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UWashingtonX School Online Course: Introduction to Public Speaking

‘Introduction to Public Speaking’ is the free online course going to be started by the University of Washington in collaboration with edX. Public Speaking is the procedure and act of speaking or giving a speech to a group of people in an organized, deliberate manner intended to inform, emphasize or entertain listening audience. Public speaking is normally understood as face-to-face interaction between individuals and audience for the motive of communication. Mostly, it is done to convince the audience.

Most of the people have a phobia of public speaking but it can be solved by continuous practice and preparation. Public speaking works as a self-esteem booster. Moreover, connecting with public can be great reminder that you have beneficial insights and viewpoints to share with the world.

Composing a speech will help the candidates to revaluate the way they communicate and re-examine the speaking skills. Public speaking is a magnificent way to bring our message to a wider audience. Success in public speaking signifies creativity, critical thinking skills, leadership abilities, poise and professionalism. These are the qualities which are very significant for the market job.

If the candidates establish a good reputation as a public speaker, their public persona will set apart from the sea of faceless resumes and cover letters. Public speaking permits people to guide the world through public leadership in society, roles in commercial organizations, the volunteer sectors etc. it also helps in enhancing one’s personal development and self-confidence.

About this Course

This course is outlined to help the candidates to become more effective and self-possessed speakers. Here candidates will get help in learning the process of writing, practicing, and performing a clear and engaging speech. Candidates will get help in working through distinctive features of oral versus written communication. They will also be able to learn to prepare a speech which will be easy to deliver and understand.

One of the best ways of grooming oneself is to give a close study to the speech of others. Students will be given various chances to analyze and discuss sample speeches and speakers. After this analysis, there will be a discussion between them that who they hold up their idol speaker and how they seem to be effective.

In this course students will get a chance to evaluate their own speech and the speeches of others. By joining public speaking course candidates will join a long history of rhetorical study dating back to ancient Greece.

At the end of this course, students will be able to design and deliver basic arguments clearly, design and deliver informative presentations clearly, design and deliver complex arguments persuasively, speak confidently with appropriate rate, projection, movement, and vocal variety and evaluate and critique speeches insightfully.

This course is being provided in an observation format. Students are invited to examine the course and participate in all course activities. Certificates will not be provided to students.

Duration of Course

The session will start from January 7, 2014 for the duration of 10 weeks and require about 3-5 hours/week for studying.


There are no essential requirements for this course but students should complete their assignments and are required to record a video and have access on YouTube or Aptara.

About the Instructors

Matt McGarrity

He is a Senior Lecturer in the communication department at Washington University. He established and continues to direct the Washington University speaking centre. He teaches undergraduate as well as graduate courses in public speaking, argumentation, classical rhetoric, rhetorical criticism, and communication pedagogy.