. She previously taught at West Virginia Wesleyan College and Texas Tech University. Danette completed her undergraduate studies in history and speech communication at West Virginia Wesleyan College and earned an MA in educational psychology from West Virginia University and an MA and PhD in communication studies from Northwestern University.

Bernardo A. Attias

Bernardo Alexander Attias (PhD, University of Iowa, 1997) is department chair and professor of communication studies at California State University, Northridge, where he has taught since 1994. Dr. Attias teaches a variety of courses, including Rhetorical Theory; Classical Rhetoric; Postmodern Rhetoric; Freedom of Speech; Rhetoric of Peace and Conflict; Rhetoric of Crime and Punishment; Communication and Technology; Intercultural Communication; and Performance, Language, and Cultural Studies. His research is primarily in the areas of rhetorical studies, cultural studies, performance studies, and critical theory; he has written on media coverage of warfare, the politics of psychoanalysis, the history of sexuality, and electronic dance music culture. Dr. Attias is also a DJ and performance artist, and he brings his creative energy and interests into his scholarship and pedagogy.