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Personal Collection Detail View

Public Speaking

by Gerry Hanley
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This collection contains the California Open Educational Resources Council (COERC) list of peer-reviewed textbooks for Public Speaking (common course-id COMM 110) , one of the top 50 college courses identified for inclusion in the California Open Online Library for Education (COOLforEd).

CID Number:  COMM 110

General Course Description:  COMM 110

Theory and techniques of public speaking in democratic society. Discovery, development, and criticism of ideas in public discourse through research, reasoning, organization, composition, presentation, and evaluation of various types of speeches including informative and persuasive speeches.

Minimum Units: 3.0

None Specified


None Specified

Learning Outcomes:
Course Content:
  1. Principles of human communication 
  2. Theory and techniques of public speaking in society 
  3. Critical analysis of public discourse 
  4. Types of public speaking 
  5. Listening skills 
  6. Elements of effective public speaking, including analysis of communication situation, ethics and diversity, audience, occasion, purpose, selection of subject matter, research, evidence evaluation, organization, presentation skills, and evaluation of communication effectiveness

Laboratory Activities (if applicable):

Course Objectives:

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the basic principles of human communication; 
  2. Analyze their communication situation, audience, occasion, and purpose; and selection of subject matter; 
  3. Formulate through research, analysis, and organization of material; presentation of the message; and evaluation of the effectiveness of their communication; 
  4. Demonstrate that they are careful and critical thinkers and communicators, both as speakers and as listeners; 
  5. Explain their relationship and ethical responsibilities to others involved in the communication transaction.
Assessment Methodology:

Methods of Evaluation:

Speech presentations in front of a live audience; speech outlines and bibliographies; critiques of speeches; quizzes and tests.

Authorized users only:


Public Speaking: The Virtual Text

Added 07/25/2014

The Public Speaking Project's virtual textbook has 18 chapters that have been contributed by a variety of speech professionals who are dedicated to providing free and low cost instructional materials. Each chapter contains an outline, objectives, review questions and suggested activities in addition to the formatted text and images availabe in PDF format.  Chapters also have a supplementary online page with terminology definitions and links to related materials.

To see how the textbook is used by Dr. Mark Stoner at Sacramento State University in his Introduction to Public Speaking course, please click on the Faculty OER Adopter ePortfolio link below:



Successful Public Speaking

Added 07/25/2014

Bookboon's free textbook authored by Personal Coach Arina Nikitina contains 5 chapters with specific, easy to practice strategies and tools to help students structure their speeches; cope with nervousness; maximize the effect of presentations with visual aids; and connect with audiences of varied sizes.  The book has no student assignments but does offer a list of references to free online resources for further exploration.


Open Knowledge Online Guide to Public Speaking

Added 07/25/2014

This free textbook on Public Speaking is sponsored by the American Communication Association and is made possible through contributions by many of its members who are experts in the field.  There are seven fully developed modules available online: Public Speaking in Context, Listening, Audience Analysis, Research and Library Skills, Introductions and Conclusions, Informative Speaking, and Special Occasion Speaking.



Added 07/25/2014

Boundless Communications is a college-level, introductory open textbook that on the subject of Communications, with a particular focus on public speaking. Boundless works with subject matter experts to select the best open educational resources available on the web, review the content for quality, and create introductory, college-level textbooks designed to meet the study needs of university students.


Building Business Success: Write, Speak, Think, and Get Along Well in the Professional World

Added 07/25/2014

Venditti's free open textbook on building business success in the professional world has a strong focus on public speaking. It was used as the Open Course Library's Communications 101 Public Speaking textbook at Clover Park Technical College in Washington State.  It is organized into 9 chapters on how to speak, write, solve problems, be creative, handle technology, avoid mistakes, be productive, treat others well, and work in groups.  It is written in a very informal, common sense style and the reading level is basic.  Much of the material is originailly from columns written by the author for the Wenatchee Business Journal.



Stand up, Speak out: The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking

Added 07/25/2014

This free open textbook authored by Wrench, Goding, Johnson, and Attias focuses on helping students become more seasoned and polished public speakers and secondly on ethics in communication which sets it apart from other other texts. The primary goal is to help students prepare and deliver a variety of different types of speeches and with limited instructional time available, a streamlinedd approach is taken.  Its fifteen chapters are divided into four clear units of information: introduction to public speaking, speech preparation, speech creation, and speech presentation. In addition to practicality, this text has a focus on the ethics of public speaking from both a source’s and a receiver’s point of view with 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.

Each chapter features learning objectives, key takeaways, exercises, and end-of-chapter assessments.

To add a link to a material not in the MERLOT collection, click here.