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These 3 letters are from a summer session, 6 week, online SPC 1608 class:

Dear Public Speaking Students,

I am writing this letter not only to serve as my final grade for the class but as a guide to help students to successfully complete this course. Like you, I read several letters similar to this one upon registering for an online public speaking section with Professor Stein and I am sure that my following points will echo sentiments shared by my classmates. I would like to begin by saying that this is an outstanding class and Professor Stein is fantastic. She will clearly explain her expectations of each assignment, grade your work fairly, is very easy to make contact with and will allow you the opportunity to make up assignments or complete extra credit. Now I will warn you. Do not take this course lightly. The weekly reading is simple, the quizzes are scored by completion, and the required videos are not difficult. Do not at any point say to yourself “I’ll just do that later” or “It can all wait until Sunday morning because I can handle it I two hours”. Do not let procrastination reduce your grade. This class is only six weeks long and it truly goes by quickly. I strongly recommend checking the week’s assignments on either Sunday or Monday. Waiting until the end of the week will not work for long as you may have already missed the deadline. Completing your work early also stops those random occurrences of life such as sickness, or emergencies from conflicting with your ability to get things done.

Favorite Assignment: Informal Introduction. This is the first video and not only gives you the chance to share a few things about yourself but to also learn about the people whose videos you will be watching over the next six weeks.

Least Favorite: Formal Introduction. This one just seemed a bit weird to me. I had a very difficult time trying to articulate my personality and traits in a “professional” interview type of setting.

I would wish you luck but you don’t need it. Just complete your assignments early and the rest will take care of itself.

Sincerely,

James Bell

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June 24 2014

 

This letter is for the future students of public speaking. Before taking this class I was so worried because I hear many stories. One of   the things I always hear from the students was that this class is very difficult even for the native speakers. English is my second language and that was my concern, so I was very nervous to make my presentations for my accent however I did good in the class because I followed all the instructions the professor stein gave. There are some tips I would like to share with the new students in order to succeed in the class. First, do your  assignments  on  time,  follow  the  instructions  and  practice  your  speech  before  the presentations.

Professor Stein is very organized with the class, every week she would post on your black board what to do during the week. She will respond to any question that you have concern about the class. To take this class students need time to read through the chapter and respond the quizzes on time, the quizzes are very easy. Also, reading the chapter and doing the quizzes will help you for the presentations because there is a lot information and tips students can use in order to do a good performance.

Make sure to read all the instructions professor Stein gives, she is very clear and she expects you to do what she tells you, she will take points off if you do not follow the instructions. My favorite speech was the oral interpretation presentation because I like poetry and music and I choose one of my favorites songs, so it was easy for me. My least favorite assignment was the persuasive speech, I do not know why I did not feel comfortable with the speech and I was so nervous, but overall this class help me a lot with my fear to talk on front of the camera or to someone.

For the speeches I would recommend to the students to practice a lot before the presentation in front of the mirror, with friends or family members that way you can see what mistakes you are doing and you will have time to improve any mistakes. To me practicing a lot in front of the mirror was one of the key to success on the speech because I was able to see the gestures that I made and do not wait until the last day to do the presentation, its good to practice days before and that wait you will have time to download the video on time.

If I have to do it over again I will not change anything, I really like professor Stein she is great and I really enjoyed the class with her. She is very helpful and she will respond to your email quickly. One of the things I would do different is to practice the persuasive speech more because that was the most stressful part for me other than that I really like the class.

Finally, I wish to the new students good luck and do not be afraid to take this class especially with professor Stein. She will give you everything you need to succeed in this class, you only need to put your effort in your assignments and remember to read through all the instructions VERY IMPORTANT!

 

Yomair Orozco

 
 
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Hello Students,

I have to say this class is awesome!  This was not the first speech class I've taken and I can tell you this class works differently than (probably) most.  I'm not sure if it's a requirement for Professors, but Professor made it so that all of our speeches had to be posted on line.  Also had to post the link to the video (from youtube etc) to the discussion boards for our classmates to provide feedback.  I especially liked that because I thought it would be cool to be able to see the speeches of some of the other students.  It was as if we were in the classroom together. 

My favorite speech was the "interpretive speech".  This is also something new to me.  I didn't know such a type of speech even existed.  Through this speech we were given the opportunity to sing or rap or recite a poem from a story.  I enjoyed this as it brought art into the classroom.  One thing I can say I regret is not rehearsing my speeches enough before having to air them.  It's actually going to pay off to practice as much as possible. So if I could do that over I would.  Please know that if you run into a pickle with school work feeling overwhelmed etc, you can reach out to professor.  She is extremely caring, responds quickly and definitely provides her support.  I've definitely felt lucky that I took her class upon chance (because it worked with my schedule) but really ended up enjoying it and being thankful that I did join it.  I'm sure you will feel the same way.

