The purpose of this essay is more of an intellectual exercise than an attempt at a pragmatic redesign of the basic course. Essentially, I submit that we as a discipline have lost sight of what the phrase “public speaking” actually means and have erroneously and dangerously equated it with simply delivering formal presentations. When the term is broken down into its component parts of “public” and “speaking” it is understood as something much broader, and thus allows for the curricular flexibility forwarded by Hess (2012), West (2012), Valenzano (2013) and Wallace (2015), to name a few. In this essay, I offer various ways of defining “public” and “speaking” as a way of arguing that even courses titled as “Public Speaking” need not rely solely on presentational speaking assignments and instruction in their courses. In other words, “public speaking” should be a more liberating, than restrictive course title.
Valenzano, Joseph M. III
"What’s in a Name? Exploring the Definitions of 'Public' and 'Speaking',"
Basic Communication Course Annual: Vol. 32
, Article 8.
Available at: https://ecommons.udayton.edu/bcca/vol32/iss1/8