Introduction to Public Speaking

Created and Presented by: University of Washington

Introduction to Public Speaking, Part 1

public speaking

About this course: This course gives you a reliable model for preparing and delivering effective presentations. In business, in school, and in public life, we are often called upon to “make a few comments.” Often, people tasked with such speeches become flummoxed. They might not know what to talk about, or ramble without making a point, or simply be confusing to listen to. This course is designed to help you shine where others falter.

5 weeks of study; 2 hours per week.

Created by:   University of Washington

  • Dr. Matt McGarrity

    Taught by:    Dr. Matt McGarrity, Principal Lecturer

    UW Department of Communication

    We’ll learn how organize talks clearly, write them memorably, and deliver them confidently. By the end of the course, you should be able to significantly reduce your fear of public speaking, use rehearsal techniques to develop a strong, vibrant speaking voice, and perform speeches with dynamic movement and gestures. The speech model that we’ll practice is useful for briefings, elevator talks, interviews, and even as a structure for hour-long presentations.

    If you’re a beginner, this course will help you quickly master the fundamentals of speaking. If you’re a seasoned speaker, this course will help you better understand public speaking and push you to the next level.


    Week 1: Understanding speech
    Week 2: Making ideas compelling and memorable
    Week 3: Illustrating and delivering your ideas
    Week 4: Overcoming your fear of public speaking and developing great delivery
    Week 5: Course conclusion and your final speech