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COM104: Fundamentals of Public Speaking (Gostin)

Reference Librarian

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Laura Hogan
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Attleboro Campus


Welcome to the Research Guide for COM104, Fundamentals of Public Speaking.  Please use this guide to find resources for your speeches this semester.  Please contact myself or any BCC Librarian if you have any questions.

Public Speaking


How is communicating through public speaking different from communicating through written materials?  From Credo Reference

The ways we transmit and process information through public speaking are very different from doing so in writing. Even when the same or similar information is available in written format, there are significant differences in language, expression, and the amount of information made available to the audience.

Reading and writing involve different cognitive and neural processes than speaking and listening. This affects the way we extract meaning from written versus spoken content, along with the information we take in to create that meaning. Different people will use different strategies to create meaning from written or spoken texts, and these strategies might vary widely.

Other differences in the way we communicate through public speaking can be found in the inclusion of nonverbal information, the use of sound techniques such as rhythm and volume changes, and in the time-bound nature of speech. All of these create a completely different information and communication experience. The experience of attending a lecture delivered by a famous professor is not the same as the experience of reading a textbook written by the same person. Content written for out-loud performance will not be as effective when read silently from a page. It is difficult to fully appreciate Shakespeare's Hamlet simply by reading the text. It's when we hear and see a skillful delivery of the play that we truly appreciate the author's mastery of expression and emotion.