Course Description

COMM 102 Public Speaking


  1. Prepare, organize, and deliver effective informative and persuasive speeches.
  2. Assess and analyze the characteristics and needs of various audiences.
  3. Identify strategies for overcoming speaker apprehension.
  4. Write effective outlines for public speeches.
  5. Demonstrate ethical behaviors in creating and presenting speeches.
  6. Give constructive feedback on the speeches of your classmates.
  7. Identify effective and ineffective elements of public discourse.


Learning Model Architecture

Students will prepare for FIVE weeks by reading the assigned chapter from their textbook. Students will be given opportunities to teach one another in small group discussion boards and by giving each other feedback on their speech outlines and speeches themselves. Students will prove what they have learned through reading quizzes and speeches and will have opportunities to ponder on what they have done through weekly reflection blogs.


Students will be responsible for reading and testing over the entire text by Week 06. The textbook contains 11 chapters. You need to order your textbook immediately. There are no extensions for this assignment. As soon as you register, order the book.



Required Materials

Compare prices for your textbooks through the University Store Price Comparison site. They will show you all of the options from the University Store plus several online options to help you find the best price. See link to price comparison tool for current price.

Speaking with a Purpose (any edition) by Arthur Koch 9th Edition Preferred, ISBN: 978-0205220403. If other editions are used the page numbers and chapter titles may not match exactly with the lessons. You will be responsible for making sure you are using the right materials with the lessons.

A web-cam ($10-$20) and a headset with a microphone ($5-$10).

You can use any technology to record yourself giving a speech and then uploading the speech to youtube, but remember that youtube has an easy to use feature which will record you on your webcam and then you can immediately upload it.

Using YouTube is not an option. You will need to become familiar with YouTube.You will be responsible for making sure your computer can upload to YouTube. Make any software or hardware adjustments prior to the first assignment being due. You are highly encouraged to take this preventive action and test your system before the semester begins.

Public Speaking

Because this is a public speaking class you will need to find a live audience of no less than 8 people for two of your speeches. The first speech you will need a live audience for is an informative speech given in weeks 7, 8,or 9. The second speech you will need a live audience for is a persuasive speech given in weeks 11,12, or 13. You will need to be sure that as you record these speeches you full most of the screen with you as the speaker but also include the audience in the audience members in the shot so the instructor can see they are there. Be sure the sound quality is good. The speech is what you are being graded on so your instructor has to be able to hear it.

You will also need to have practiced these with the Presentation Practice Center. You must set up an appointment or upload your speech for review before giving it live in order to get full credit.


We will use the following standard to help you assess and evaluate your efforts. I expect you to use these standards to evaluate your progress throughout the semester.

I am an “A” Learner

Signifies I was highly engaged in learning process. My work for this class is of exceptional quality; my performance is impressive; beyond expectation. I am not focused on the process of earning an A, but far more concerned with the final product. The grade is far less important to me than learning the material and becoming a true learner. I made ample use of ideas and materials provided in class as demonstrated by my willingness to learn and engage additional learning opportunities. “A” students asked thoughtful questions born of their own inquiry and pondering. “A” students go beyond the expectation set by others. “A” students can say “I was an active participant in this class.” Through the various learning opportunities provided in this class I can demonstrate deep learning through my own original connections. I have been enabled by the Holy Ghost to understand and grasp the concepts presented in this class.

I am a “B” Learner

Signifies I am not quite there, but I am catching the vision. My work is impressive but I could reasonably have done more on my own; an impressive quantity of my work is somewhat better than average quality. I made progress toward becoming an independent true learner. I am still concerned about earning an “A” in this class and it is still as important to me as learning the material. “B” students asked questions, but questions are more of factual nature than the original connections that grow out of the ponderings of “A” students. I attended class faithfully, with possibly a few reasonable exceptions.

I am a “C” Learner

I want traditional education, tell me what to do and I will do it. I did the work, but met the expectations without distinction. My efforts are of acceptable quality but lack inspiration or depth of insight. Evidently, I was just going through the motions. I attended class regularly and sometimes participated, but made only a perfunctory effort to apply the material. I asked few if any questions, preferring to respond only when called on. I made little or no effort to benefit from available resources; rarely sought individualized guidance from the instructor; seemed unwilling to take the initiative for a deep learning experience. A good amount of work/participation was of average quality.

I am a “D” Learner

I didn’t catch the vision. I did a minimum of the work. I put forth minimal effort—barely adequate to pass the course. I submitted little work, or work was carelessly presented. My attendance in class was irregular and there was a minimal level of participation, I was frequently unprepared.

I am an “F” Learner

I didn’t catch the vision—I didn’t do the work. I put forth little or minimal effort.


