The Art of Public Speaking

The Art of Public Speaking
Course Trailer
Overcome Obstacles-Demosthenes of Athens
1: Overcome Obstacles-Demosthenes of Athens

Here, Professor Hale outlines the goals of the course. Then, he introduces you to Demosthenes-the ancient Greek orator whose life and career illustrates how practice, hard work, memorization, the acceptance of early failures, and other skills are essential to overcoming obstacles from stage fright to speech impediments.

33 min
Practice Your Delivery-Patrick Henry
2: Practice Your Delivery-Patrick Henry

Key to effective speaking is using your voice and body to reinforce your meaning. Using examples from Patrick Henry, Oliver Cromwell, Winston Churchill, and others, learn how the power of a speech lies not so much in words as in vocal and physical elements like tone, pitch, facial expression, and posture.

30 min
Be Yourself-Elizabeth I to Her Army
3: Be Yourself-Elizabeth I to Her Army

In order to make the deepest possible connection with your audience, it's essential to talk about yourself. This lecture provides you with advice on opening up to people about yourself-your experiences, your emotions, even your weaknesses-with some lessons taken from speeches by Elizabeth I and Sojourner Truth.

30 min
Find Your Humorous Voice-Will Rogers
4: Find Your Humorous Voice-Will Rogers

Learn how to use humorous techniques such as hyperbole, incongruity, and surprise-even when your speech is of the utmost seriousness. The secret of effective humor, as speeches by Will Rogers and others show, is to ensure that each laugh makes a point and focuses your audience's attention on the topic.

31 min
Make It a Story-Marie Curie on Discovery
5: Make It a Story-Marie Curie on Discovery

Turn now to a series of lectures on composing effective speeches. Here, investigate the benefits of organizing information into a story to give your details weight and vividness. One powerful example of this concept at work: Marie Curie using storytelling to explain the complexities of radium-and to make them memorable.

31 min
Use the Power of Three-Paul to His People
6: Use the Power of Three-Paul to His People

What is the power of three? And why is it so important to writing a great speech? Find out as Professor Hale unpacks the 13th chapter from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians to demonstrate why a speech-and the examples and anecdotes it uses-should be planned in threes.

31 min
Build a Logical Case-Susan B. Anthony
7: Build a Logical Case-Susan B. Anthony

Logic should always guide the sequence of your thoughts, whether you're giving a sermon, a corporate report, or a birthday toast. Discover how to avoid digressions, offensive statements, contrarian views, and other pitfalls that may disrupt the logic of your speech, with examples from Susan B. Anthony, John Stuart Mill, and Chief Joseph.

31 min
Paint Pictures in Words-Tecumseh on Unity
8: Paint Pictures in Words-Tecumseh on Unity

Narrow your focus to the individual words and phrases you use in your speech-each of which can make your topic unforgettable. With the help of Tecumseh, Homer, Aesop, and others, examine ways to create and use evocative images, avoid mixed metaphors and hyperbole, and more.

30 min
Focus on Your Audience-Gandhi on Trial
9: Focus on Your Audience-Gandhi on Trial

Now that you've learned how to overcome obstacles and prepare, it's time to learn the essential elements of actually giving a speech. Here, Professor Hale uses famous historical figures, including Gandhi and President Kennedy, as models for how to deliver your speech to-and connect with-specific audiences.

34 min
Share a Vision-Martin Luther King's Dream
10: Share a Vision-Martin Luther King's Dream

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech is one of the most iconic speeches in modern history. More important: It's the perfect example of a speech with the power to inspire. In this lecture, discover ways to articulate and share your personal vision with an audience.

33 min
Change Minds and Hearts-Mark Antony
11: Change Minds and Hearts-Mark Antony

Sometimes, you may find yourself speaking before an audience who needs to be persuaded about your point of view. Discover invaluable tips for swaying emotions and opinions by appealing to sentiments, repeating facts, and using props-just like Mark Antony does in his unforgettable speech from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

29 min
Call for Positive Action-Lincoln at Gettysburg
12: Call for Positive Action-Lincoln at Gettysburg

Finish the course with a look at what Professor Hale considers the greatest speech ever written: Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Two powerful lessons you can take away from Lincoln's words: Include a clear call to action near the conclusion of your speech, and always craft a strong ending.

33 min
John R. Hale

The most important record of religious history resides not in books and sacred texts but buried in the earth.


University of Cambridge


University of Louisville

About John R. Hale

Dr. John R. Hale is the Director of Liberal Studies at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. He earned his B.A. at Yale University and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in England. Professor Hale teaches introductory courses on archaeology, as well as more specialized courses on the Bronze Age, the ancient Greeks, the Roman world, Celtic cultures, the Vikings, and nautical and underwater archaeology. An accomplished instructor, Professor Hale is also an archaeologist with more than 30 years of fieldwork experience. He has excavated at a Romano-British town in Lincolnshire, England, and at the Roman Villa of Torre de Palma in Portugal. Among other places, he has carried out interdisciplinary studies of ancient oracle sites in Greece and Turkey, including the famous Delphic oracle, and participated in an undersea search in Greek waters for lost fleets from the time of the Persian Wars. Professor Hale has received many awards for distinguished teaching, including the Panhellenic Teacher of the Year Award and the Delphi Center Award. His writing has been published in the journals Antiquity, The Classical Bulletin, the Journal of Roman Archaeology, and Scientific American.

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