The Art of Speechmaking

Course Description

Speech, whether we call it dramatic or declamatory, has the potential to move the masses. In this course, students will discover their personal approaches and attributes, and construct effective presentations that harness the power of the voice and body. Using tools based in the imagination, principles of design, and standard dramatic practice students will create a unique, personal experience for an specific audience. The criteria for success is established through an examination of and critique of the content goals.

Back to Top

Course Learning Goals

After completing this course, you will be able to:


To address an A2B competence, you will be able to:


To address an FX competence, you will be able to:

Course Competencies

In this course, you will develop the following competencies:


Competence Statement and Criteria


Can perform proficiently in an art form and analyze the elements that contribute to proficiency.

  1. Performs in one or more media, demonstrating technical proficiency.
  2. Articulates criteria by which a work performed may be considered an art form.
  3. Describes elements that constitute technical proficiency in its performance.


Can effectively define a topic and audience, and create a presentation tailored to specific goals and outcomes.


Note: If you are registered for CCA 153, the competence you will gain in this class is as follows:


Back to Top

Course Resources

To buy your books, go to

Required Reading:

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter) by Garr Reynolds ISBN: 0321811984

Resonate: Presenting Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte. ISBN-10: 0470632011

Back to Top

Course Grading Scale

A = 95 to 100

A- = 91 to 94

B+ = 88 to 90

B = 85 to 87

B- = 81 to 84

C+ = 77 to 80

C = 73 to 76

C- = 69 to 72

D+ = 65 to 68

D = 61 to 64

F = 60 or below


 Please note: Grades lower than a C- do not earn credit or competence in the School for Continuing and Professional Studies.

Back to Top

Course Structure

This course consists of 5 modules. The estimated time to complete each module is 1 week.

To see course due dates, click on the Checklist link on the top navigation bar.  This page contains module-specific checklists and due dates for the work due in the course.

Back to Top

Week, Module # and Title ReadingsAssignments

Week 1, Module 1: Speechmaking as Storytelling

Duarte: CH. 1 & 2

Reynolds: Preparation


Joe Sabia

Nancy Duarte

Garr Reynolds

1.1 Introductions Discussion

1.2 Great Speakers Discussion

1.3 One-Minute Presentation Dropbox

Week 2, Module 2: Designing for the Hero

Duarte: CH. 3 & 4

Reynolds: Design

2.1 Self-Assessment One-Minute Presentation Dropbox

2.2 Resonate Case Studies Discussion

2.3 Kennedy-Nixon Debates Discussion

Week 3, Module 3: Telling the Story

Duarte: CH. 5 & 6

Reynolds: Delivery

TED Talk

3.1 Significant Changes Discussion

3.2 Resonate Case Studies Discussion

3.3 Three-Minute Presentation

Week 4, Module 4: Mapping the Journey

Duarte: CH. 7 & 8

Reynolds: Next Step

Video: Secrets of Body Language

TED Talk

4.1 Defining Engagement Discussion

4.2 Self-Assessments Three-Minute Presentation Discussion

4.3 Non Verbal Communication Discussion

Week 5, Module 5: Looking Back; Moving Forward

Duarte; CH. 9 thru page 233

Video presentation

5.1 Final Presentation

5.2 Final Reflection

Back to Top

Assessment of Learning

Percentage distribution of Assessments

Grading Category:

% of Final Grade:





Reflection Paper




Grading Policies and Practices

To complete the course, you must complete each of the assignments as described in the course and submit them to your instructor by the assigned deadline. In addition, you must participate in the course discussion forum by responding to all instructor requests and by interacting with fellow classmates as necessary.

Points are deducted for late work.

General Assessment Criteria for All Writing Assignments

All writing assignments are expected to conform to basic college-level standards of mechanics and presentation.

Consider visiting the Writing Center to discuss your assignments for this course or any others. You may schedule appointments (30 or 50 minutes) on an as-needed or weekly basis, scheduling up to 3 hours worth of appointments per week. Online services include Feedback-by-Email and IM conferencing (with or without a webcam). All writing center services are free.

Writing Center tutors are specially selected and trained graduate and undergraduate students who can help you at almost any stage of your writing. They will not do your work for you, but they can help you focus and develop your ideas, review your drafts, and polish your writing. They can answer questions about grammar, mechanics, different kinds of writing styles, and documentation formats. They also can answer questions and provide feedback online, through IM/webcam chats and email. Obviously, the tutors won't necessarily be familiar with every class or subject, but they are able to provide valuable help from the perspective of an interested and careful reader as well as a serious and experienced student-writer.

Schedule your appointments with enough time to think about and use the feedback you'll receive. To schedule a Face-to-Face, Written Feedback by Email, or Online Appointment, visit

Back to Top

Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums are an important component of your online experience. This course contains discussion forums related to the topics you are studying each week. For requirements on your participation in the Discussion Forums, please see "Course Expectations" in the syllabus.

A Course Q & A discussion forum has also been established to manage necessary, ongoing social and administrative activities. This is where the management and administrative tasks of the course are conducted, and where you can ask ‘process’ questions and receive answers throughout the course. Please feel free to answer any question if you feel you know the answer; this sharing of information is valuable to other students.

Assessment Criteria for Online Discussion Participation

In the online discussions you clearly and consistently link what you are learning in the course to your real life experiences.

Specifically, in order to receive credit for your participation in the online discussion parts of the course it is important that:

Online Participation Guidelines

The following guidelines may encourage you to be active and critical in your participation, only together we will make this course a significant and pleasant learning experience:

Some difficulties at the beginning of an online course are quite normal; solving them is part of every distance learning experience.

Course Policies

College and University Policies

This course includes and adheres to the college and university policies described in the links below:

Academic Integrity Policy (UGRAD)

Academic Integrity Policy (GRAD)

Incomplete Policy

Course Withdrawal Timelines and Grade/Fee Consequences

Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability

Protection of Human Research Participants

APA citation format (GRAD)

Additional Course Resources

University Center for Writing-based Learning

SNL Writing Guide

Dean of Students Office

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary. If a change occurs, it will be clearly Fcommunicated to students.


This course was designed and produced by Patrizia Acerra and staff at SCPS of the School for Continuing and Professional Studies of DePaul University.

©2014 School for Continuing and Professional Studies, DePaul University. All Rights Reserved by SCPS during contractual interval with the Author.