Presentation Skills: Advocating for Change (11:607:381)

Spring 2016 Syllabus

Course Description

3 Credits. For better or worse, leaders are often measured on their public speaking skills. Ironically, public speaking is frequently identified as one of the top-ten fears. Yet public speaking is a skill that can be developed. This course is designed to strengthen students’ presentation and public speaking skills with a leadership focus on advocating for change. Upon completion, students will be able to enhance the public dialogue, a powerful vehicle for professional and personal growth. With a foundation of communication and leadership knowledge and application, students build a presentation skill set, which is useful for other college courses, the workforce and community at large.

Instructional Objectives

  • Understand and apply basic communication theories, principles and key terms regarding delivery and evaluation;
  • Understand and apply leadership theories, principles and terms for advocacy and change;
  • Analyze the audience and tailor presentations accordingly;
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills in developing and delivering presentations;
  • Apply appropriate tools and methodology for conducting and presenting research;
  • Identify and formulate positions on relevant issues—local to global;
  • Demonstrate ethical conduct when presenting;
  • Demonstrate effective verbal and non-verbal presentation skills;
  • Effectively evaluate speakers/presentations.

Required Text, Tools, Materials, and Audience Members

  • The Art of Public Speaking, Stephen E. Lucas, 11th Edition, Mc Graw Hill, 2011
  • CONNECT Course Web Address:
  • The Art of Public Speaking, Connect ACCESS code (this may be purchased with the text or can be ordered online at:
  • The Fifth Discipline: The Art of Practice of the Learning Organization, Peter Senge, Currency Doubleday, 2006.
  • Recording device: Smartphone, Webcam, Flipcam, smartphone, or digital camera (if computer/laptop does not have a built-in camera).
  • Minimum of TWO audience members when presenting.

Basis for Grading

Assignments Value
Video Presentations 50%
Video Preparation Assignments 10%
Peer Reviews of Video Assignments 7.5%
Discussion Questions 17.5%
CONNECT LearnSmart Modules 5%
EDpuzzle videos (access + view) 5%
Online Quiz 5%
TOTAL 100%


Students can refer to the specific assignment rubrics to ensure successful academic outcomes (embedded in Lesson tabs). Students can expect assignments to be graded and posted in Gradebook within one week of the assignment deadline. If an assignment deadline is to be missed, communication with the instructor is required before the deadline by email at or phone (732-232-4094), call or text. No communication + missed assignment = zero. Consideration will be applied for special circumstances.

A = 90–100
B+ = 87–89.9
B = 80–86.9
C+ = 77–79.9
C = 70–76.9
D = 60–69.9
F = below 60

Accessibility at Rutgers

Rutgers University welcomes students with disabilities into all of the University's educational programs. In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, a student with a disability must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview and provide documentation. For a the full explanation of the process, go to Documentation Guidelines. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus's disability services office will provide you with a Letter of Accommodation. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. To begin this process, please complete the registration form on the ODS website.

Weekly Syllabus

Lesson One: Course Overview and Welcome

  • Navigate eCollege course - Syllabus, Course Information, Welcome + Course Expectations, and Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Register for EDpuzzle, the website to access and complete video viewing assignments.
  • Register for CONNECT, online resource to upload video presentation assignments and complete peer reviews.
  • View CONNECT video (purpose and registration tutorial) to earn completion grade (must be registered with EDpuzzle).
  • Complete the Week One Discussion Question/DQ - initial post deadline is Thursday, post/respond/engage until Sunday.

