Oral Communications

Syllabus for Fall 2005


Myra Fritzius (pronounced frit choose)  

Office Phone:            (662) 434-2660

Home Phone:             (662) 546-4180

Cell Phone:                (662) 312-5498

Email:                       mfritzius@eastms.edu or myrafritzius@bellsouth.net 

webpage:                  www.myrafritzius.com


Information about this course and assignments will be posted at the above web address. You need to check it prior to each class meeting to access and print materials and handouts. 


Prerequisite: English Composition I is a prerequisite for this class.


REQUIRED TEXT: Stephen E. Lucas, The Art of Public Speaking, 8th ed with CDs

The following supplies are required for this course:

VHS Tape

Index cards 5x8

Visual Aids

Slash Pocket Folder


Learning Outcomes


1.        Develop an understanding of the speechmaking process.  (assessment:  student

presentations, tests)

2.        Become aware of codes of nonverbal communication and their importance to the communication process (assessment:  student presentations, tests)

3.        Develop an understanding of the importance of effective listening skills. (assessment: tests)

4.        Familiarize oneself with potential sources of information. (assessment:  student presentation & tests)

5.        Become aware of the causes, effects, and coping skills connected with communication apprehension /stage fright.  (assessment:  student presentations, tests)

6.        Acquire the ability to analyze arguments based on evaluation of evidence and reasoning. (assessment:  student presentations, tests)

7.        Recognize and respect the various steps of the communication process (assessment:  tests)

8.        Become aware of the acceptable means of communication based on gender, culture, and ethnicity. (assessment: tests, student presentations)




Communication principles and practice in the preparation and delivery of public speeches. 3 semester hours credit.   This course is somewhat different from most courses you will take. You will be required to study textual and lecture materials as required in most courses, but in this class you will have two additional roles -those of public speaker and of evaluator. You will get to know the other class members as you fulfill the roles of speaker and listener/evaluator. The interaction of speaker and audience can add to your learning experience as well as to your enjoyment of the class. This is an application-oriented course. The basic principles of public speaking will be covered through assigned textbook readings, lectures, speeches, and class activities. Your ability to apply these principles will be evaluated through written examinations, oral presentations, and various other activities.



Basic completion of this course requires that you (1) attend class meetings (on time); (2) complete each speaking or writing assignment, conforming to all requirements, on the date assigned; (3) receive satisfactory scores on speaking assignments; (4) earn satisfactory scores on examinations; and (5) participate actively in class discussions or activities.


 GRADING AND ASSIGNMENTS:  Total Points Possible: 1000 pts.

(The graded work for this course is broken into 3 categories)

Major Speeches =300  points

·                Informative Speech (150 points)

·                Persuasive Speech (150 points)

Tests and Quizzes = 250 points

·                Test 1 (100 pts)

·                Test 2 (100 pts)

·                Quizzes on each chapter (50 points)

Activities and smaller speeches = 450 points

·                Demonstration speech (50 pts)

·                Commemorative Speech   (50 pts)

·                Outlines and paperwork for speeches (200 pts)

·                Homework, papers, and small speaking activities (100 points) will be given throughout the semester.


Grades for this course will follow the standards published in the EMCC College Catalog.


The basic principles of public speaking will be covered through assigned textbook readings, lectures, speeches, and class activities.  Your ability to apply these principles will be evaluated through written examinations and oral presentations.


The academic year is divided into two semesters of eighteen weeks each.  Each semester is divided into two nine-week terms.  Midway through the nine-week period, all students not doing satisfactory work may schedule conferences with the Counseling Department.  This step aids the student in improving his/her work.  Final examinations are administered at the end of each semester.



Grading Scale  (as per the EMCC catalog and handbook)

·                A = 940 -1000 pts.

·                B = 850 - 930 pts.

·                C = 750 - 840 pts.

·                D = 650 - 740 pts.

·                F = below 640 pts.


I-          (Incomplete) – becomes an F unless removed within one semester

W-        (Withdrawal) – no penalty if within the drop date

WP-      (Withdrawal Passing)

WF-      (Withdrawal Failing) – After drop date, penalty to GPA

AU-      (Audit)


Quality points are assigned for grades earned according to the following schedule:



Quality Points


4 for each semester hour


3 for each semester hour


2 for each semester hour


1 for each semester hour


0 for each semester hour

The final grade in each course attempted will be counted for quality-point purposes.  The formula for computing grade-point average is – Total Quality Points divided by Hours Attempted.  WF grades will count as “F” in GPA computation.


Your grade is calculated based on total number of points available and the number of those points you earn.  Assignments carry point value.  All assignments do not carry the same number of points.  For example, if you earn 94% to 100% of the points available, you will make an A.  Grades of B, C, D, and F are calculated in this same manner.

Visual Aids:  You will be required to present visual aids during some speeches.  Visual aids must have a professional appearance and they should be appropriate to the context in which they are being displayed.  If you decide to use overhead transparencies for your presentation, they cannot be drawn by hand.  You will be graded on the clarity, appearance and appropriateness of the visual aid with respect to your topic and audience.  Visual aids may also include human demonstrations, class participation, charts, pictures, posters, graphs, etc.  You may wish to take advantage of a TV and VCR but remember it is easy to let your video or PowerPoint take up the majority of your speech.  We will discuss visual aids in greater detail as the term progresses.


