Comm 201 Public Speaking Welcome Letter

Drag to rearrange sections
Rich Text Content

Instructor: John Patrick, Ed.D.

Text with me any time over zoom during normal business hours, I prefer it to email! Send chat requests via the Zoom app to 

Virtual Office:*** 
Physical Office: 6228***

*Response time is usually within 10 mins-2 hours
**Response time is usually within 24-48 hours
*** Response time is immediate during office hours

Hi All, 

My name is Dr. John Patrick, and I'm going to be evaluating your work and directing your studies in this course. Most of my students simply call me JP, but Dr. Patrick is fine if you like formalities.  

This is a weird and dangerous time to live through, and online learning can be a strange and scary experience, which can increase the stress in our lives. My philosophy as a teacher is that I'm here to help you succeed, not act as weird artificial gate keeper. I want you to feel like you can reach out to me if you're frustrated or scared or confused. If we stick together, we can all be successful through this difficult and trying time. 

My doctorate is in organizational leadership and my primary job is coaching the debate team at Cal Poly. I keep Cuesta as a side gig because I was a community college student, and orienting myself to collegiate studies through my associates studies made a huge difference to my ability to succeed in university and graduate studies. I also know that the most significant class barrier in our country is a college education. That means with my skill and knowledge set the most important work I can do  to help people is to assist them in getting a high quality education. I know that the thought of public speaking is terrifying to many of you. I want you to know that I understand this, and I'm here to help you get over that so you can be an advocate for yourself and your community, and so you can think critically about how others advocate for their agendas. 

Things that might be interesting about me: 

  1. After high school I promptly failed out of community college after one sad semester and began working at Disneyland for four years, where I was a World Famous Jungle Cruise Skipper. If you don't know why you're in community college, if you don't have a clear mission, if that leads you to some failures, that's ok. Get out in the world, make responsible decisions, take care of yourself and just keep trying until you find your path. I hope I help you along this journey in some small way. 
  2. My first college degree that I successfully completed was an associate's degree in culinary arts. It remains the best decision I ever made, and now that we're on home quarantine I between my culinary art's degree and my partner having had a long term career in fine dining, we're eating and drinking well. We have a culinary arts program here a Cuesta. If you like cooking, you might think about taking a look at those classes as a way to ground your studies (it worked for me)
  3. I am a fairly accomplished bonfire guitarist. 
  4. I live on a compound in Atascadero with my partner Shane and her son, Oren (who is my step son), my mom and grandma have homes on our property too. It's kind of wild having four generations on one acre, but we're making it work. 

Also, I just want to acknowledge that online learning can be weird and stressful, but with kindness and a bit of  humor we can all connect to each other and help each other get through this thing. If you need to speak with me, don't hesitate to reach out.

Well that's enough about me; you probably have questions about class. I've organized this class into weekly modules to guide your learning. Each module has weekly instructions for successfully completing that week's tasks and activities. Start by reading the instructions, and following up by texting any questions to me as texting is the absolute best way to ensure I respond to your needs quickly. Any time you need clarity, or just feel like you don't know how to get started, please reach out. I'm here to help. 

Required Text: Public Speaking and Democratic Participation: Speech, Deliberation, and Analysis in the Civic Realm by Abbott, McDorman, Timmerman, and Lamberton. Published by Oxford University Press

Required Course Materials: A device that can access and google forms during in class presentations.

Course Benefits: This class will help you be more successful more of the time. Nothing else will help you be more successful than the ability to speak logically, empathetically and ethically.

Public speaking is the oldest and one of the most successful ways to:

  • Influence decision makers and opinion leaders
  • Tell your side of the story
  • Voice concern over your community's changes or status quo

Catalog Description: This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of presenting speeches for various situations and audiences. Students will be better communicators after learning how to appropriately select topics, research, organize, outline, and effectively present informative and persuasive. 

Student Learning Outcomes: By the end of this course students will be able to...

  • Organize a speech for a specific speech purpose.
  • Outline a public message for a specific speech purpose.
  • Use oral public speaking skills to deliver a timed message appropriate to the speech purpose.
  • Provide supporting evidence specific to and appropriate for the speech purpose.
  • Create and distinguish speeches for different purposes, including speeches to inform and persuade.

Grade Components

Impromptu Speech: Introductions: 5 points

Topic Justification Speech and Annotated Bibliography: 20 points

Create a visual aid: 5 points

Civic Discourse Analysis Speech: 20 points

Deliberative Informative Speech: 20 points

Persuasive Speech: 20 points

Two Sided Refutational Speech: 20 points

Speech outlines & Handouts: 40 points

Speech preparation and practice labs: 8 points

Rhetorical Criticism Assignments: 40 points

Peer Reviews: 20 points

Final Exam: 50 points                                                         

Assessment & Due Dates/Times: All due dates/times are posted to Canvass.  Peer reviews will be assessed for required content, clarity of thought, and strength of writing (spelling, grammar, punctuation, tightness, active voice, etc.). All speeches will be assessed using the example rubric on Canvas. You must attend each speech day to provide feedback to your peers even if you’ve already fulfilled the requirements of the assignment. Students who are absent will receive a full letter grade reduction for the assignmentThree major considerations will go into assessing speeches: 

  • Presence and quality of fundamental structural/organizational elements of a speech.

