Leslie Goerner's Website


Mrs. Leslie Goerner, Associate Professor, Humanities Department

Mohawk Valley Community College, 1101 Sherman Drive Utica, NY 13501










EN150: Effective Speech | Syllabus

Instructor: Mrs. Leslie Goerner



Course Description
This course is an introduction to public speaking. It emphasizes the fundamentals of preparing, organizing, supporting and delivering the speech based on factual material. Included are topic selections, audience analysis, distinguishing fact from opinion, outlining, supporting opinion, use of visual support, etc. Informative and persuasive speeches and presentations are emphasized. Elements of interpersonal communication, logic and persuasion are discussed. Written reports and/or exams may be required. 

Prerequisite: English 101 Composition

Departmental Objectives
Effective Speech is designed for students who desire to improve their speech efficiency, poise and self-confidence in public speaking situations. Students who complete the course successfully will understand the principles of effective oral communications and be prepared to apply the principles in actual speaking situations. As the course progresses, it is expected that students will:

•  understand basic speech principles/concepts

•  develop effective listening skills

•  apply principles of effective speech communication in planning and preparing a speech for a specific purpose and audience

•  understand and demonstrate effective uses of visual aids for various types of speeches

•  develop an ability to critique different types of speeches according to the principles and concepts discussed

•  apply principles of speech communication to interpersonal communications.


No Textbooks Required
All readings for this course will be provided. Bring the book to all classes along with a notebook and pen.


Disability Services

Please notify me if you have any type of disability (physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, other) which may require special accommodation.  Please see me after class or during my office hours to discuss your needs. Before services can begin, you must also contact Lynn Igoe, the Coordinator of Disability Services, 792-5413 (Voice or TTY), or the Learning and Assistive Technology Specialist, at 731-5702. Both are located in Room 153 of the Academic Building on the Utica Campus. These staff members will review and assist with accommodations.

Note: Videos and PowerPoint presentations will be shown in class.  Please see me in advance if you anticipate problems related to hearing or seeing these materials.


Cell Phones, I-Pods, MP3 Players...

Student use of technologies not relevant to this class is prohibited.  This includes but is not limited to cell phones for conversation, games, or text messaging, MP3 players and i-Pods.





Credit Opportunities

4 formal speech presentations    

1 participation grade



Formal Speech Presentations

•  Self-introduction

•  Demonstration

•  Information

•  Persuasion


Participation Workshop Activities and Audience Support

This grade will reflect the successful completion of ongoing workshop activities and audience support including some or all of the following:


•  regular attendance and timely arrival*

•  supportive and courteous active listening for student speakers

•  constructive contributions to class activities and discussion

•  PowerPoint mini sessions with responses

•  in-class writing workshops for speech development

•  evaluations of fellow student speakers

•  small-group speech previews

•  impromptu speeches

•  speech draft workshops and listener responses

•  coaching team events

•  conference sessions

•  videotaped practice speech excerpts and self-evaluations

* Students arriving after an exercise has been discussed and initiated may lose full credit for the activity.




Code of Conduct

"Mohawk Valley Community College believes in the following values: social responsibility, civility, personal accountability, professional and academic ethics, personal integrity, dignity, fairness, honesty, respect for self and others and participation in local, regional and global communities" ( MVCC Student Handbook 2008-2009 page 43).


Policy on Responsible Speech Content Topics for speeches must be approved in advance.  Each student is responsible for choosing subject matter that keeps in mind a diverse audience. Material that might be found in a private diary or journal is not suitable. Present chosen topics in a way that highlights events you will not regret sharing and others will not regret having heard. Word choice should meet the standard for the professional job interview. Language you would not choose with a prospective employer won't be welcome here either. Avoid cliches and conversational informalities ("gonna," "you guys," "we hung out").  Profanity, racial and ethnic slurs, and offensive content are unacceptable. 


It is the student's responsibility to ask questions about this policy as it relates to a proposed topic and its content.  A speech that does not adhere to these guidelines will face a grade deduction and possible cancellation even as it is being presented. In this instance, no make-up will be permitted.  


MVCC Policy on Academic Integrity
"The College is committed to a spirit of intellectual inquiry rooted in the ethical behavior of its participants. This means that certain acts which affect the integrity of learning are not permissible. Engaging in dishonest or unethical behavior may result in disciplinary action taken against the student by the instructor, department or other appropriate College official...Students cannot [e]ngage in plagiarism by submitting or using as their own another person's oral, written or computer-based work. All sources of material must be credited" (MVCC Student Handbook).


Full details on course activities and policies are provided on the syllabus distributed to participating students.