Lesson Two: Speaking and Listening and Leadership

  • Speaking + Listening: Read Chapters 1–4 in Lucas text
  • Read Chapter 1 in Senge Text
  • Access CONNECT and complete LearnSmart Lucas chapter modules via "PRACTICE" tab in the Table of Contents (If you did not register yet, refer to Lesson One).
  • View EDpuzzle videos on ethical speaking
  • Respond to Discussion Question: Ethics and Dialogue
  • Upload TEST video to CONNECT

Lesson Three: Leadership + Presentation

  • Read Chapter 2 and 4–7 in Senge text
  • Respond to Discussion Question: Learning Organization
  • Read Chapter 14 in Lucas text
  • View the following sample student videos in CONNECT thru Library, then Media: (1) "There's an APP for that" (2) "Tap, tap, tap" and (3) "Life is a Journey"
  • Complete CONNECT LearnSmart "Practice" module
  • Upload video of Self Introduction with Object to CONNECT.

Lesson Four: Speech Preparation – Getting Started

  • Read Chapters 5–8 in Lucas text
  • Respond to Discussion Question: Audience Analysis
  • Complete Online Quiz: Gathering Materials/Research
  • Access CONNECT and complete LearnSmart Lucas chapter modules
  • In the CONNECT Media Library, click on Speech Types, then Informative and view:
    1. Acupuncture: the New Uses for an Ancient Remedy
    2. Ramadan
    3. Securing Yourself Online

*These videos are great models to show you how to cite supporting materials.

Lesson Five: Speech Preparation – Organizing + Outlining and Speaking to Inform

  • Read Chapters 9, 10, 11 and 15 in Lucas text
  • Access CONNECT and complete LearnSmart Lucas chapter modules
  • Submit Preparation Assignment for Civic Engagement video

Lesson Six: Speech Preparation

  • Read Chapters 12 + 13 in Lucas text
  • Access CONNECT and complete LearnSmart Lucas chapter modules
  • Discussion Question: Language + Delivery
  • Prepare for Civic Engagement video assignment – due in Lesson Seven.

Lesson Seven: Video Presentation Due

  • Upload Video Presentation: Civic Engagement to CONNECT

Lessons Eight: Leadership + Peer Review

  • Read Senge Chapters 8–11
  • Complete Peer Review for Civic Engagement Video

Lesson Nine

  • Discussion Question: Core Disciplines for Leadership + Advocacy

Lesson Ten: Speaking to Persuade

  • Read Chapters 16–17 in Lucas Text
  • Access CONNECT and complete LearnSmart Lucas chapter modules
  • Access and view EDpuzzle video on persuasion

Lesson Eleven: Speaking to Persuade

  • Respond to Discussion Question: Persuading Ethically
  • Submit Preparation Assignment (Persuasive) for Video Presentation #3: Advocating for Change – A Global Policy Issue

Lesson Twelve: Speech Preparation

  • In CONNECT, in MEDIA/Persuasive Speeches, watch, "Making a Difference Through the Special Olympics" using the Motivated Sequence and "Phony Pharmaceuticals," both examples of a persuasive speech on a question of policy.
  • Prepare and practice for Video Presentation (Persuasive): Advocating for Change – A Global Policy Issue

Lesson Thirteen: Video Presentation Due

  • Upload Video Presentation (Persuasive): Advocating for Change – A Global Policy Issue

Lesson Fourteen: Peer Review + Speech Preparation

  • Complete Peer Review for Persuasive Video: Advocating for Change – A Global Policy
  • Read Chapter 17 in Lucas text
  • Access CONNECT and complete LearnSmart Lucas chapter module
  • NOTE: for the final video, you DO NOT need to complete a Video Prep Assignment; it is not required for the Commemorative Video.
  • Prepare for FINAL video, the Commemorative, an Inspirational Leader of Social Change

Lesson Fifteen

FINAL: Commemorative Presentation

  • Upload Video Presentation: Inspirational Leader of Social Change
    Format should include:
    1. Introduction
      1. Attention Getter
      2. Thesis statement
    2. Body 2–5 main points and sub-points, including why the individual should be praised/celebrated – include example, testimony, and narratives. Use of creative language that inspires is required.
    3. Conclusion
      1. Brief review/recap
      2. Vivid ending with a final memorable statement