Oral Communication Courses

Our courses offer a comprehensive approach to speech communication that includes training in the fundamental principles of public speaking and the effective delivery of oral presentations. With the goal of enhancing students' general facility and confidence in oral expression, the program provides innovative, discipline-based instruction to help students refine their personal speaking styles in small groups and classroom settings.

COURSES ON PUBLIC SPEAKING

 

Title Requirements
Winter ORALCOMM 105
Voice and Articulation Intensive for Non-Native English Speakers

Workshop focusing on exercises designed to help foreign students improve their articulation and delivery in English. Work includes breath, sound, enunciation, melody, and colloquialism. Course was previously offered as CTL 105.

Winter ORALCOMM 10C
Debate Club

Enrollment in this course is limited to students selected as members of Stanford Debate Club. All enrollees must complete at least 30 hours of participation evidenced by traveling to at least one competition during the quarter and attending regular practices. Participation must be verified by the Debate Club leadership in order to receive credit.

Spring ORALCOMM 10C
Debate Club

Enrollment in this course is limited to students selected as members of Stanford Debate Club. All enrollees must complete at least 30 hours of participation evidenced by traveling to at least one competition during the quarter and attending regular practices. Participation must be verified by the Debate Club leadership in order to receive credit.

Autumn ORALCOMM 10C
Debate Club

Enrollment in this course is limited to students selected as members of Stanford Debate Club. All enrollees must complete at least 30 hours of participation evidenced by traveling to at least one competition during the quarter and attending regular practices. Participation must be verified by the Debate Club leadership in order to receive credit.

Spring ORALCOMM 115
Voice Workshop (ORALCOMM 215)

Focus is on breath, voice production, expansion of vocal range and stamina, and clarity of articulation. Geared toward public speaking including presentations, lectures, and job talks. May be taken in conjunction with ORALCOMM 117. ORALCOMM 115/215 was previously listed as CTL 115/215.

Autumn ORALCOMM 115
Voice Workshop (ORALCOMM 215)

Focus is on breath, voice production, expansion of vocal range and stamina, and clarity of articulation. Geared toward public speaking including presentations, lectures, and job talks. May be taken in conjunction with ORALCOMM 117. ORALCOMM 115/215 was previously listed as CTL 115/215.

Spring ORALCOMM 115
Voice Workshop (ORALCOMM 215)

Focus is on breath, voice production, expansion of vocal range and stamina, and clarity of articulation. Geared toward public speaking including presentations, lectures, and job talks. May be taken in conjunction with ORALCOMM 117. ORALCOMM 115/215 was previously listed as CTL 115/215.

Autumn ORALCOMM 115
Voice Workshop (ORALCOMM 215)

Focus is on breath, voice production, expansion of vocal range and stamina, and clarity of articulation. Geared toward public speaking including presentations, lectures, and job talks. May be taken in conjunction with ORALCOMM 117. ORALCOMM 115/215 was previously listed as CTL 115/215.

Autumn ORALCOMM 117
The Art of Effective Speaking (ORALCOMM 217)

The principles and practice of effective oral communication. Through formal and informal speaking activities, students develop skills framing and articulating ideas through speech. Strategies for speaking extemporaneously, preparing and delivering multimedia presentations, formulating persuasive arguments, refining critical clarity of thought, and enhancing general facility and confidence in oral self-expression. ORALCOMM 117/217 was previously listed as CTL 117/217.

Summer ORALCOMM 118
Public Speaking: Romancing the Room

A practical approach to the art of public speaking. Emphasis is on developing skills in speech types including impromptu, personal experience, interviewing, demonstration, persuasive, and special occasion. Materials include videotape, texts of famous speeches, and a final dinner program of speeches. Students evaluate presentations by others. $55 materials fee. Course was previously offered as CTL 118.

Spring ORALCOMM 119
Oral Communication Tutor Teaching Practicum

Seminar. For students with a strong background in public speaking who wish to train as public speaking tutors for the Oral Communication Program. Readings, exercises, and supervised teaching refine speaking skills. Preparation to serve as a peer tutor in a variety of academic disciplines. Prerequisite: application and consent of instructor. Course was previously offered as CTL 119.

Spring ORALCOMM 120
Speaking Effectively in Digital Settings
ORALCOMM 122
"The TED Commandments": The Art and Heart of Effective Public Speaking (ORALCOMM 222)

Designed around the presentation principles of TED talks, this course approaches public speaking as an art of engagement and possibility. Students will learn a range of strategies ­- both traditional and innovative ­- for crafting a compelling message and delivering it with clarity, authenticity, and power. Limited enrollment. Course was previously offered as CTL 122/222.

