Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Corporate Communications



First Advisor

Michael Castro

Second Advisor

John Knoll

Third Advisor

Tom Dehner


This thesis addresses teaching public speaking to adult students. It takes into account the unique characteristics of adult learners in developing a ten-lesson course to teach confidence and proficiency in public speaking.

Chapters One through Three explore ideas found in literature relating to the rapid growth of adult education, adult learning processes, and the specific ways to teach public speaking to adults. The works of important pioneers in public speaking education such as Dale Carnegie and Dr. Ralph Smedley are discussed . Also included are successful modern- day advocates o f polished speaking skills such as Lilly Waters and Jack Griffin.

Chapters Four and Five present and discuss a ten-lesson course that teaches the skills and gives the confidence required to become a successful public speaker . Lesson content, teachers guide, and exercises are included . Special attention is given the fact that fear of public speaking plays a significant role in holding back most poor speakers. Specifically, lessons One, Two, and Three are intended to address the fear factor, and lay out the basics needed to begin developing public speaking skills. The next five lessons introduce skills such as using gestures, good eye contact, vocal variety, use of props, and other topics necessary to build on the basics of public speaking. Lesson Nine allows for the reinforcement of any material covered, introduction of any worthwhile new material brought to the class, and time to work with the students on their final presentation. Lesson Ten allows as formal a setting as possible for final presentations, giving the students as much a real world setting as possible.

Students are encouraged to use their life experiences and skills to develop their presentations. Positive reinforcement is an important tool used in the learning process. As the students learn, apply, and see their progress, they gain confidence and proficiency.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License