This unit develops knowledge, skills, and understanding in three main genres of spoken communication - prepared presentations, interactive committee work and interview work. It is intended to develop a professionally critical awareness of speaking and listening effectively and reflectively. Speaking and listening well are central to professional communication in every field. Employers routinely emphasise these skills as highly as written communication skills when they are looking to recruit professional staff. Learning to handle spoken communication situations in a businesslike manner is undoubtedly a competitive asset when looking to advance your career and leadership at work. Speaking and listening are also central to the quality of community life. Whether it be a family function, like a wedding, or large-scale social decision-making, like the debates in a political election campaign, all communities rely on speaking and listening to carry out their most important business, and look to leaders who can set and maintain community norms for spoken communication. Speaking and listening well means helping our communities to sustain and renew themselves.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Exhibit advanced techniques of speaking (composition and performance) and listening (reception and critique), particularly through the professional genres of the presentation, the committee meeting and the interview;  
  2. Appraise and critique the spoken communication work of themselves and their peers;  
  3. Challenge and cross-examine diverse forms of spoken communication in professional workplaces and contexts; and  
  4. Compose and debate perspectives on relevant issues that are accurate, to-the-point, ethical and reflective.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Exercise Short speech exercises in-class (8 x 5%) Equivalent 1500 words 30%
Presentation Scripted speech 1500 words 30%
Presentation Major group presentation (Work Integrated Learning) Equivalent 2000 words 40%

Required reading

The art of public speaking, 11th edn,
Lucas, S 2011,
Boston: McGraw Hill

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