Public Speaking Course (COMS 1030)


COMS 1030 is our Fundamentals of Public Speaking course in the School of Communication Studies. 

Public speaking is a core part of our undergraduate curriculum and our course has several essential features that help make it an innovative and engaging experience for students.  This page introduces some of those features and provides updates and information for students, parents, instructors, and others interested in the course.

Questions about COMS 1030? Email the Basic Course Director, Dr. Laura Black.

Common Experience Theme

COMS 1030 is one of many courses participating in the university-wide Common Experience Project on Sustainability. Sustainability is a broad term referring to social, economic, and environmental practices that help strengthen communities in an ongoing and healthy way.

Our public speaking workbook includes a description of sustainability in the introductory chapter in order to show how the concept is related to public life and public discourse. We provide many examples of sustainable practices in the Athens area and encourage students to choose speech topics related to sustainability for their first speaking assignment. We also provide resources to aid student research for their speeches and have examples of speeches on sustainability throughout the course.

Examples of Student Speeches

Our students perform five different speeches in this course, each one has a different purpose and allows students to build on what they have learned from previous assignments. Check out these videos of former COMS 1030 students performing their speeches.




Public Speaking Lab

The Public Speaking Lab offers COMS 1030 students an opportunity to meet for one-on-one tutoring to get help on their speaking assignments.  The lab is located in Central Classrooms Building room 404 and will be open during the weeks right before and during major speaking assignments. Because the lab is new, we are only able to offer this service to some of our classes: ask your instructor for more information.

Watch this Introduction Video to learn about the Speech Lab

COMS 1030 Library Resource Page

The COMS 1030 Library Resource Page offers resources and specific guidance for students working on assignments in this course.  It offers advice on locating and using research sources, judging the credibility of different sources, creating a reference list for speech outlines, and even ideas for possible speech topics!  Students can even contact or schedule a time to meet with a reference librarian who understands our course assignments. It is an immensely helpful library guide created just for COMS 1030.

Learning Communities

COMS 1030 is included in many of the university's learning communities for first year students.  Our classes typically consist of fewer than 25 students and involve a great deal of active learning and collaboration with peers.  We create a collaborative environment to help students develop confidence, organize their ideas, and articulate them in front of the audience. For these reason, COMS 1030 can be a good introduction to college for first-semester students.

Participation in Research

Students in COMS 1030 have the opportunity to help advance communication studies research by participating in studies done by faculty and graduate students in our program.  For more information, see the Communication Studies Research Participation page.