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COMS 105 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking - Adam Kaminsky

Course:Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Professor:Adam Kaminsky
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Photo of Professor Adam Kaminsky

I have been teaching at COC for over 14 years and this is one of my favorite classes to teach. My classroom philosophy is based on a warm environment (peer to peer and teacher to peer), innovation, a focus on transferable skills (skills that you can relate to and will need for your future), and success. This is the reason we will be in success groups throughout the class. I will instruct you on how to properly navigate your success groups so you have a positive impact on the class and so the class has a positive impact on you. This is the only way to ensure success!  

On a personal note, I’m 37, I have a wife, and 4 boys. In the rare event that I’m not with them, you will find me snowboarding, mountain biking, or playing golf. I struggled with severe public speaking anxiety when I was a student at COC back in 2001.  I had to face my fear and eventually, I gained control.  I’m here for you if you have a similar issue.  

I’m the Assistant Director of the Award Winning COC Speech Team, Co-Advisor of COMS Club, and Co-Advisor of Sigma Chi Eta (Honors COMS Club). Yes, we are still doing all 3 programs in the spring virtually through Zoom. Take that COVID-19 (pandemic) and Loneliness (epidemic). All 3 programs are great for you to get connected, build relationships, do some volunteering, get letters of recommendation, and improve your chances to get into the competitive schools of your dreams. Contact me if you are interested in the team or either club.

Quotes that I use and live by:

  1. “Communication shapes your perception, your perception dictates your behavior, your behavior is who you actually are.”
  2. “The purpose of college is critical thinking. Critical thinking means to challenge the way I think. This is always uncomfortable.” 
  3. “There is no growth without conflict.”
  4. “Love is work.” & “Nothing will work unless you do.”
  5. “My purpose in life is to help those around me succeed (knowing that everyone has a different definition of success).”
  6. “In order to find your motivation, you must goal set from the end of your life and work backward.  This will create a clear path so you know when you are on and off track.  It also makes it easier to recognize when you aren’t on track (keep in mind that your goals in life will change so you should revisit this every few years).”
  7. “The ability to motivate others is the most important, highly paid, sought after skill in corporate America.  Don’t be afraid to test and refine your skills when motivating those in your success group.  These skills are invaluable.”

Course Description

Examines the principles and practices of public speaking, communication theory, and techniques for public speaking.  Includes speech organization, development, research, audience analysis, reasoning, and presentation skills for the development of informative and persuasive speeches.

What to Expect in this Course

EMPOWERMENT! Realize that you can be uncomfortable, gain confidence, and never have to hide from a public speaking opportunity or presentation again. We will become a supportive community as we all grow in our public speaking skills. There will be a mixture of online assignments and lectures to make sure you learn the background information about creating research-based informative and persuasive speeches. We will periodically meet (on Zoom) to help each other learn the art and science of public speaking as we have several credit/no credit fun mini-speeches in class. Later in the semester, we will meet on Zoom to deliver our speeches. 

Types of Assessments

Multiple Chapter Exams Online Discussions and Writing Assignments Informative Topic Approval Informative Rough Draft Informative Speech & Outline Persuasive Topic Approval Persuasive Rough Draft Persuasive Speech & Outline

Textbook Information / Link to ZTC Textbook

Free OER Textbook Link

The text will be provided in modules on Canvas.

Other Relevant Course Information

Be sure to check your school email and update your canvas apps on your phones to receive all notifications. Each week will be unlocked the Wednesday before to allow some work to be done ahead of time. You will also need a working video camera on your phone or computer for an assignment.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

College of the Canyons cares about your emotional and physical health. Learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including free counseling and mental health services available during this time by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center website or by calling them at: 661-362-3259.

The National Suicide Lifeline number is 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK). Please call it if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress - it could save someone's life.

You can also use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. It's free, available 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


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Last updated: 10/05/2021 Sub#: 718