University of Denver
Comn 1012, Speaking on Ideas That Matter, Spring Quarter 2014
Instructor: Kate Hoyt
Office location: Sturm Hall 166 Suite 169
Office hours: Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00pm – 2:00pm and/or by appointment
Class days/time: Mondays/Wednesdays 10:00am – 11:50am
Classroom: Sturm Hall 433
Framing Thoughts: “In these times, the hardest task for social or political activists is to find a way to get people to wonder again about what we all believe is true. The challenge is to sow doubt.”
In today’s Information Age, putting your work on the map requires not only innovation in developing ideas, but challenging the assumptions of the status quo and seeking new ways of persuading your audience. Speaking on Ideas that Matters will allow you to hone your skills in presenting yourself to the public in professional, creative and academic capacities and help you understand the importance of critical thinking, self-reflexivity and critique as you prepare yourselves to not only enter the professional sphere, but be a part of the shaping of future intellectual landscapes.
The purpose of this course is to assist students in becoming more competent and comfortable when speaking about their opinions. Students learn how to develop and analyze rhetorical arguments, including the full range of the speech-making process, but especially how to support those opinions they assert. Assignments, class discussions and course materials provide students with a foundation of knowledge and practical application of speaking skills, which will prove useful in a variety of personal, professional, and public contexts.
Class Schedule, Resources and Blog
Class schedule is subject to change; although I will email you with any pressing changes you are responsible for regularly checking the class website for updates, supplemental readings and blog-response assignments.
Real-time updates on class schedule and other resources and information can be found at: http://springspeakingonideas.blogspot.com/
Course Learning Objectives
After successfully completing this course, you will:
1.) Understand and apply the fundamental principles of public speaking. These skills include successfully choosing and narrowing a topic relevant to your audience, presenting a meaningful and cognizant presentation, and supporting your material with research.
2.) Be well versed in the art of critique. You will learn to become self-reflexive in terms of how you receive and give critique and negotiate the most optimal strategies for relaying feedback to your peers.
3.) Locate and synthesize research. Develop an understanding of finding and utilizing research to develop coherent arguments and using them in the creation of well-polished presentations.
4.) Improve presentation skills. With the communications landscape changing at such a vast rate, it is important to adapt your presentation strategies in a way that truly delivers profound meaning to audiences.
Sprague, J. & Stuart, D. (2011). The Speaker’s Handbook (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning
A video/audio recorder will be required for certain assignments in this class. You may use smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc. for this requirement; additionally Flip Videos will be available for checkout from the library. See http://library.du.edu/services/computers-tech-availability.html for more information.
Other equipment will be up to your discretion, and any (reasonable) requests for additional technology will be sought by myself in conjunction with the University of Denver Department of Communication Studies
The Communication Studies department encourages vigorous and ethical research as part of information literacy for all of its students. For assistance with research go to the Penrose Library @ Driscoll.
Dropping and Adding
You are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drops, academic renewal, and similar topics found at http://www.du.edu/registrar/regbill/reg_dropadd.html
Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at the University of Denver, and the University’s Honor Code (see http://www.du.edu/honorcode) requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. The University of Denver expects students to recognize the strength of personal differences while respecting institutional values. Students are encouraged to think and act for themselves, as that is the purpose of higher education. However, they must also understand that the University has non-negotiable values in which it believes strongly. The purpose of the Honor Code is to communicate these values to the University community, and promote an environment conducive to education, work, recreation, and study. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the Office of Student Conduct. The policy on academic integrity can be found at the Office of Student Conduct website at http://www.du.edu/studentlife/ studentconduct/policies.html
You should, therefore, submit your own, original work for this course. I will uphold University of Denver’s policy on academic honesty. Consequently, an instance of academic misconduct (e.g., plagiarism, cheating, taking credit for others’ work, submitting work for another course as work for this one, etc.) will likely result in a failing course grade at a minimum.
University Disability Services
The Learning Effectiveness Program (LEP) is a comprehensive, fee-for-service program that provides academic support services beyond basic academic accommodations. See http:// www.du.edu/studentlife/disability/lep/index.html for more information. The Disability Services Program (DSP) is a no-cost program that facilitates delivery of basic accommodations to undergraduate and graduate/law students with documented disabilities. DSP provides accommodations at no cost to any student who has a documented disability as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Accommodations afford students equal opportunity to participate in the University's programs, courses, and activities. If you need accommodations for this class, please contact DSP immediately and provide me with the necessary documentation and information within the first 2 weeks of class. See http://www.du.edu/studentlife/disability/dsp/index.html for more information. You may request to meet with DSP staff by calling 303-871-2278 or stopping by the Driscoll Student Center.
Attendance, Participation and Late Work Policy
Speaking on Ideas that Matter is a participation-intensive class. Your willingness remain open to in-class exercises and to take risks will enhance your mastery of the four course learning objectives outlined above. Additionally, a large percentage (25%) of your grade will be determined by the frequency, quality and thoughtfulness of your participation in this class. This means that it is in your best interest to attend and actively participate in each and every session. You are allowed two unexcused absences per quarter if you contact me beforehand; further unexcused absences beyond the two will result in a 10 percent drop in your participation grade. An absence occurring without prior notification sent to me, except for cases of emergency, will count as two absences. I ask that you notify me of your absences so that I can better plan that day’s lesson, as well as to ensure that you are in touch with work that must be made up or content that you missed. Three late arrivals (15 minutes late or more) will count as one absence. If you miss class on a day in which you are expected to give a speech, you will not be able to make up that performance unless it is a genuine emergency and you contact me beforehand.