Appearance:  You must dress appropriately for each speech.  Proper dress serves two purposes:  (1) it gives the speaker a feeling of self-confidence; (2) it makes the audience take the speaker more seriously.


Speech Preparation:  I require an outline or a manuscript for each of your speeches.  The outline or manuscript will be submitted to me just before you speak.  If you want to use your outline or manuscript as your speaking notes, you must make two copies, one for yourself and one for me.  I will adhere strictly to a policy of no outline or manuscript, NO speech!  Please prepare your outline or manuscript outside the class – not in class while waiting your turn to speak.  Outlines and manuscripts should be free of any spelling or grammatical errors.  Proofread your outlines and manuscripts as you would a research paper or any other document worthy of academic praise.  Only TYPED outlines and manuscripts will be accepted.  Other material and assignments should also be typed.  It is the students responsibility to work on assignments early enough to overcome any possible problems such as faulty disks and computer or printer problems.  All speeches require sources.  Your sources must be cited in your outline/manuscript, works cited page, and during the delivery of your speeches.  Online sources have limitations.  The online article must have an author or sponsoring organization and a date.  It is preferable to search virtual libraries for information rather than global searches.  Cite sources on the works cited or reference page using APA or MLA style.  Remember:  visual aids are required for some speeches.


It is very important that you prepare yourself for each class meeting.  This means reading, homework preparation, participation in class, etc.  Your grade depends of this preparation.  ALL assignments are due on the date assigned!!


Attendance is vital in a class of this nature. In order for public speaking to take place, there must be an audience. One of your responsibilities in this class is not only to successfully complete your own speaking assignments, but to observe and critique your peers’ speeches. Learning occurs as you listen to class lecture and discussion, participate in class exercises, and listen to the speeches of others. The withdrawal and change of schedule policies in this class follow the EMCC policy. There are neither cuts nor free absences except when on official business for EMCC.  Therefore even with a doctor’s excuse, etc., you are still counted as absent. You are required to attend class at each meeting.  Absences due to work commitments will not be accepted as an excused absence or as a reason to miss a speech, test, or homework assignment. 



EMCC expects all students to be on time and in class at every class session.  Sometimes for defendable reasons students are absent.  Absences are classified as official, excused, or unexcused.  Official absences are those incurred when students miss class while officially representing the college, serving on jury duty, participating in military activities, or fulfilling approved legal requirements. Official absences require written permission of the President or his designated representative.  An excused absence occurs when the student has personal illness, family deaths, or inclement weather.  For any official or excused absence, written verification will be required.  Absences for reasons other than those defined above shall be considered unexcused.


If a student is absent for any official or excused reason as defined above, the student shall be allowed to make up classroom work missed during said absence(s).  Up to 20% of classroom work may be made-up.  Such make-up work shall be completed within a one week from the date of the absence(s).  If the student questions the "reasonable" time frame, he/she may appeal to the Academic Dean or Career-Technical Dean for review of the instructor's decision.  Make-up work for unexcused absences is not authorized.



Tardiness and Leaving Class Early Policy

Tardiness is a serious interruption of instruction. In this class, the door will remain open for 5 minutes after class is supposed to start. After 5 minutes, the door will

be locked and there will be no admittance. Leaving class early will be counted as an unexcused absence.



You are expected to present speeches, complete exams, or assignments at the scheduled time. Any missed speeches may be made up only with prior instructor approval. In other words you must contact me personally before you miss a speech, test or homework, if you will have documentation to make up your work. Approval will only be given with documented, verifiable excuses. Unless you contact me during your absence, and we make other arrangements, makeup work is due on your first day back in class. If you know in advance that you will miss an assignment, let me know as early as possible; you will only be able to make up missed work if you schedule the make-up date well in advance of your absence. If you are absent on the day an assignment is discussed, you will still be held responsible for it on the date it is due. It is your responsibility to keep track of assignments and information given when you are not in class regardless of the reason for your absence. In-class activities and peer critique assignments will be given. Failure to participate in or complete these assignments will result in a deduction of points. In-class activities and peer critiques cannot be made-up if missed as they cannot be duplicated, and late homework will not be accepted without a verifiable excuse.

 Failure to discuss absences and make-up work with me in a timely manner will result in a failing grade on the assignment.

Absences due to the following reasons, documented in writing and presented in a timely manner are considered excused absences.

1. ILLNESS: Documented by doctor, emergency room, hospital, or other medical personnel. If you are too sick to attend class, make sure you see a doctor!

2. Deleted.

3. OTHER: There are occasions that arise which do not fit the above categories but may be verified by a person in authority - death in the family, extreme illness, court summons, etc. Documentation of the reason for the absence is required and is subject to my acceptance.



