Unit 1: Why Public Speaking Matters Today
You probably remember the public protests from 2011 which rocked the world. In northern Africa, in the United States, in Russia and in many other countries, people protesting their governments' decision-making dominated the news sections of many media outlets. These protests – literally "mass" communication from people to people – represent just one of many reasons why public speaking matters today. Although it can now take on many forms and formats, from standing in front of a crowd to tweeting, emailing, posting on a social media site, or commenting in the discussion area after a news article, communicating in public matters today for the same reason has always mattered, because it can be one of the most effective ways for the voices of the people to be heard. Recognize, however, that due to the primary textbook this course utilizes, the material in this unit approaches public speaking with an inevitably American cultural bias. Moreover, it is unethical to force one's cultural biases onto others and expect them to conform. The content which ends this unit covers the topic of ethics in public speaking, completing this introductory examination of the subject in a manner that should encourage you to become more aware of and sensitive about such issues, which also illustrate why public speaking matters today.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 8 hours.