Autumn ORALCOMM 126
Oral Documentary Workshop

This workshop will lead students through the process of turning interviews, archival tape, and other recorded material into an accomplished audio documentary suited for public radio and major podcasts. Students will learn how to build story out of their materials, design and create a script, edit and mix sound, and distribute their final product. Suited especially to students returning from summer documentary and oral history research projects. Instructor Permission Required.

Spring ORALCOMM 127
Introduction to Podcast Storytelling

This introductory course is designed to teach you the fundamentals of creating stories for new media, especially podcasting. You will learn how to develop and produce pieces across a variety of genres, from memoir to reported pieces, and you will learn the entire process, step-by-step, from pitching and interviewing to scripting and audio (and sometimes photo and video) editing. The course combines a traditional seminar format with a practicum where we workshop work in progress for fiction and nonfiction podcasts produced by the Storytelling Project. Though we focus on audio stories, the craft skills you learn here are transferable to making stories for any medium, from print and performance to web multimedia and film. May be repeated for credit.

Winter ORALCOMM 127
Introduction to Podcast Storytelling

This introductory course is designed to teach you the fundamentals of creating stories for new media, especially podcasting. You will learn how to develop and produce pieces across a variety of genres, from memoir to reported pieces, and you will learn the entire process, step-by-step, from pitching and interviewing to scripting and audio (and sometimes photo and video) editing. The course combines a traditional seminar format with a practicum where we workshop work in progress for fiction and nonfiction podcasts produced by the Storytelling Project. Though we focus on audio stories, the craft skills you learn here are transferable to making stories for any medium, from print and performance to web multimedia and film. May be repeated for credit.

ORALCOMM 129
Sound Stories
WAY-CE

This special seminar is designed for students interested in creating stories for radio, podcast, and other sound media. Students will learn both the core principles of telling strong stories, whatever the medium, and the strategies of telling entertaining, persuasive stories for the ear. Just like film or the novel, sonic stories offer a fascinating mix of constraints and opportunities, and you¿ll learn how to invite listeners into an experience or insight that combines theories, facts and feelings into a single space of empathy. This is a hybrid class¿equal parts classic seminar and creative workshop¿and students will create stories from start to finish and learn skills from pitching and interviewing to writing, editing, and digital production. Students will work in small groups to document places through the stories that inhabit them. Recommended for students interested in creative nonfiction, documentary, film, and even sound art. No prior experience necessary. nCardinal Course/CEL/HAAS

Spring ORALCOMM 129
Sound Stories
WAY-CE

This special seminar is designed for students interested in creating stories for radio, podcast, and other sound media. Students will learn both the core principles of telling strong stories, whatever the medium, and the strategies of telling entertaining, persuasive stories for the ear. Just like film or the novel, sonic stories offer a fascinating mix of constraints and opportunities, and you¿ll learn how to invite listeners into an experience or insight that combines theories, facts and feelings into a single space of empathy. This is a hybrid class¿equal parts classic seminar and creative workshop¿and students will create stories from start to finish and learn skills from pitching and interviewing to writing, editing, and digital production. Students will work in small groups to document places through the stories that inhabit them. Recommended for students interested in creative nonfiction, documentary, film, and even sound art. No prior experience necessary. nCardinal Course/CEL/HAAS

Winter ORALCOMM 130
ORALCOMM: Your American Life
WAY-CE

This small seminar is designed for students interested in creating audio stories for radio or podcast. You will examine the craft elements of the medium, popularized by programs like This American Life, Radiolab and Serial, and then produce your own documentary, memoir, or investigative story. We will explore the basic principles of strong storytelling, and you will learn how to develop your material, choose an effective structure, blend dramatization and reflection, ground insights in concrete scenes, create a strong narrative arc, and manage elements such as characterization, description, and dialogue. We will also examine craft elements unique to the audio form, and you will learn skills for interviewing, scoring, and audio editing. Students will have the opportunity to work with special guests from some of the best narrative podcasts in America. No prior experience with story craft or media required.

Autumn ORALCOMM 130
ORALCOMM: Your American Life
WAY-CE

This small seminar is designed for students interested in creating audio stories for radio or podcast. You will examine the craft elements of the medium, popularized by programs like This American Life, Radiolab and Serial, and then produce your own documentary, memoir, or investigative story. We will explore the basic principles of strong storytelling, and you will learn how to develop your material, choose an effective structure, blend dramatization and reflection, ground insights in concrete scenes, create a strong narrative arc, and manage elements such as characterization, description, and dialogue. We will also examine craft elements unique to the audio form, and you will learn skills for interviewing, scoring, and audio editing. Students will have the opportunity to work with special guests from some of the best narrative podcasts in America. No prior experience with story craft or media required.

Winter ORALCOMM 130
ORALCOMM: Your American Life
WAY-CE

This small seminar is designed for students interested in creating audio stories for radio or podcast. You will examine the craft elements of the medium, popularized by programs like This American Life, Radiolab and Serial, and then produce your own documentary, memoir, or investigative story. We will explore the basic principles of strong storytelling, and you will learn how to develop your material, choose an effective structure, blend dramatization and reflection, ground insights in concrete scenes, create a strong narrative arc, and manage elements such as characterization, description, and dialogue. We will also examine craft elements unique to the audio form, and you will learn skills for interviewing, scoring, and audio editing. Students will have the opportunity to work with special guests from some of the best narrative podcasts in America. No prior experience with story craft or media required.

Winter ORALCOMM 177
Performance of Power: Oratory and Authority from the Ancient World to the Postmodern
Writing 2

Speech as action has long been seen as essential to leadership. Theories and examples of oratory, from Aristotle to Barack Obama, assessing each as model of voice-activated authority. The impact of mass media technologies as they transform the public space of oratory. Course was previously offered as CTL 177.

Spring ORALCOMM 177
Performance of Power: Oratory and Authority from the Ancient World to the Postmodern
Writing 2

Speech as action has long been seen as essential to leadership. Theories and examples of oratory, from Aristotle to Barack Obama, assessing each as model of voice-activated authority. The impact of mass media technologies as they transform the public space of oratory. Course was previously offered as CTL 177.

Spring ORALCOMM 215
Voice Workshop (ORALCOMM 115)

Focus is on breath, voice production, expansion of vocal range and stamina, and clarity of articulation. Geared toward public speaking including presentations, lectures, and job talks. May be taken in conjunction with ORALCOMM 117. ORALCOMM 115/215 was previously listed as CTL 115/215.

Autumn ORALCOMM 215
Voice Workshop (ORALCOMM 115)

Focus is on breath, voice production, expansion of vocal range and stamina, and clarity of articulation. Geared toward public speaking including presentations, lectures, and job talks. May be taken in conjunction with ORALCOMM 117. ORALCOMM 115/215 was previously listed as CTL 115/215.

Autumn ORALCOMM 217
The Art of Effective Speaking (ORALCOMM 117)

The principles and practice of effective oral communication. Through formal and informal speaking activities, students develop skills framing and articulating ideas through speech. Strategies for speaking extemporaneously, preparing and delivering multimedia presentations, formulating persuasive arguments, refining critical clarity of thought, and enhancing general facility and confidence in oral self-expression. ORALCOMM 117/217 was previously listed as CTL 117/217.

Summer ORALCOMM 219
Oral Communication for Graduate Students

(Formerly CTL 219.) Graduate student speaking activities such as teaching (delivering lectures, guiding discussion, and facilitating small groups), professional presentations and conference papers, and preparing for oral exams and defenses. In-class projects, discussion, and individual evaluation assist students in developing effective techniques for improving oral communication skills.

ORALCOMM 221
STEM Speak: Oral Communication for Technical Fields

This course addresses the principles and practices of effective oral communication and is tailored specifically to those students coming from STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Students will learn to speak about technical topics to a variety of audiences, will develop their own visual aids, will participate in multiple in-class presentations and will receive both group and one-on-one feedback throughout this course. Special attention will be paid to the effective presentation of data as part of an oral presentation.

ORALCOMM 222
"The TED Commandments": The Art and Heart of Effective Public Speaking (ORALCOMM 122)

Designed around the presentation principles of TED talks, this course approaches public speaking as an art of engagement and possibility. Students will learn a range of strategies ­- both traditional and innovative ­- for crafting a compelling message and delivering it with clarity, authenticity, and power. Limited enrollment. Course was previously offered as CTL 122/222.

ORALCOMM 91
The Mythic Life

Why in the twenty-first century do many of our most acclaimed and popular stories carry narrative forms that are thousands of years old? Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Titanic, Batman¿all are deeply informed by ancient myth, folklore, and oral traditions. One reason is that the deep stories of myth and folklore act as a bridge between our personal lives and the profoundest aspects of the human condition¿they offer a way to understand our lives and how to live them. n nThis course offers an in-depth study and experience of myth and folklore, the roots of modern story and the roots of our own stories. You will hear these myths live, as people have for thousands of years¿from Trickster folk tales to the medieval Arthurian grail epic Parzival. You will also draw from these epics to create and tell a mythic story of your own. This will give you an appreciation for myth as a living principle, not just something from a long time ago. It will also help you become a good storyteller by developing your memory, improvisation, and image-based thinking. This ability to tell a story well is at the root of authentic leadership and helps us bring a powerful, embodied perspective to championing a cause or just debating over coffee.