Course Work Completion

All course work will have a point value. These will vary with the increasing expectation for developing skills as the semester progresses. For example your first speech is actually just practicing the Introduction and Conclusion for the speech you will give the next week. The value on this is 10 points. You are not expected to be comfortable or to know much about speaking in front of a webcam to an audience. However by week six you are expected to know how to organize an informative speech with a strong central idea, segmented body parts, supported evidence with at least five sources and show signs of beginning to speak to your audience. No reading of notes, and starting to look at the camera. Thus the point value goes up to 50 with an outline grade of 20. All of the points will be averaged at the end of the semester for a percentage grade. This is broken down at the end of this section. But before we leave the topic of grading let us address the area of self reflection that will be given to you every week in the same format. I ask you to consider the following:

Class Expectations for Work/Late Work

True learners would never consider waiting until just before the deadline on speaking assignments, wiki boards, discussion boards and other assignments in the class to begin the process of posting. This leads to crisis situations of finding out the I Learn has crashed or is unavailable, and the deadline will come and go causing much strife and contention in your life, as well as impeding the progress and success of the members of your speaking, working and wiki groups.

True learners would never turn in late work unless it was completely unavoidable. They understand an excuse is something they offer in lieu of the real reason for not getting the assignment done.

True learners would never miss class wide discussion boards or wikis unless it was absolutely necessary. These assignments would always be done with an eye tuned to perfection, a head used for research and deep thought and a heart open to the thoughts of others in your group. However, because of our fallen natures and the need to administer a precise and fair grading policy, the following standard will be in effect:

One late assignment will be allowed during the first five weeks. This includes wikis, discussion boards, speaking group, and working group assignments only and is left up to the instructor’s discretion. This is only a 24 hour extension; it is not an open door for turning in work a week late. If you have an emergency situation you will need to discuss that with the instructor. It does not include the open book quizzes over the textbook; these must be done on time. Participation quizzes also may not be made up -- is not participating if these are not filled out. At any time if the instructor does not feel your reason for turning in the work late is valid it is within their right to reject the assignment. This is not an entitlement; it is a privilege with which the instructor will use the spirit of discernment to make the right decision for all involved.

One late assignment will be accepted during the last half of the semester. This does not include tests or quizzes. This is only a 24 hour extension; it is not an open door for turning in work a week late. If you have an emergency situation you will need to discuss that with the instructor. These may only be made up in special circumstances in the last half of the semester, this includes participation quizzes. You are not participating if you don’t take these. At any time if the instructor does not feel your reason for turning in the work late is valid it is within their right to reject the assignment. This is not an entitlement; it is a privilege with which the instructor will use the spirit of discernment to make the right decision for all involved.

Come to class prepared to be a contributing partner in this class. This means you have discovered the delicate balance between sharing your comments so others can learn from you while encouraging others to share their insights so you can learn from them. Class participation is not about vocal airtime—it is about discovering this balance. Be judicious, thoughtful and considerate of others who, with a little more encouragement from an awkward moment of silence coupled with your appropriate restraint, will share what the Spirit is prompting. You are expected to weigh in on the discussion and the ideas being presented. True learning is not a spectator sport; articulate your ideas with power, passion, and persuasion.

Becoming a Learner—Self-Assessment, a Weekly Grade, (120 points)

Students are expected to act and not be acted upon. Please come to class spiritually prepared to invite the Holy Ghost, ask questions, participate in class discussions, and learn a process for and develop the skills discussed in the text and class wide discussion. You will find the more you take responsibility for your own learning the more enjoyable the experience. You will evaluate each week’s performance by answering each item below, this will be due EVERY Monday by 8 AM (See Calendar for due dates) when all work for the week has been completed:

  1. I have come to class with thoughtful questions and insights which I am ready to share because I understand the BYU-I learning model and the need to come to class prepared to teach and learn.
  2. I have invested 2 hours out of class preparing myself for each hour this course would meet in a traditional class setting, or 9 hours for the week.
  3. I am honestly and in good faith reporting that I have done all that is asked of me in the lesson this week as far as listening to others and reporting back. If this requirement did not exist this week, I am in good standing; If this requirement existed this week then I have carefully listened to my peers, and used either the questions from the lesson or the provided spreadsheet to guide my thoughtful feedback. This will allow the principle of Teach One Another to encompass all that we do in this class.
  4. I am shouldering my fair share of the discussion by appropriately stretching other's thinking which leads to a richer dialogue in this class through my participation in the wikis, discussion boards, and other tools used in this class.
  5. I have accepted responsibility for my own learning and have invited the Holy Ghost to be my teacher.

Grading Policies

The grading scale is as follows:

A 93 – 100% C 73 – 76%
A- 90 – 92% C- 70 – 72%
B+ 87 – 89% D+ 67 – 69%
B 83 – 86% D 63 – 66%
B- 80 – 82% D- 60 – 62%
C+ 77 – 79% F less than 60%

Student Honor University Policies

Student Honor is following the path of discipleship and learning to be more like Christ—learning to think, to feel, and to act more as He does. Living a life of honor:

Honor Code | Academic Honesty | Dress and Grooming Standards

Students with Disabilities

BYU-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disability which may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact the Services for Students with Disabilities Office at 208.496.1158. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by this office. If you need assistance or feel you have been unlawfully discriminated on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established policy and procedures. Contact the Personnel Office at 208.496.1130.

Sexual Harassment

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in an educational program which receives federal funds, including federal loans and grants. Title IX also covers student-to-student sexual harassment. If you encounter unlawful sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination, please contact the Personnel Office at 208.496.1130.