It is my goal to create a supportive and encouraging atmosphere in this class. Delivering public speeches is a new and scary experience for many students. Distracting behaviors by audience members can make this experience even more difficult. Even for a more experienced speaker, distractions in the audience may weaken the effectiveness of the speaker’s delivery and thus may put the student’s grade in jeopardy. For this reason, no distractions will be tolerated. If it becomes apparent that you are not fully attentive and respectful while listening to a fellow speaker or to me during lectures, you will be ask to leave the class. Distracting behaviors include such things as sleeping, talking, laughing, rolling your eyes, reading, doing homework, putting your head down, or otherwise interrupting or expressing disinterest in the class or in a fellow student’s speech. 


Do not enter the room while someone else is speaking. Wait at the door until you determine that the person has finished. 





A fundamental expectation of this course is that you complete your own work, give sufficient credit when you use other people’s ideas or language, and refrain from presenting another’s words, ideas, or language as your own. Intentional or unintentional plagiarism leaves you vulnerable to academic misconduct charges which can result in flunking an assignment, failing the course, and possible expulsion from school. Plagiarizing another’s work means you are being dishonest with yourself and with others. Strive to be academically and intellectually honest. If you have a question about the use of any material for any assignment, check with me before using it.


Statement for Students with Disabilities:

Disclosure of a disability is voluntary. Students with disabilities are invited and encouraged to discuss their needs and accommodation strategies with the campus Disability Support Services Coordinator. The campus coordinator can be reached through the Dean of Student Services.  Please contact the coordinator as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations are implemented in a timely manner.


  Class Schedule/Outline

1 Aug. 18-19

Course Overview; personal introduction speeches assigned

Prepare personal introduction speeches

2 Aug. 22-26

Personal introduction speeches;  Specific purpose and central idea;

Quizzes on those chapters from the Lucas website.

 (Aug. 24 is deadline for registration and drop/adds)

Chapters 4 and 8; Prepare specific purpose and central idea; Go to my website and run off demonstration speech information.

3 Aug 29-Sept. 2

Main Points and Transitions

Introductions and conclusions

Quizzes on those chapters from the Lucas website.

Chapter 9, 1 (speech anxiety section and 12

4 Sept. 5-9

Children’s Poems Due

Speech Anxiety Project Due (September 5 is Labor Day Holiday)

Children’s poem must be memorized/6+ lines; no nursery rhymes.

Select two URLs from the list provided and prepare a short talk (2-3 minutes) on what you learned and how you will incorporate this in your speeches.

Evaluation forms from website

5 Sept. 12-16

Demonstration Speech due for Group A

Chapter 12 continued

Bring videotape, outlines, slash pocket folder and demonstration for speech!!

6 Sept. 19-23

Demonstration Speeches Due Group B

Chapter 6 and quiz from the Lucas website. Bring videotape, outlines, slash pocket folder and demonstration for speech!!

Print off Speech to Inform information from my website


7 Sept. 26-30

Bring disk to work in lab

Chapter 5 and quiz from the Lucas website.

8 Oct. -3-7


Speech of Personal Experience

Chapter 7 and quiz from Lucas website. Run off Audience Adaptation Project from website

9 Oct. 10-14

 One Point Speeches Due

Chapter 7 Continued

10 Oct. 17-21

 Computer lab

Test over 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12 (October 21 is the last day to drop a class with a “W”)

Bring Disk to class to work in virtual libraries.

Don’t forget a #2 pencil for Test


11 Oct. 24-28

Speech to Inform

Bring slash pocket folder, videotape,  outlines, and visual aid

12 Oct. 31-Nov. 4

My Most Embarrassing, or Happiest,  or Saddest moment.  (Online and campus pre-registration for spring 2006)

Run off Commemorative/Tribute Speech from my website

Chapter 11, 2, and 3 and quizzes from the Lucas’ website

13 Nov. 7-11

Look over Persuasive Project evaluation forms

Persuasive Project Assignment of topic and of Partners

Computer Lab

Bring videotape, slash pocket folder, manuscripts, figure of speech paper, and commentary to class. No visual aid required;

Run off Persuasive Project Information from the website.

Bring disk to class

14 Nov. 14-18

Pet Peeve Speech


Chapter 15  and 16 and quizzes from the Lucas’ website

15Nov. 21-25

Fall Break and Thanksgiving Holiday


16 Nov. 28-Dec. 2

Test over Chapters 2, 3, 7, 13, 11, 15,  and 16

Bring slash pocket folder, videotape,  outlines, and visual aid for persuasive project

Don’t forget a # 2 pencil

17 Dec. 5-9

Final exams are Dec. 6-9

Bring slash pocket folder, videotape,  outlines, and visual aid for persuasive project


 Keep going. More below!






















Please read and sign the agreement below. This slip is due during or before the 3rd class period to insure that you have successfully accessed and read the syllabus for this course…




I have accessed and read the syllabus for Mrs. Fritzius’ SPT 1113 Oral Communications class. I understand and agree to all policies and procedures presented here, and I agree to abide by them. I understand that the course calendar and assignments will be distributed via the web and that I am responsible for completing all work on time. I understand that poor attendance will result in a loss of points and make-up work will not be given without a verifiable excuse provided in a timely manner.




Signature _____________________________________________




Date __________________




Printed Name __________________________________________