Pre-College Programs
Intensive English Program

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Making Your Voice Heard: Communicating Ideas Orally

Course enrollment will be available for this course once it is scheduled.

Course Description

When speaking to others, we want to make sure that our ideas are clear and convincing. This course will help students develop their thoughts and effectively communicate them verbally to a variety of audiences, whether in a small group or in front of a whole classroom.

This course will focus on multiple aspects of oral communication: crafting convincing arguments, using appropriate informal or formal registers, delivering a message with confidence, relating to an audience—and even managing challenges like stage-fright or anxiety.

We will look at a variety of media, from stand-up comedy to TEDx talks to Broadway plays, in order to understand what makes oral communication engaging. What makes us want to listen to someone? How are compelling ideas structured? What types of language and rhetorical strategies get a point across? How can humor help advance a bigger idea? We will discuss the expectations and conventions for different types of public speaking, and students will practice implementing these strategies to confidently deliver a message.

In the course, students will have the opportunity to give several presentations, including extemporaneous “micro” performances and longer academic talks. Students will provide feedback to one another, help each other develop and strengthen ideas, and share knowledge to foster cross-cultural communication. Work will emphasize both style and content, so that students can learn to communicate effectively in multiple contexts.

This course will prepare students to give college-level academic presentations. In addition to improving their linguistic abilities, students will develop the confidence to communicate their thoughts and insights to many audiences, from peers to professors. Students will also learn to think critically about different types of public discourse, and how to adapt discursive strategies to serve their own unique voices.

Students must be enrolled in IEP to take this course.

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