Whichever career path you choose, you are very likely to encounter public speaking at some point. Few people actively enjoy speaking in public, but more often than not it is because they lack the confidence and skills required to do so. Whether you are speaking in front of your classmates, speaking at a wedding, or speaking at the US Senate/Congress(!) public speaking is unavoidable. It all starts by building self-confidence and well-researched, logical and structured argument as a student of public speaking.This course provides a supportive and welcoming environment in which to develop confidence, structure and eloquence when speaking in public. During your time on this course you will become adept at researching, delivering and defending a speech in front of a range of audience types.
The first week of the course will be introductory in nature, starting with exploration of the skills required to be a great public speaker, and learning the theory and methodology of public speaking. The history of public speaking will be examined, and students will analyse famous historical speeches and the methods that famous and contemporary speakers, such as Former President Barack Obama, employ. You’ll examine the reasoning and means by which speakers overcome anxiety when speaking in front of a crowd – with particular emphasis on understanding and adapting to audiences of different demographic structure. Using universally recognised theoretical approaches to public speaking and reasoning such as the Toulmin method of argumentation (developed by Stephen Toulmin) and Aristotle’s philosophical approach to speaking, students will enhance their understanding of how to construct both a persuasive speech and an informative one, and explore the importance of research and preparation when constructing an effective speech. The first week of the course will end with a video-recorded speech and analytical review from your peers and your teacher.
The second week of the programme explores the delivery of the speech itself. Students will receive a full day of classical voice coaching which will emphasise the importance of language, tone, style, body language and more. The students will be able to put this training to the test as they give a talk on a topic of interest to all other 19-25 students present at Oxford Royale. However, public speaking is not just about delivery; the end of a speech can sometimes be more tricky than the beginning. Students will consider the importance of being able to think on their feet, and learn that preparation is the key when it comes to confidently responding to questions, managing audience reactions to speeches, and being a self-assured debater. Being well versed in all aspects of your speech’s subject matter is crucial: expecting the unexpected ensures that you are not questioned on unrehearsed topics. Also explored will be the pros and cons of using visual aids such as PowerPoints. The course concludes with a competitive debate in the chambers of the Oxford Union, one of the world’s most prestigious debating societies.
The table below gives an indication of the subject areas that will be covered in each day’s lecture and seminar. Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, please note that topics and timings may be subject to change. Regarding topics, our teachers retain the flexibility to adapt to the academic interests of the students in the class, in order for the members of the class to benefit from their broad spectrum of knowledge and experience in the field.
|Week||Day||Lesson Number||Topic Covered|
|Week One||Sunday||Arrival Day – no classes|
|Monday||1||Introduction to Public Speaking|
|Monday||2||History of the World’s Best Speakers & Famous Speeches|
|Tuesday||1||Managing Anxiety About Public Speaking|
|Tuesday||2||Types of Speeches|
|Wednesday||1||Analysing the Audience|
|Wednesday||2||Listening and Feedback|
|Thursday||1||Purpose and Thesis of Speech|
|Thursday||2||Researching the Speech|
|Friday||1||Organising the Speech|
|Friday||2||Outlining the Speech|
|Week Two||Sunday||No classes|
|Monday||1||Language and Style|
|Tuesday||1||Questions & Answers: Preparation and Responses|
|Tuesday||2||Slides, Powerpoints and Visual Aids|
|Wednesday||1||Types of Speeches|
|Wednesday||2||Logic, Reasoning and Rhetorical Proof – Pt 1|
|Thursday||1||Logic, Reasoning and Rhetorical Proof – Pt 2|
|Thursday||2||Preparation and Rehearsing|
Why take this course?
This course is designed to improve your confidence with public speaking, and it’s ideal for anyone who wants to become more articulate when speaking in front of other people in any context. The course is aimed at students and recent graduates aged 19 to 25. You could be a gap year student preparing for the more intense academic experience of university, an undergraduate wanting to improve your presentation skills, or simply aiming to enhance your CV with a valuable skill to set yourself apart from other candidates. Being able to speak confidently in public, as well as delivering a persuasive argument, will stand you in good stead throughout life – at university, in the workplace and in social contexts.
Every summer, ORA welcomes hundreds of the world’s brightest, most academically gifted students to our Oxford courses. In 2017, attendees came from 135 different nations, each bringing with them unique cultures, perspectives and stories to share with their new friends.
Timetable for students aged 19 to 25
Our Teaching Faculty
At Oxford Royale Academy we are committed to providing our students with the most qualified and high-calibre teaching available. All Oxford Royale Academy teachers are passionate about their subject, and are looking forward to passing their knowledge on to their students this summer! For full details of last summer’s teaching faculty, please click here
Guest Lectures and Debates
At ORA, we go the extra mile to enhance the study abroad experience of our students. As part of this, every year our dedicated Events Team organises a series of fascinating guest lectures. Leadership is important in any profession and workplace, and so this year students will be invited to attend an afternoon of guest speakers discussing inspirational, political, and entrepreneurial leadership at the Saïd Business School. Speakers include Dr. Tereza Capelos, Senior Lecturer in Political Psychology; Dr. Simon Adderley, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Oxford Brookes University; and Jenny Garrett – an award winning Executive Career Coach, Inspirational Leadership Trainer, TEDx Speaker, and entrepreneur! Our students also have the opportunity to watch and participate in a number of debates, which take place on campus. These range from formal Panel Debates to informal discussions about current ‘hot topics’ led by ORA staff.
The United Kingdom has a rich cultural heritage, and a course with Oxford Royale Academy is the perfect way to explore this. All ORA courses include coach excursions to places of historical and social significance in the UK. On the Public Speaking Skills for the Modern World and Workplace programme, attendees will board the ORA coach to two such destinations. Last summer’s coach excursions included visits to Blenheim Palace and London.
While the majority of your time at Oxford Royale Academy will be spent immersing yourself in public speaking, you’ll have some time off incorporated into your schedule so that you can make the most of your time in Oxford. You’ll have the chance to try your hand at punting on the River Thames – a quintessential Oxford summer activity. In the evenings, you’ll be able to try a variety of fun new things, such as salsa dancing or a cookery competition. You’ll get to go on day trips to exciting destinations such as Blenheim Palace and Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, and at the end of your course you’ll celebrate your achievements with a special graduation ceremony and dinner
Some past afternoon activities enjoyed by our students include the following:
- Punting: travel the waterways of the River Cherwell in a flat-bottomed boat, using a five-metre-long pole to propel your vessel! This mode of transport is unique to Oxford and Cambridge.
- Summer sports: have you ever played the traditional English game of croquet? There will be the chance to do so on the lawns of your campus! Real tennis (a variation of tennis played indoors, with a heavier ball) has also been enjoyed by our previous students.
- College and museum tours: An ORA course is the perfect opportunity to visit some of the University of Oxford’s most famous Colleges (including New College, Magdalen College and Christ Church). You will also have the chance to visit Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum – famous for being the world’s first university museum.
- Dance and music workshops: have you ever wanted to try Indian dance? How about Salsa dancing? Or drumming? Experts in these art forms will be dropping in to our campuses to run optional workshops, allowing our students to unleash their creative sides.
The events and entertainment on offer don’t stop when the sun starts to go down at our campuses! The following will be available to every student on this programme:
- Outdoor theatre: many Oxford Colleges put on Shakespeare plays in their quads and gardens throughout the summer months.
- Karaoke in Oxford: head to a venue in Oxford and sing along to the latest hits.
- Themed parties at local hotels and country houses: head to a local venue and enjoy dinner and dancing with your friends from around the world; past venues include Ardington House in Oxfordshire and The Randolph Hotel in the city of Oxford. Every party has a theme: Hollywood, Venetian Masquerade and The Olympics are examples of past themes.
- Graduation: a formal graduation ceremony will be held on the last night of your course. This is followed by your Graduation dinner and party — a glamorous conclusion to your stay in Oxford!
Oxford Royale Academy’s summer programmes are designed with the academic rigour of their prestigious environment firmly in mind. Students studying ORA’s Public Speaking for the Modern World and Workplace programme will live and study in the historic city of Oxford, providing them with a unique opportunity to discover the atmosphere and architecture of its world-renowned university buildings. Our courses for students aged 19-25 are residential in Merton College, offering a peaceful and scholarly environment in which to live and study. The College has a desirable city-centre location just off the High Street, and has long held a reputation for academic excellence. Participants will have plenty of free time to enjoy independent exploration of the inspirational city of Oxford, and to conduct their own research in Oxford’s libraries.
Our summer courses offer our students the complete study abroad experience. The grid below describes everything that is included with an ORA adult course:
- Over 15 taught hours per week
- Study files and materials
- Guest lectures from academic speakers
- Access to Oxford’s famous Bodleian Library
- Course certificate after graduation
- Wide selection of optional afternoon and evening activities
- 2 coach excursions per course
- Welcome and graduation events (+1s invited)
- Discounts at shops around Oxford
- Accommodation in the University of Oxford
- City centre location
- Free WiFi (subject to availability)
- Free time outside of classes
- Private Medical / Travel insurance
- Graduation Ball
- Conversation Cafe
- A formal dinner at an exclusive Oxfordshire culinary destination
- After-hours event at Oxford’s Ashmolean museum.
- ORA memorabilia
The safety and security of our students is ORA’s top priority. All of the centres at which our courses run are safe, secure environments, which are perfect for our students. Each centre is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a team of Porters. In addition, Oxford Royale Academy’s comprehensively trained team of campus staff are always on hand. If you join us this summer, you will see the following members of staff on your campus:
Some classes on the Public Speaking Skills for the Modern World and Workplace will take place in College; others are held at nearby venues in the city.
Most students who come to ORA will have to book a flight to the UK. ORA courses do not include flights. Information on the best time to arrive will be on your course confirmation email and in your Welcome Pack.
Arrival / Departure Transfers
ORA offers coach transfers between all of our Oxford campuses and London Heathrow airport, for a small extra charge. For more information, please click here.
Every year, ORA offers a number of scholarships to talented students from around the world. If you would like to read more about the financial aid we can offer, please click here.
Welcome Reception and Graduation
Family are welcome to attend these events at the start and end of their student’s course. For more information, please contact our Registrations Department on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medical and Dietary Information
All students who enrol are required to complete our Medical and Dietary Information form. A link will be emailed to all students once their enrolment is confirmed.
Eligibility and Pre-requisites
Students on the Public Speaking Skillsm for the Modern World and Workplace programme:
- Must conform to our Age Policy.
- Must be fluent or near-fluent English language speakers – if you are unsure whether your English level is suitable for this programme, please contact our Registrations Team on email@example.com and they will be able to assist you.
- Must be able to fulfil the basic requirements of the programme, in terms of attendance at lessons, meals and events. Please contact our Registrations Team for more detailed information.
Dates, Fees and Locations
|Course Length||Course Dates||Course Fees||Location|
|2 weeks||1 Jul – 14 Jul||4,295 GBP||Merton College|
How to Apply
If you prefer, you can complete our paper application form, which is available for download by clicking here. You can then return this to our offices by one of the following methods:
- Scan and e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax to +44 (0) 845 130 01 22
- Post to the address below
For enrolments via the paper application form, we are able to accept the GBP 795.00 course deposit by credit or debit card, bank transfer or cheque. Please see the form for full details.