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Six Approaches to the Introductory Course: A Forum


Although a communication department has several choices for the focus of its introductory course, the public speaking approach continues to be the most prevalent largely because of its perceived value. People need public speaking skills because of their importance in achieving success in so many walks of life. In fact, in such professions as teaching, politics, law, sales, marketing, and the like, public speaking skills are fundamental to the job description. In addition, public speaking skills are useful to people in their daily impromptu speaking efforts as well. For instance, effectiveness in giving directions to a place, in giving instructions on how to use machinery, in analyzing and evaluating works of art, or in presenting views on current issues, are all increased by application of basic speech-making skills.

In this paper I want to clarify elements that distinguish a public speaking approach to the introductory course by looking at objectives of the course, course structure, teaching methods, problems in the course, and concluding with a prediction for the future.