Did you know that the #1 indicator of success on the ACT and SAT college entrance exams is your vocabulary? Right next to Vocabulary, in importance for academic success, is writing. Writing is at the heart of the ability to show what you know to an instructor – and to be able to, quite frankly, get good grades.
If you need and want to increase your vocabulary, learning, writing, and overall upper level communication, then this is a course you want to enroll in.
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It’s perfectly okay to laugh and enjoy your high school education!
Kevin O’Brien and his many alter egos demonstrate the importance of learning proper speech and communications skills.

Course Details:
Speech and Communications
Total classes: 13
Duration: 55 minutes
Prerequisite: None
Suggested high school credit: 1 full credit Speech / Communications
Instructor: Kevin O’Brien
Course description: Effective communications and good public speaking begins with an understanding of rhetoric – how a good argument is developed, how a good speech is structured, and how spoken communication differs from written communication. In this course, we will examine the greatest speeches of the greatest orators in history, analyzing what they wrote and (when audio or video of their speeches exist) their style of delivery. And while Speech and Communications is essential to success in the business world, it is also essential for understanding and presenting arguments in support of the Catholic Faith, or even for persuading others of anything that’s important to you. The goal of this course, then, is twofold – to learn to appreciate and analyze good verbal rhetoric, and to apply what we’ve learned to come up with our own short speeches that are engaging, entertaining and effective.
Course outline:
1. Introduction and Overview
2. The Great Orators of Greece and Rome
3. Public Speeches as Recounted in Scripture – The Prophets of the Old Testament and the Apostles of the New Testament
4. The Rhetorical Structure and Dramatic Effect of Speeches in Shakespeare (selections from Julius Caesar, Henry V, and Macbeth)
5. Religious Persuasion through the Ages – The Sermon on the Mount, Jonathan Edwards and the Puritans, Bishop Fulton Sheen
6. Speeches by Students – Delivered and Critiqued during Class
7. Speeches by Students – Delivered and Critiqued during Class
8. Great Political Speeches of the 18th and 19th Centuries – Patrick Henry, Jefferson, Wilbeforce, Lincoln
9. Great Political Speeches of the 20th Century Part I – Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Churchill, Eisenhower
10. Great Political Speeches of the 20th Century Part II – JFK, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan
11. The Use of Humor and Oratory for American Pop Culture – Mark Twain, Will Rogers, etc.
12. Speeches by Students – Delivered and Critiqued during Class
13. Speeches by Students – Delivered and Critiqued during Class
Course materials: Will be provided by the instructor in the form of PDF’s and eBooks; videos and audio recordings of speeches will be reviewed during class time.
Homework: Weekly reading. Each student will be required to write two short speeches (no longer than five minutes each), with outlines to be approved by the instructor at least two weeks before the speech is to be presented.

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