Public Speaking Online

This track emphasizes public speaking activities to help you develop communication skills that will enhance your academic and personal lives. We work within the format of policy arguments, a mode where speakers present detailed arguments about significant, contemporary issues and topics. Such arguments require strong research, critical thinking, and writing and speaking skills, skills you will use after this course in a myriad of areas including not only your college coursework but life in general.

Class lessons and activities offer opportunities to hone your public speaking skills through short, informative and persuasive speeches. We will also watch clips from film and television programs that illustrate points raised in class. Also, to help you develop arguments for your speeches, we will work with Notre Dame’s library holdings. Finally, on the last day of class you will argue in favor of a resolution you have crafted. Whether you are an experienced speaker or have never delivered a speech before, all you need is the desire to develop as a critical thinker and effective persuader.

Course Schedule

This course will be offered online from July 17 - 28, 2023. Students must be online for class sessions from 11:00am - 1:00pm and 3:30pm - 5:30pm (Eastern Standard Time), Monday-Friday. Students should also plan to manage their time to complete homework assignments and group work outside of the designated class times. 

Academic Director

Patrick Clauss

Patrick Clauss

The O’Malley Director of the University Writing Program, Patrick Clauss studies the relationships among argumentation theory, composition theory and pedagogy, and rhetoric. He teaches Writing and Rhetoric, Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric, and undergraduate and graduate courses in public speaking. In the spring of 2014, he was named a recipient of the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. He has served as a member of the College Board’s Curriculum Committee for the AP Language and Composition course and examination. In 2022, he was the recipient of the Thomas P. Madden Award, honoring a member of the faculty who contributed the most to the teaching of first-year students.