Comm 1100: Oral Communication for 4PM

Instructor: Kathleen Beauchene, Professor of English
Office: Flanagan (Lincoln) Campus – Room #1368
Office Hours: Spring 2017
Tuesday:  8-8:30 AM; 10:11:30 AM; 3-4:00 PM
Thursday: 8-8:30 AM; 10:11:30 AM; 4-5:00 PM (online)
Other hours are available by appointment. Please contact me via email.
Phone: 401-333-7389
E-mail:   (Preferred contact method)
Other Contact Methods: 401-333-7372 (Flanagan Campus, Lincoln, English Dept.) 401-825-2262 (Knight Campus, Warwick, English Dept.)

This one-semester basic course in speech is designed to develop each student’s ability to communicate effectively in his or her academic, business and social life. The major emphasis is on the preparation and delivery of formal speeches, but many areas of the communication process are explored. Lecture: 3 hours

Public Speaking: An Audience-Centered Approach, 9th ed., Beebe and Beebe. You must purchase the text in a binder format from the CCRI bookstore as it comes packaged with an access code to MyCommunicationLab that you will need for this course. (Believe it or not, that is the cheapest version of the text. )You will not be able to return the book if the package is opened or the access code is used. You can also opt to purchase an ebook with access code from the publishers. I can provide you with instructions.

Blackboard is an online course delivery system in use at CCRI. While our course is not online, many of its components are. For example, Bb allows you to access most of your course assignments and course resources. More importantly, it allows you to communicate with me and with your fellow students. You will also be able to upload assignments and videos. I will provide you with information about how to access and use the site. Please follow these Bb log-in directions. To ensure that your computer is ready for this course, please check out computer browser and plug-in requirements.

Students who complete the required work will be prepared to achieve two major objectives:first, be able to understand the principles of effective oral communication; and second, be able to apply these principles in actual speaking situation. A detailed course outcome list is also available. Specifically, at the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • Feel confident and communicate effectively in a variety of extemporaneous speaking situations, including individual speeches and group presentations
  • Conduct audience and situational analyses and apply findings to all aspects of speech preparation and delivery
  • Present speeches that reflect solid understanding of communication theory, research techniques, and organization
  • Use delivery skills, both verbal and nonverbal, to craft an effective presentation
  • Listen critically
  • Provide constructive feedback to peers
  • Apply constructive criticism to improve in future speeches
  • Develop presentation aids following appropriate guidelines and design principles
  • Transfer skills gained from composing and presenting extemporaneous speeches to impromptu speaking situations



1. Absences – You MUST attend class. As a student of this course, you have an obligation as a speaker and as an audience member. You can’t meet these obligations if you aren’t present. I can be reached best at (email is preferred) in case you need to contact me regarding an absence. Please notify me so that I can make you aware of an assignment and so that I can make any necessary changes in planned class activities. I endorse the English Department’s attendance policy and will notify you when you violate it:

  • For a class that meets once a week, you are allowed ONE unexplained absence. Choose that absence wisely. (Note that two late arrivals/leaving early = 1 absence.)
  • After that ONE absence, your final grade will be reduced.

If you are having difficulty coming to class on time, staying through the class, or coming to class at all, please officially withdraw from the course by going to the Student tab in MyCCRI. Not withdrawing in this manner puts you at risk of receiving an “F” for the course.

  • Drop by February 5  to receive a refund.
  • Withdraw by April 6 so your name will not appear on my final grade form.

College Cancellations: All students, faculty and staff are automatically enrolled in Rave Emergency Alerts email messages. If you supplied a cell phone number during enrollment in courses at CCRI, you will receive a text message through this system. You can also visit the CCRI homepage or listen for cancellations on various television and radio stations.

College Calendar

2. Class Conduct – Respect is key in all situations–class lecture, group work, and speaking situations. Showing respect means not walking into class late and certainly not when a fellow classmate is speaking. I can overlook an occasional lateness. However, repeatedly walking into class late indicates that the class meeting time is not for you. After your 3rd tardiness, you will not be allowed to walk into class and will be considered absent.

Respect also means turning off all electronic devices: pagers, cell phones,  iPods, and laptops. (These items may be used ONLY with my permission.) Listening attentively is important, as it, too, shows respect for the speaker. Fidgeting, playing around with a backpack or purse, talking to others, mumbling to yourself, writing note cards, practicing your own speech, text messaging, coming into class late, etc., shows lack of respect and makes the speaker (classmate or me) uncomfortable. I will ask disrespectful students to leave the classroom. As part of this course involves your giving and receiving criticism, you are expected to deliver constructive criticism and respond to criticism with respect, even though you may not agree with my or a classmate’s comments.

A good attitude and a sense of humor will take you far in this class! I know that they work for me, so I like to practice what I preach. CCRI’s Student Handbook includes specific policies regarding student code of conduct.

3. Plagiarism – Simply put, plagiarism is stealing someone else’s ideas or words without giving credit to the source. Getting caught at it (and getting caught is easier than you might think) has serious repercussions, including failing the assignment and very possibly the course itself. Please read the CCRI Policy on Academic Honesty.

4. Need Help?
As a teacher of this course for over 30 years, I certainly am aware that many students fear public speaking. This fear causes students to put off working on their speeches and often failing to show up to give speeches. I am willing to help you, in class or outside of class, with any aspect of the public speaking process. Please do not hesitate to email me, call me, or show up at my office in advance of an assignment. In fact, even after this class is over, consider me a resource for any academic, social, or professional presentation. Learning how to speak in public doesn’t stop after you leave this class, and I am willing to extend my help to you as long as you need it.

You can visit me during my office hours or contact me via email.


1. Speeches – During the semester you will be required to give approximately 6 speeches: Informative (2), Demonstrative (1), Persuasive (1), and Impromptu (2). You will also be required to participate in class activities that require brief speaking presentations, some of which may be graded. Select speeches will be recorded for your personal reflection.

Unless otherwise stipulated, speeches are to be delivered extemporaneously; that is they are to be prepared beforehand; but wording, although practiced, is determined during the actual speech. You will not be expected to deliver a speech from memory, nor should you write a speech out word for word and then read it to the class as you might in a writing class. Learning to produce under pressure is part of the public speaker’s challenge. Therefore, once speaking dates are assigned, you must make every effort to complete the assignment on the given date. That means you must work in advance of your speaking date by selecting a topic, developing it, and practicing your presentation.

If you are unable to speak on the assigned date, it is YOUR responsibility to notify me PRIOR to the next class. Doing so will enable you to make up the speech. Not contacting me means that (a) the speech cannot be made up because of time constraints, or (b) the speech can be made up at the class’s convenience but with a full grade penalty.

While the majority of speeches will be given in class, you may be asked to present speeches outside of the classroom and use an online course tool to upload them to Media Share, a video sharing service.

2. Written Work – As in all college classes, you will be completing writing assignments. These include various homework assignments, critiques, and speech outlines. These mandatory assignments are important and factor into your overall grade. All work must be computer-generated. Handwritten work is not acceptable! Each assignment will have an associated due-date that you must meet. I will accept work via email as long as it is submitted by the due date and emailed to me as an MS Word attachment. Be sure that your name is part of the file name and that you include your name and the name of the assignment in the subject line. Without this information, I may not open your email.

3. Tests – These will be sprinkled throughout the course. Most will be announced in advance, and most will consist of multiple-choice and short-answer questions. Each test will have a due date assigned to it, after which you cannot take the test. I may also assign a take-home test.  You may also be required to answer questions based on each assigned chapter. You will access and respond to these questions through Blackboard.

4. Out-of-Class Work  – CCRI’s accrediting group, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, states that for each credit hour a student is expected to complete at least two hours of work per week outside of the class, including reading, class preparation, homework, studying, etc. Example: In a three-credit course, you are expected to complete at least six hours of work per week outside of the class including reading, class preparation, homework, studying, etc.



1. Speech Grades

To receive a “C” on a speech, your speech must:

  • Be presented on the day assigned
  • Be appropriate to the audience, assignment, and time limit
  • Satisfy any specific requirements of the assignment
  • Be original
  • Have a clearly identifiable design and use transitions throughout
  • Develop and support main ideas with appropriate evidence
  • Be presented extemporaneously

To receive a “B” on a speech, your speech must:

  • Satisfy all requirements for a “C” speech
  • Have a challenging topic
  • Have clearly identified sources of information and ideas
  • Create and sustain attention
  • Be delivered with pose in good oral style

To receive an “A”on a speech, your speech must:

  • Satisfy all requirements for a “B” speech
  • Demonstrate imagination and creativity
  • Be delivered in a polished style

A “D” speech, does not meet one or more criteria of the “C” speech or:

  • Is obviously unrehearsed
  • Is based entirely on unsupported opinions

An “F” speech does not meet three or more of the criteria for a “C” speech, reflects either of the problems associated with a “D” speech, or:

  • Uses fabricated material
  • Deliberately distorts evidence

A “Zero” is assigned to any speech that is plagiarized. Plagiarism is defined as “borrowing” information from another source (book, magazine, Internet, another student, etc.) and NOT acknowledging the borrowed material. In other words, passing work off as your own constitutes plagiarism.

2. Course Grade – To receive a passing grade, you must satisfy all course requirements. Speech grades comprise the bulk of the final grade. Each speech will have a different weight assigned to it, with each speech weighing more as the course progresses. (See your syllabus for specific percentages.)

75% = Speeches
10% = HW and other graded activities (speaking and writing)
15%= Tests

Point/Grade Equivalents:

93-100 A
90-92 A-
87-89 B+
83-86 B
80-82 B-
77-79 C+
70-76 C
67-69 D+
60-66 D
>60 F


This course will be challenging in more ways than one. So it is my goal to provide you with the needed resources to assist you in meeting the challenge. If you require any accommodations because of any disability, feel free to see me after class sessions or connect with me via e-mail. You may also contact the Disability Services Office.

The Disability Services Office (DDS) provides support services and coordinates reasonable academic accommodations for students with documented disabilities under the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Students are responsible for identifying themselves to the DSS office and submitting appropriate documentation in advance of the requested accommodation. For more information, contact DSS: (401) 825-2164 in Warwick, (401) 333-7329 in Lincoln, (401) 455-6064 in Providence and (401) 851-1650 in Newport.

Review IMPORTANT DATES from the CCRI Academic Calendar for Spring 2017:

Event dates Event details
Classes begin (ALL Locations) Jan. 23 (Mon)
Add period for enrolled students Jan. 23 – Jan. 29
Drop period for enrolled students-No refunds after Feb. 5 Jan. 23 – Feb. 5
SPRING BREAK Mar. 13 – Mar. 19
Last day to withdraw from a class to a receive grade of “W” April 6
Last day of daytime classes  May 5
Reading Day May 8
Last week of evening and weekend classes May 8 – May 14
Final exams for day classes May 9 – May 12

I hope I have not overwhelmed you with all of the above. However, I want you to have a clear understanding of course goals and procedures.

I recently came across an inspirational quotation by author and pastor John Maxwell: “Dreams don’t work unless you do.” If you want your college dream to come true, then be sure to heed the advice presented in this document. Keep informed and on a schedule. Stay connected. CCRI has had many success stories…yours could be one of them.

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This page developed and maintained by Kathleen Beauchene. Send comments and suggestions to

Last Updated: 5/17/19