  • Quality of delivery as compared to the average student speaker. 

  • Quality of delivery as compared to your past attempts witnessed by your instructor.  

If for any reason you are struggling to complete assignments on time, contact your instructor ASAP. There is much that can be done prior to a due date to accommodate and support students who regularly demonstrate responsibility. 

Students are expected to adhere to the student code of conduct: (Links to an external site.)

Make Up Work, Internet Content, Attendance, and Communication Policies: I do not accept late work unless you have verifiable emergency. Late assignments may be reduced one letter grade for every 24 hour period they are late unless other arrangements have been made with with your instructor.  You are required to be present, with work completed and presentations ready to go on the day you are assigned to present. You may trade presentation days with class members who are willing to do so with 72 hours written notice for your instructor. You may not coerce or pay classmates to trade presentation days. 

It may take multiple days for speeches to be completed. It does little good to have a public speaking class in which there is no public to speak to, so you must attend each speech day to provide feedback to your peers even if you’ve already fulfilled the requirements of the assignment. Students who are absent will receive a full letter grade reduction for the assignment related to that period unless your instructor is presented with a documentable, legitimate excuse.

From time to time there will be Internet content you will be responsible for viewing/reading outside of class. Additionally, it may be appropriate from time to time to hold a class session online. You are responsible for attending any online sessions in the same way you are responsible for attending normal class meetings. 

As you know, things move quickly during the semester, and you are highly encouraged to attend every class session. Classes and office hours are your opportunity to interact with your instructor to achieve clarity about course materials and assignments. If you’ve missed class, you’ve missed something important. Missing class is not an excuse to be uninformed about work missed or projects due. Keep in regular contact with your classmates as your primary resource for understanding what you’ve missed in the event of an absence. Your instructor is happy to bring you up to speed during his office hours or by email. Emails are answered within 24 hours in the order they appear in your instructor’s inbox except on Fridays and weekends. If an email about an assignment is received within 72 hours of it’s due date and time, it will be responded to at the instructor’s convenience rather than within 24 hours. Waiting to email your instructor for clarification the day before an assignment is due is not advised. Your need for advice is not emergency on the part of your instructor.

If for any reason you are struggling to complete assignments on time, contact your instructor ASAP. There is much that can be done prior to a due date to accommodate and support students who regularly demonstrate responsibility. 

Missing more than three classes with unexcused absences will result in a failing grade for the course.

Mobile communication devices are a part of daily life and it is expected that you use them responsibly. There will be times when it is appropriate to use them during class. These times will be indicated by your instructor. Use of electronics for purposes other than note taking is prohibited unless otherwise indicated by the instructor. Should your use of electronics become disruptive, your final grade on assignments and the class may be adversly effected.  

Plagiarism and Academic Honesty: The college considers cases of academic misconduct in the manner described as follows. Plagiarism and cheating include, but may not be limited to:

  • presenting the ideas of others without credit (VERBAL or WRITTEN) to the source;
  • using direct quotations without quotation marks and/or without credit to the source;
  • paraphrasing without giving credit to the source;
  • participating in a group project that presents plagiarized materials;
  • failing to provide adequate citations for material obtained through electronic (web OR multimedia) research;
  • downloading and submitting work from electronic databases without citation;
  • submitting material created or written by someone else as one's own, including purchased term or research papers or verbal presentations;
  • copying from someone else's exam, homework, or laboratory work;
  • allowing someone to copy or submit one's own work as his or her own;
  • accepting credit for a group project without doing one's share;
  • submitting the same paper, presenting the same speech in more than one course without the knowledge and approval of both of the instructors;
  • using notes or other materials during a test or exam without authorization, and;
  • not following the guidelines specified by the instructor for a "take-home" test or exam.

Students who have questions about the proper use and citation of sources, or the details and guidelines for any assignment, should discuss their questions with the me ASAP. 

Visual Aids: You are responsible for being able to execute any visual aids. Should you be using a computer, it is your responsibility to ensure that you can hook it up to the projector in our classroom. You should do this before class.

Students With Disabilities: If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact me as soon as possible. It is College policy to provide, on a flexible and individualized basis, reasonable accommodations to students who have disabilities that may affect their ability to participate in course activities or to meet course requirements. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact their instructor to discuss their individual needs for accommodation.

Drag to rearrange sections
Rich Text Content

Page Comments

No Comments

Add a New Comment:

You must be logged in to make comments on this page.