Course taught primarily online. Students will attend an introductory class on campus and access instructional materials upon returning home at hours that suit their own schedules. This instruction may include lectures recorded by their professor, podcasts, documentaries, and discussion posts. Readings and assignments will be available via AU's Blackboard platform. Professors remain accessible to student questions for 30 days after the on-campus segment.
Course Description: Public Speaking is a critical component of successful leaders. In today's world, the ability to present one's thoughts clearly is key to success. Whether you choose to join the Peace Corps or work in a Fortune 500 company, understanding the value of storytelling and public speaking will differentiate you from your colleagues and peers. For many, public speaking is daunting; for a few, it comes naturally. But like most things, with a few tricks of the trade and a lot of practice, we can all become confident and effective public speakers. The focus of this course will be on preparation, examination, organization, and delivery aspects of public speaking. The skills you build will also be applicable to other areas of your life. The readings, course activities, and course projects are created to strengthen your skills. Active listening will be examined as a fundamental prerequisite for effective and efficient public communication. We will make ongoing efforts to learn from our experiences during the time in this NSLC program and through deliberate critiques; all of these activities will improve our communication skills.
Professor: Sarah Menke-Fish is a full-time professor of Film and Media Arts at American University in Washington, DC. She is director of the University College and Learning Communities, serves as associate director for the Center for Environmental Filmmaking, launched and directs Discover the World of Communication, a summer program that brings high school students from around the world to AU and U.C. Berkeley for intense, hands-on courses in environmental communication, video production, screen writing and journalism. Prior to American University, Menke-Fish taught briefing skills in government agencies including the DIA and Federal Reserve and Energy. Menke-Fish coordinated Montgomery County Public Schools' Humanities and Communication Magnet Program, an interdisciplinary program for highly gifted and talented students. She has won awards for educational documentaries produced with secondary students, including CINE awards for If You Change Your Mind and Remotely Science, and the Presidential Environmental Youth Award for Trash: What A Waste, a comprehensive look at recycling. In 2012 Menke-Fish received the University Award for Outstanding Teaching. In 2005 she was selected Faculty Member of the Year by the AU Student Confederation and in 2002, she received American University's award for Outstanding Teaching in an Adjunct Position.