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COMS 105 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking - Scott McAfee

Course:Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Professor:Scott McAfee
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Welcome to Fundamentals of Public Speaking!

Over the next several months we will work on developing understanding of communication practices and theory and applying those theories with a hands-on approach.  

To be successful in this course, you must be able to take the initiative and ask for help whenever you  need it. This course is online, with the all of the classwork submitted through CANVAS. All of your coursework and communication with your instructor and classmates will be online. It will require you to manage your time well and ask for assistance when needed. In general, do not wait until any minor problem has escalated into a major one.

This is a great, fun class that I love teaching! Don’t let the syllabus overwhelm you, it is just meant to prepare you and provide you resources. I do my best to make sure there are no “surprises” half way through the class. I look forward to working with you all this semester.

Course Description

This course is designed to help you develop a variety of communication skills and provide you with an opportunity to practice public speaking in a supportive environment.  The Student Learning Outcomes for this course are 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

  • Compare and contrast the process of communication, including the speaker, message, channel, listener, feedback, and noise.
  • Evaluate the importance of communication theory  and public discourse in society.
  • Explain ethical responsibilities in public speaking.
  • Evaluate the barriers to effective listening and methods to overcome ineffective listening.
  • Analyze an audience using demographic, situational,

and psychological characteristics.

  • Compare and contrast the use of effective and ineffective language.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in methods and techniques of delivery,

such as extemporaneous and impromptu speaking.

  • Utilize various patterns of speech arrangement, including chronological, topical, spatial, cause-effect, statement of reasons, problem-solution, and Monroe’s Motivated Sequence.   
  • Analyze evidence and assess methods of reasoning for informative and persuasive speeches.
  • Analyze fallacies in argument.

Types of Assessments

Quizzes, text based message board/post submissions, and speeches in front of a live (online) audience.

Textbook Information / Link to ZTC Textbook

OER/FREE textbook provided through CANVAS.

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.


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: 10/05/2021 Sub#: 708