Ashanti Morgan

Public Speaking Online: Can It or Can’t It Be Done?

Business and professional communication is an essential skill, but it no longer takes place solely in person. An important component in preparing students to segue to a professional career is ensuring that they have a plethora of experiences—today, this should include working in a virtual space.  

Many industries offer telecommuting options, require global Web-based presentations, etc. Students who are charged with working in these organizations must understand the etiquette when communicating synchronously and asynchronously.

So developing an online course in public speaking must include a myriad of opportunities to create experiences that enable students to hone communicating in an online context.

As the instructional designer for this type of online course, I spent countless hours researching what strategies other institutions (higher education and professional industries) employ when teaching a public speaking course online (one of the more popular online courses) or communicating in a professional setting.

After sifting through several examples, I created sample projects segmented by synchronous and asynchronous solutions. It was important to distinguish between the types of solutions to ensure that students get experience working with each. See the sample projects listed in the table below.

Synchronous Presentations

Sample Project Description

Examples of Technology Applications

Utilizing a web conferencing solution, create groups of students that deliver presentations in real-time to one another along with the faculty member.

  • Wimba
  • Adobe Connect
  • Blackboard Collaborate

Sample Project Description

Examples of Technology Applications

Utilizing a video recording device, require students to obtain a set number of audience members and someone to film them delivering a speech.

  • Optional: Require students to pan the audience to ensure that the criterion is met
  • Camera phone/video camera
  • Flip camera
  • Video camcorder

 

Asynchronous Presentations

Sample Project Description

Examples of Technology Applications

Utilizing a video-recording device, require students to record themselves delivering a speech.

  • Webcam recording
  • Camera phone/video camera
  • Flip camera
  • Video camcorder

Sample Project Description

Examples of Technology Applications

Utilizing an application that enables audio narration, require students to create and record a narrated PowerPoint presentation. Students submit the PowerPoint.

  • Screencast software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Voicethread

Each of these examples lends itself to creating different experiences for students to communicate professionally in a virtual space.

As technology becomes more ubiquitous in global work settings, students who are acclimated to presenting in multifaceted formats are better equipped to deliver on-demand and work with a variety of technologies.

Ashanti Morgan

About Ashanti Morgan

Ashanti Morgan is a Senior Instructional Technology Consultant and Program Manager for the Global Learning Experience (GLE) initiative at DePaul University. She also teaches computer productivity courses online as an adjunct professor in DePaul's School for New Learning. Ashanti has been working in the instructional design industry for over a decade in a variety of sectors including higher education, K-12, and non-profit. In her current role at DePaul, she manages faculty training, strategic planning, and global course development for the GLE program, an initiative that exposes students to intercultural exchanges while collaborating virtually with students abroad. She also provides instructional design expertise to faculty in a variety of disciplines across the university. Ashanti earned her master’s degree in Instructional Technology from Northern Illinois University. She also obtained her bachelor’s degree in Organizational & Corporate Communication from Northern Illinois University.

2 thoughts on “Public Speaking Online: Can It or Can’t It Be Done?

  1. The title of your blog intrigued me to read further. Technology has circum our lives and lifestyle more than we would have ever imagined. I recall watching the cartoon “The Jetsons” and pretty much being bored to death because that specific cartoon, in my young eyes, was too make believe. A scene in “The Jetsons” cartoon that now sticks out more than ever is when Mr. Jetson had a conference call with his boss. He never used the telephone. Instead, his boss would magically appear on a big screen TV. I assumed it to be a TV because computers were not yet made purchasable to the public. This was very strange to me…yet here we are today holding the exact same type of conference call, in virtual space.

    So, now there is public speaking online:) Who would have thought a class that once required the student body to be present, now, that requirement is no longer a requirement. As technology continues to maneuver and take away the face-to-face communication, eventually, the student body in colleges and universities will no longer be a requirement, as it was. Guess that means we as Instructional Designers have our work cut out for us.

    In business and professional communication it is essential, as Instructional Designers, we are on top of current technology and applications, as well as, communication styles (verbal and non-verbal), and language in a specific industry so we know what works best. So although the title “Public Speaking Online: Can it or Can’t it be Done?” is not actually a question being asked for an answer… I will answer it by saying, technology says such a class must take place.

    Your blog provided useable information! I enjoyed the read:)

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