I don't have any least favorite assignments but the last speech and the 2nd speech were a little harder because they called for more focus.  However, they were completely necessary.  They were chances for us to implement what we have learned.  I think you will surprise yourself with how you put into play what you've read throughout the semester.  The readying wasn't difficult at all and the quizzes were fairly easy. 

All in all it's a really great class and I'm really excited that you've chosen it.  You are going to have a BLAST!

GOOD LUCK!


The following are letters from students in my Face-to-Face classes from Fall 2016


This is not a hard class to succeed in, however you must put the time and the effort into this course. Don't procrastinate until the day before class to make your outline, and come to class. No matter how much experience you have in public speaking, you will get nervous at some point speaking in front of your peers.

Everything I learned in this class was extremely valuable, not only for public speaking but in life period. Some advice I have for students taking this class next semester is always be  prepared, and ALWAYS have your outline. To prepare for this class they could start by trying not to be as shy, because being shy in a public speaking class won’t turn out good, so just becoming comfortable speaking. The reading and the quizzes were extremely easy, easy As. For success on the quizzes you just need to make sure you have the book. The assignments were well written out and explained clearly, also another easy A. I did not have a least favorite assignment, my favorite, however, was the final speech, the award speeches because they were fun and it was nice seeing everyone give something nice to each other. If I had to do it over I would probably have prepared for my persuasive speech a lot more. Dr. Stein was always there and responded to emails in a good amount of time. She also lays every speech out for you so that forming your speech is easy. Good luck!


The most valuable thing I learned in class this semester was being able to gain the courage to speak in front of a large audience and learning different forms of delivery for speeches, I also learned many interesting things from my classmates. The advice I would give to an incoming student taking this class next semester is to just to just take a deep breath and relax when presenting because everyone is in the same position that you are in and there’s nothing to be nervous or worry about. To prepare for this course you must learn your information for each speech and set time aside to practice your speeches and do your assignments and quizzes. The reading wasn’t very difficult, but I did learn a lot from it. The quizzes were also a breeze with the help of the book. To be successful on the quizzes, you must read and understand the information provided in the book and if you do that then you’ll get A’s on every quiz! The assignments were not difficult, just a bit time consuming, they were decently easy considering we had learned about most of the topics in class. The speeches took time to prepare for and practice. My favorite assignment was the Oral Interpretation speech because it was extremely fun and I had a good time presenting it alongside a friend. My least favorite assignment was the Formal Speech of Introduction because I honestly do not like talking about myself, so it felt a bit awkward even though it was easy for me to present. If I had to do this all over again, I would definitely not procrastinate, I would get everything done ahead of time with lots of preparation. I feel as if I did not procrastinate as much, I would have been a bit more relaxed when presenting, which would have allowed my speeches to go a bit more smoothly.

Dear Public Speaking Students,

The most valuable thing I learned in class this semester was that participation and listening is key to success.  I would advise you to participate in class, ask questions, and listen to the professor and your classmates to get the most out of this course.  To prepare for the class, you should think about what your passion is, and what subjects you would like to learn more about and what the class can learn from you.  The readings and quizzes were pretty quick and gave good advice and helpful hints on how to give an effective speech.  The speech assignments require a significant amount of research and preparation.  My favorite assignment was the oral interpretation exercise, it was the most flexible and allowed for the most creativity and least research.  It was really great seeing everyone's interpretations and sharing mine with them.  My lease favorite assignment was a tie between the Informative Briefing and the Persuasive Speech.  Both required lots of research and oral and written citing of sources.  Make sure you get good, reputable sources, you will learn how to do that in this course.  If I had it to do over again, I would streamline all my speeches.  I tried to fit too much information into my presentations.  If I would have fine tuned them more, I think the message would have been stronger.  Overall I really enjoyed the class.  Good luck to you all.  You got this!


To future speakers,

The most valuable thing you should take from this class is that EVERYONE hates/fears speaking in front of a audience. It is OK to make mistakes especially in this class. Your speeches here don't need to be perfect, just get them done. You learn the best from making those mistakes so make plenty of them.

If you can, make friends with one or two fellow students in the class. That way when you go up to speak you can focus on them instead of the whole audience and it will help with those nerves.
The reading assignments do take some time to get through, but they are pretty easy reads detailing a lot of tips and types of speeches you may already know a bit about. The assignments themselves are pretty easy. Try not to over think them and if you have questions ask.  My personal favorites were the Intro, Informative, and Reward speeches. My least had to be the persuasive because I don't have much practice persuading people. If I had to do anything different would not to procrastinate and definitely practices my speech just a bit more in front of a small audience of friends and family. Eye contact was one of my personal weak points. Overall just have fun. Help set the fun and inviting atmosphere and others will follow.

Stein is awesome and fun but tough love kind of teacher. She knows that all students dread taking this class, but she makes it fun and does her best to makes sure you find a way to tolerate doing speeches.

Best of luck,
A former student