This is our catalog of courses. We will occasionally adjust the course listing to reflect the addition of new courses and the retirement of others.
Explore some of the greatest speeches and orators of all time — and learn how a good argument is developed, structured, and spoken so that you can appreciate and analyze good verbal rhetoric to come up with your own short speeches that are engaging, entertaining, and effective.
Effective communications and good public speaking begins with an understanding of rhetoric, including how a good argument is developed, how a good speech is structured, and how spoken communication differs from written communication. In this course, we will examine the greatest speeches of the greatest orators in history, analyzing what they wrote and (when audio or video of their speeches exist) their style of delivery. While Speech and Communications is essential to success in the business world, it is also essential for understanding and presenting arguments in support of the Catholic Faith, or even for persuading others of anything that’s important to you. The goal of this course, then, is twofold: to learn to appreciate and analyze good verbal rhetoric and to apply what we’ve learned to come up with our own short speeches that are engaging, entertaining, and effective.
1. Introduction and Overview
2. The Great Orators of Greece and Rome
3. Public Speeches as Recounted in Scripture – The Prophets of the Old Testament and the Apostles of the New Testament
4. The Rhetorical Structure and Dramatic Effect of Speeches in Shakespeare (selections from Julius Caesar, Henry V, and Macbeth)
5. Religious Persuasion through the Ages – The Sermon on the Mount, Jonathan Edwards and the Puritans, Bishop Fulton Sheen
6. Speeches by Students – Delivered and Critiqued during Class
7. Speeches by Students – Delivered and Critiqued during Class
8. Great Political Speeches of the 18th and 19th Centuries – Patrick Henry, Jefferson, Wilbeforce, Lincoln
9. Great Political Speeches of the 20th Century Part II – JFK, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan
10. The Use of Humor and Oratory for American Pop Culture – Mark Twain, Will Rogers, etc.
11. Speeches by Students – Delivered and Critiqued during Class
12. Speeches by Students – Delivered and Critiqued during Class
Course materials: All materials will be provided by the instructor in the form of PDF files and free eBooks; videos and audio recordings of speeches will be reviewed during class time.
Homework: Weekly reading. Each student will be required to write two short speeches (no longer than five minutes each), with outlines to be approved by the instructor at least two weeks before the speech is presented in class. About two hours of homework per week.