Grading for participation will occur on a weekly basis as follows:
5 - Superior Thought and Effort in Participation, Unique perspectives offered and respect shown to fellow students/instructor
4- Adequate Thought and Effort in Participation, respect shown to fellow students/instructor 3-Student was present and alert but did not verbally participate; respect shown to fellow students/instructor
2-Student actively avoided/rejected opportunities to participate
1-Student disrupted the class, was disrespectful to fellow students/instructor or affected the class negatively
0-Student was absent (if under the limit for accepted absences, this entry will be exempted from total)
Please be aware that I will only accept late work in cases of extreme personal emergency; furthermore, such work may be subject to a fifty percent grade penalty or additional, elaborative, assignments. You should be aware of the importance of backing up your work and frequent saving, as technological failure is not an acceptable excuse for late work.
All cellphones must be silenced or turned off before the start of class. Laptops may be used during class discussions for note-taking and looking up references pertaining to class only. All laptops must remain closed during speeches; inappropriate usage of laptops/smartphones will result in a reduction of your total participation grade. *Note - if it is the first time you are using a mobile device or computer out of turn, or if multiple students in the class are doing this, I will warn you; after that I will simply assign you a “1” for that week’s participation grade (see above; 1=Student disrupted the class, was disrespectful to fellow students/instructor or affected the class negatively); I will be especially strict about this policy on days that your peers are giving speeches.
As your instructor, I am available to you in class, in office hours, and through email; however, I respond to most emails during my office hours only. Although I typically receive and read your emails in a timely manner, I respond most timely during office hours. Please do not expect an immediate response during nights/weekends.
Although I welcome thoughtful and pressing inquiries about how to take your work further, if you are truly stuck on an assignment, please come see me during office hours, as face-to-face communication is more ideal in talking through your ideas about your work. Furthermore, your ability to find answers to your questions about assignments/readings on the website or in this syllabus will factor in to the priority your email takes. Please do contact me regarding emergencies, as these emails will take priority and I have an open-door policy about these matters.
Assignments (Will give more detailed descriptions on blog and in class as they arise)
Past/Present/Future Speech (50 points): The purpose of this speech is to introduce yourself to the class while also familiarizing yourself with the flow and format of speech making. You will be asked to bring a bag containing three items that represent your past, present, and future. You should plan to address elements of how they represent you, where they came from, and why they are special.
Tribute Speech (100 points) In life, we often have the opportunity to speak in favor of something or someone, be it in a wedding, at a funeral, or some other formal event. This speech will allow the student to write and deliver a ceremonial speech of their choosing (I must approve the topic). These speeches should focus on accomplishing two primary goals: 1) entertaining the audience, and 2) offering an important idea for the audience to consider.
Elevator Pitch/Proposal Speech (150 points) This speech is to help you better understand how to research and present ideas in a concise and structured manner. Before interviewing for a job or during work in the corporate/private/ educational sectors you will have the opportunity to present proposals and ideas to other company members or stakeholders, this will give you the opportunity to practice that skill. This speech will give you a chance to work on including justification and outside resources into your speech. It will be comprised of two parts: a 30- second elevator pitch and a 5-minute formal proposal.
Mid-Term Paper: In-Depth Peer Critique (200 points): You will be assigned a partner whose proposal you will take notes on. This will become the content of your mid-term paper. Include a balance of positive, critical and transformative feedback (ex of transformative: "This part of her performance was effective, but an approach to take it further would be to...") Write about both the content and the delivery of the performance.
Advocacy/Persuasion Speech (200 points) This will be your final speech of the term, and should encompass all of what you have learned. This speech is all about passion. Speaking about ideas that you are passionate about, igniting passion in the audience, and of course- speaking passionately. This is your chance to speak about an idea that really matters to you. The purpose is to inform your audience, to encourage them to rethink or learn something about some idea, technology, or crisis from a new perspective. These speeches should mirror many of the techniques seen in TED talks, and should exude passion. Topics must be approved by the instructor during scheduled one on one conferences which will likely occur in the two weeks following the midterm. Like the informative speech, outside references are a must. Speech time s 8 minutes. Note: I am open to ideas involving partner/team work (3 students maximum) but the time allotment as well as expectations and criteria will be substantially increased. If you wish to do group work, you must pitch it to me and have my approval the week before this speech is due.
Final Paper (200 points): This paper will be 1200-1500 words, consisting of three parts: a self-critique; an evaluation of your progress over the quarter; and a Creative Poetic Response to your work.
Reading Responses/Blog Posts: These aren’t listed in the paper schedule, but occasionally I will assign responses to readings or other assignments to be posted on our class blog. When this occurs, I will add them to the schedule, post assignment details on the blog and indicate the number of points that these assignments will be factored into your participation grade.
Doing adequate work where you have followed directions and incorporated necessary items into your assignments constitutes “C” work. Going above and beyond the baseline of expectations requires taking ownership of your work, risk-taking and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. As a Public Speaking class, the above three qualities are imperative for both finishing the course with the necessary skill set to advance within the Communication Studies program and receiving a competitive grade.
Grades will be entered on Blackboard in a timely manner; for in-depth assignments, please click into the details of the grade you have received to read feedback, as I comment on both the successes and areas for improvement on all students’ in-depth assignments.
The schedule is subject to change, and is currently listed under the “schedule” tab on: http://springspeakingonideas.blogspot.com/ It is your responsibility to stay up-to-date on the schedule by checking this page on a regular basis.