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Abstract

The foundation of the basic public speaking course ought to be questioned and modified to better meet the needs of students today. More specifically, public speaking courses must offer more than technique. Students must be introduced to the historical context that both models effective public discourse and has also contributed to the framework of the American public forum. This article offers some common sense ideas about what the public forum ought to be. Implementation of these ideas, among other things, will serve to enrich the substance of the course, introduce the central role of rhetoric in American history, culture, and politics; as well as enhance instructor credibility.