public speaking Intro




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Hello and welcome to the fundamentals of public speaking. My name’s Matt McGarrity and I’m a principle Lecturer here in the Communication Department at the University of Washington in Seattle. Now I love this course. I love public speaking. I’ve researched it. I’ve taught it for decades. And I suppose probably one of the main reasons I love public speaking, can best be summed up in a quotation by Daniel Webster. Now if you don’t know, Daniel Webster was an American politician and Senator in the late 18th century and early 19th century. And what he said was, if all my talents and powers were to be taken from me by some inscrutable Providence, and I had my choice of keeping but one, I would unhesitatingly ask to be allowed to keep the power of speaking, for through it, I would quickly regain the rest. So I like this quotation. It’s funny, but it’s funny by 18th century standards. It’s not hilarious, not a knee-slapper, but it’s clever. But I also like it because it illustrates for me a core truth. Speech is power. At a basic level, speech is power. So many people are bad at it. So many more people are afraid of it. If you can stand up in front of an audience and effectively and confidently communicate your ideas, you have power. And that’s a power that’s hard to take away. So in this course and in this specialization we’ll study and practice speech. The goal is for you to be able to speak effectively and dynamically. And I think Danielle Webster would be proud. [MUSIC]

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