This course introduces students to the practical and theoretical elements of effective public speaking and advocacy. Focus is given to oral communication skills, (both in larger audience venues and smaller interactive exchanges), effective crafting of presentation content, convincing organization of material, and skilled delivery of presentations. Emphasis is also given to human and physical dimensions of the communication process; vocal intonation and rhythm, body behavior, global audience evaluations, self-awareness and control. Students identify techniques for minimizing distractions, developing confidence in presentation and interaction situations, and analyzing informational requirements.
At the base of our scholarly mission will lie the intention of learning to advocate for global and humanitarian causes that are important to us, and which speak to our consciences and compassion. Semester at Sea presents students with unique and unusual opportunities to not only learn about humanitarian challenges globally but also to find their voice in advocating for those causes. This course serves to assist in that process so that individuals lose their fear of public speaking in favor of finding their voices in the interest of human empathy.
A critical component for students, who will invariably be exposed to an increasingly international milieu in their careers, will be the awareness of audience variations, respect for global considerations, and the mastering of intercultural communication skills.
We also analyze historically significant or influential speeches that have had a political or social impact on the societies we interact with, especially societies in transition or crisis. We dissect debates and explore the public fields and careers in which speechmaking and communications are central to success.
Field WorkCountry: Poland
Date: September 16, 2019
Students will start with a bus tour of the city of Gdansk, with local tour guide to show historical sites and local landmarks. This will be followed by a visit to the renowned ‘Solidarity Center’, with a guide describing the history and mission for the Center, and students learning what humanitarian causes are advocated for in the center. After a lunch in the city, we will visit the beautiful Shakespeare Center, developed from of a famous 17th century fencing site, and known for its famous retractable roof. Here, students will have the opportunity to present short soliloquys or statements from the complex stage configuration that the theater is also known for.
1. To situate students with the outlay and history of the Polish City
2. To educate students in the history and mission of the Solidarity center
3. To experience the phenomenon of the Shakespeare theater (with an opportunity for on-san tage soliloquy or short advocacy statement (and to see the famous roof and stage configurations)