COLL-P155 – Public Oral Communication
Develop a BIG marketable skill!
A 2005 survey of 104 Silicon Valley employers “recommended that students receive more training in both oral communication and written communication skills.” In fact, “employers sought improved oral presentation skills more frequently than they did written skills,” and “public speaking skills were mentioned most frequently, followed by general writing skills.”
A December, 2010 National Association of Colleges and Employers survey showed“verbal communication skills topped the list of ‘soft’ skills they seek in new college graduates looking to join their organizations, followed by strong work ethic, teamwork skills, analytical skills, and initiative.”
A May 2012 US News article notes that a “whopping 98 percent of employers surveyed said they consider communication skills to be essential.”
Themed sections offer you the opportunity to focus on a subject that interests you.
You can sign up for a section in which speeches cover a wide range of topics, or choose a themed section in which you and your classmates develop speeches addressing public issues related to these disciplines: American Studies, Biotechnology, Criminal Justice, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Fine Arts, Folklore and Ethnomusicology, French and Italian, Gender Studies, Geography, History, Second Language Studies, Sociology, and Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance.
In a section associated with the Department of Sociology, for example, your speech topics might include: marriage inequality, the wage gap, the prison system, veterans affairs, and surveillance/rights to privacy.
Folklore and Ethnomusicology develops topics such as: free speech in protest music, trafficking in cultural artifacts, representations of national identity, and pharmaceutical patents of traditional medicines.
In the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, you’ll have the option to choose from topics including: Confucianism, Daoism, family planning policy and gender issues in the People’s Republic of China, and China-Taiwan relations.
In the Department of French and Italian, speech topics might include: the “veline” girls shown prominently on Italian TV, the French and Italian fashion industries, la mafia and organized crime, fascism, and of course French and Italian cuisine.
In Fine Arts, topics might focus on: kitsch in the age of YouTube, concept as commodity, the “selfie,” and the body as a site for artistic expression.
In the Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance, topics might include: theatre in education and/or as medium of social change, issues of homophobia and racism in theatre, and the constant scrutiny of actors in contemporary popular media.
In the Department of Gender Studies, you could explore speech topics such as: gender performance in sororities and fraternities, rape culture and pop culture, sex segregation in sports, same-sex marriage, and sex and gender in the military.
In the Department of History, speeches could target: war, national disaster, economic upheaval, events marking the beginnings of new eras, and memorials and memorialization.
In Biotechnology, topics might include: gene therapy, Western vs alternative methods, stem cell research, genetically modified foods, and “designer babies.”
In the Department of American Studies, topics might include: celebrities, citizenship and immigration, American musical aesthetics, the MPAA rating system, and Latino/a culture.
In the Department of Criminal Justice, possible speech topics would include: race and crime, gender and crime, the death penalty, the war on drugs, and high-profile criminal cases.
What to look for when registering for COLL-P155 – Public Oral Communication
To find the “themed” sections of COLL-P155, look for the identifying text. Not all sections are “themed,” but those that are appear like this: