Strategic Public Speaking

Strategic Presentation Skills provides practical instruction for preparing and delivering professional presentations. Activities and assignments include: developing targeted, strategic messages; structuring content; designing meaningful visuals; working cohesively in a group presentation; exploring new technologies; and, speaking extemporaneously. Students engage specific audiences using a communication style (both verbal and nonverbal) suitable for workplace environments. Overall, the course helps students develop confidence and apply effective techniques when speaking in a public setting.


  • Identify effective strategies for professional presentations and apply those strategies to a variety of original presentations
  • Interpret the needs of specific audiences and adapt messages depending on audience, context, and purpose
  • Design, write, and present logical, cohesive messages using multimodal approaches as well as rhetorical organizational practices (i.e. introductions, signposts, transitions, recaps)
  • Create presentations that conform to professional requirements such as time constraints, engaging eye contact, adequate volume, clarity in voice projection, and consistency in pace
  • Design and utilize multimodal elements of presentations (i.e. slides, photographs, posters, tables, charts, diagrams, handouts, audience participation, videos) in line with workplace expectations and universal design accessibility standards
  • Understand the implications of visual and non-verbal forms of communication on professional presence (i.e. professional attire, posture, gestures, facial expressions) and adapt those forms of communication for different presentation contexts
  • Demonstrate effective collaborative work by planning and producing a team presentation
  • Prepare and practice evoking audience response, answering questions and responding to audience feedback within a wide variety of professional contexts
  • Self-evaluate professional development as a public speaker