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If all my talents and powers were to be taken from me by some inscrutable Providence, and I had my choice of keeping but one, I would unhesitatingly ask to be allowed to keep the
Power of Speaking, for through it, I would quickly recover all the rest. -Daniel Webster

Professor: Perry M. Schwarz, MPA; RMC
Class Location: Calcia Hall Room 108
Office Hours: By appointment with mutual consent from the student
Office Location: To Be Determined
Phone: (973) 699-0665

Course Description
This course will introduce you to the theoretical and practical requirements of different types of public presentations and help you become a more dynamic communicator. The course focuses on the basic elements of the communication process, listening, communicator and audience characteristics, basic research skills, and message composition and delivery. You will learn how to prepare for presentations in culturally and professionally diverse environments and develop competence and flexibility as a presenter.

Course Objectives
In this course you will hone a number of your communication skills:

1. Public communication competence: You will become a better listener and learn how to design and deliver compelling messages.

2. Awareness of the cultural diversity of an audience: You will learn to analyze your audience and customize your message accordingly.

3. Preparation for professional development and success: You will overcome any communication apprehension and gain confidence in your ability to present yourself and your ideas.

4. Critical thinking and citizenship responsibilities: You will learn to be an ethical communicator who can critically evaluate information and arguments.

Required Text
O’Hair, D., Stewart, R., & Rubenstein, H. (2012). A Speaker’s Guidebook (5th ed.). Boston, MA:
Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Canvas Information
All course related information and resources (important announcements, project guidelines, speech evaluation forms, exercise handouts) will be distributed via the campus Canvas system. You should check our class section’s Canvas site regularly, print out related handouts and bring them to class on assigned dates. In order to access Canvas, go to the MSU web site, click on Quick Links and select Canvas. Enter your MSU username and password (your NetID). If you have problems with accessing Canvas, please consult the Office of Information Technology (University Hall, 5th floor) as soon as possible.


It is important to understand that you are in charge of your own learning and you share responsibility for your academic achievement and the successful completion of your course. Given the student-driven and collaborative nature of communication classrooms and the general necessity of in-class presence for effective learning, the Fundamentals of Speech program maintains a formal attendance policy, which is applied equally by all professors.

Permitted Number of Absences:
Students are allowed to miss one week’s worth of classes without penalty: two sessions in a twice-a-week course and one session in a once-a-week course. Each absence beyond the permitted number incurs a grade penalty (unless it falls in the “excused absences category” and proper documentation is provided).

Penalties in twice-a-week courses :
A third absence results in a 5% (5 points) grade deduction.
A fourth absence results in a 10% (10 points) grade deduction.
A fifth absence results in automatic course failure.

Late arrivals:
Timely arrival at class meetings and appointments is consistent with the workplace expectations that characterize virtually all professions. We consider student compliance with this requirement as an indicator of professional commitment and future success. Be aware that three late arrivals to class equal one absence, so timely arrival is very important.