The stronger this faculty is, the more necessary it is for it to be combined with integrity and supreme wisdom, and if we bestow fluency of speech on persons devoid of those virtues, we shall not have made orators of them, but shall have put weapons into the hands of madmen.

Cicero, De Oratore, III: xiv. 55.


Professional Presentations

COM 330-001

Spring '08-09; T-Th, 3:30 pm - 4:50 pm

Lawrence Souder, Ph.D.

Voice: 215-895-2730

Classroom: MATHESON 211

Office Hours: Bookmark Cafe, T-Th, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Office: #47, Room 323


Description: Effective public speakers have the power to inform and persuade others. They also have a responsibility to use that power for good. The standards for effective public speakers vary with their context. This course will help you to develop your abilities to craft arguments and to deliver them effectively and ethically in corporate, technical, scientific, and political contexts. Successful completion of COM 230 or its equivalent is a prerequisite.

Objectives: If you successfully complete this course, you will be able to:

Texts: This course uses a conventional handbook and an electronic resource.

Grading: Your final grade will be computed on the basis of the following:

I try to use a comprehensive and professional set of standards to evaluate your speeches.

Attendance: You are expected to attend all classes. Attendance is important to your progress and your classmates'. Much of what you learn will come from discussions and interactions with your fellow students. A formal presentation for which you are absent will be graded as an F. If an emergency prevents you from attending class (such as a personal illness or family emergency), please contact me in advance of your absence, and bring documentation of your absence on your return to class. You may miss one class without penalty; any additional absences will reduce your final grade.

Punctuality: You are expected to be on time for all classes. Late arrivals are disruptive to the instructor and your fellow students. If you do arrive late for class while student speeches are in progress, please wait at the door until the current speaker has finished.

Academic Honesty: It is assumed that the work you submit for this course, whether written or spoken, is your own. Any attempt to represent someone else's work as your own will be considered plagiarism--a form of academic misconduct. Plagiarism includes copying another student's work on papers or tests, copying without attribution the ideas or words from published sources, and submitting papers or giving speeches prepared in previous semesters. Such academic misconduct will result in a failing grade for the assignment, a probable failing grade for the course, and a report to the Dean for possible disciplinary action. Be advised that internet services such as EVE 2.3 and make the detection of plagiarism easy.

Assignments: Each class meeting will require you to prepare a reading and a writing assignment. Late assignments will be penalized one letter grade increment for each class day late. See the Assignment Schedule for details (Click here if you are using Edition 7 of the text). For an overview of each course topic, click on the topic designators; each overview will also include links to internet resources, which will become essential supplements to the text. Click on the chapter designators for study guide questions to help you focus on the key concepts in your textbook. Expect a short quiz on each chapter as a check of your understanding of the concepts. Click on the outline and speech designators for details on the writing and speaking assignments.

Special Needs:

Students with disabilities requesting accommodations and services at Drexel University need to present a current accommodation verification letter (AVL) to faculty before accommodations can be made. AVLs are issued by the Office of Disability Services (ODS. For additional information, contact the ODS at, 3201 Arch St., Ste. 210, Philadelphia, PA 19104, V 215.895.1401, or TTY 215.895.2299.

Other resources for students with special needs are available from the following: