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COMS 105 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking - Kerry Osborne

Course:Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Professor:Kerry Osborne
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Hello, I am Dr. Kerry Osborne, and I look forward to meeting you in my class. I am very aware that public speaking might not be your idea of a great time, but because it is mine, I hope to make the course a successful one for you out of my passion for what we will study together. I am a life-long student of communication, beginning in the lower grades and competing in speech and debate tournaments throughout high school and undergraduate college. I earned my B.A. (1990) and M.A. (1992) in Speech Communication from California State University, Northridge. I earned my Ph.D. (1997) in Communication from the University of Southern California. After six years teaching in Southern California colleges and universities, I moved to the private sector for thirteen years, as both a marketing director and information technology director. In 2009, I returned to academia as Adjunct Faculty at College of the Canyons, then also at various additional Southern and Northern California colleges. I am an Irish descendant, married to an Irishman, and we have a grown daughter who is a championship-turned-pro Irish dancer. I sing and play the bodhran, and have begun to study fiddle and Irish whistle. My recreation time is generally spent in an Irish music session.

Course Description

This course prepares students to speak in a variety of rhetorical situations: academic, professional, social, and political. Students will demonstrate effective verbal and non-verbal delivery, ethical research methodology, analytical thinking and listening skills, organization and outlining skills, and appropriate presentation skills.

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Organize and deliver effective informative and persuasive speeches applying the principles of public speaking.
  2. Utilize effective research skills using traditional and electronic resources.
  3. Analyze public discourse.

What to Expect in this Course

You will give live speeches to your classmates in this course! It is crucial to understand that in addition to live online instruction, you will give your speeches in our live online meetings to an audience of me and your classmates. There are no recorded speech assignments; all speeches are given live in real time. Your first speech will be only 2-3 minutes long and is meant to give you early experience and feedback to prepare you for the longer speeches. Your two major speeches are research-based and require presentation aids. There is considerable writing in this course of formal speech outlines plus online discussions and assignments.

This is not a self-paced course. The online component of the course will be delivered in weekly modules. You are expected to start at the beginning of each module, read and view required materials, participate in dated activities, and complete assignments and assessments by the module deadlines. Modules follow a routine organization to help you navigate the course and meet your deadlines. During those modules, we will have our class meetings which will include instruction, activities, and the speeches. Attendance of the live meetings and completion of the module assignments are mandatory.

Types of Assessments

Assessments in this course include speeches, written speech outlines, quizzes, discussions, and activities (online and in live meetings). Participation is included in the course grade.

Textbook Information

All required materials, including the OER textbook, are provided at no cost and are available in the Canvas course.

Other Relevant Course Information

You must log in to the course in Canvas on the first day of class - the first day of the semester - to remain enrolled in the course. Students who do not log in on the first day will be dropped in order to accommodate waitlisted students. If you thought you were registered for the course and find you are not, you will need to check with Admissions & Records. If you have been dropped for failing to log in on the first day or were unregistered by Admissions & Records, you will need to e-mail me and ask for an add code. You will be added to the bottom of the waitlist and re-enrolled if space permits.

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

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 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.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 08/16/2021 Sub#: 521