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Oxford Summer School for Adults 2018

Public Speaking for the Modern World and Workplace Ages 19-25

Oxford Summer School for Adults 2018

Become adept at planning a speech and using it to deliver a compelling argument.

2 weeks | Available July - August 2018

  • Live, dine and study in colleges of the University of Oxford
  • Public speaking tuition with experts
  • Talks with world-class guest speakers
  • A truly international environment - form a global network
  • Inspirational cultural programme

Course Summary

During your time on this course you will become adept at planning a speech and using it to deliver a compelling argument. You’ll analyse techniques used in famous speeches from throughout history, including right up to the present day.

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.

Where could the Public Speaking for the Modern World and Workplace course lead you?

Why choose the Public Speaking for the Modern World and Workplace course?

The course will start 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. Students will then examine the reasoning and means by which speakers overcome anxiety when speaking in front of a crowd. 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.

How will the Public Speaking for the Modern World and Workplace course help me?

Students will receive a full day of classical voice coaching which will emphasise the importance of language, tone, style, body language and more. 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.

Is this course for me?

If you would like to be able to deliver high quality, impactful presentations, and would like to better understand how to hold an audience like one of the great orators of history, then this course is for you.

Topics covered

Day-by-Day Schedule

Week | Day Lesson Content
Week One | Monday - Introduction to Public Speaking
- History of the World’s Best Speakers & Famous Speeches
Week One | Tuesday - Managing Anxiety About Public Speaking
- Types of Speeches
- Narrative
- Types of Speech
Week One | Wednesday - Writing a speech
- Metaphor
Week One | Thursday - Classical voice coaching workshop
Week One | Friday - Recap and Peroration
- Giving a Speech
Week Two | Monday - From written to spoken language
- Listening and Feedback
Week Two | Tuesday - Acting and alternative presentation workshop
Week Two | Wednesday - Analaysing the Audience
- Questions & Answers: Preparation and Responses
Week Two | Thursday - The Toulmin Model
- Aristotle's Rhetoric
- Slides, Powerpoints and Visual Aids
- Fallacies
Week Two | Friday - Debate Speech

What will you get out of the Public Speaking Skills for the Modern World and Workplace course?

By the end of the course, students will have:

  • Explored what makes a speech (and a speaker) riveting to their audience
  • Learned how to handle their public speaking nerves
  • Discussed different types of speeches and when they should be used
  • Discovered the importance of planning speeches, when possible
  • Given several speeches to their peers, and taken part in a debate, to hone their skills

Welcome to the City of Oxford - your home this summer

ORA Experience

Oxford is a city like no other, combining startlingly beautiful architecture with a buzzing, modern city centre, with superb shopping, restaurants, cafés and more. With the colleges of Oxford University at its heart, some almost 800 years old, it is a city steeped in history and academia.

Students on Oxford Royale's Oxford summer courses will have the chance to live, dine and study in this stunning city, exploring all of its major sites and discovering its hidden secrets. Through both organised trips to key landmarks and free time in the evenings, students will become acquainted with all that Oxford has to offer.

As students walk the cobbled streets and gaze up at the spires, gargoyles and honey-coloured stone buildings, they will be walking in the footsteps of some of the most influential figures in history, including prime ministers, presidents, Nobel prize-winning scientists, authors and more.

Why study in Oxford?
Why study in Oxford?
Why study in Oxford?

Useful information for students


Students will be accommodated in comfortable single rooms in either Merton or University College, depending on the course chosen - please contact our registrations team if you would like more information. Accommodation is the standard accommodation for university undergraduates who study at the university, so students are able to get a flavour for what being an undergraduate at the university might be like.Bathrooms are typically shared between students of the same gender, though in some cases en-suite facilities are available.

Programme Staff

The programme is overseen by the Programme Director, who implements the day-to-day running of the programme. The Director is assisted by a team of Counsellors who very often are current members of the University of Oxford or University of Cambridge and are able to provide an insight into life at these prestigious institutions.

Eligibility & pre-requisites

Students on this course:

  • 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 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.

Find out more

Find out more Immigration & Visas

Information and advice on securing your student visa.

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Find out more Arrival & Departure

Information about how to travel to and from ORA.

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Find out more Airport Transfers

Details of transfers between ORA and Heathrow Airport.

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Find out more FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

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Public Speaking for the Modern World and Workplace is residential in the following locations:

(If your course takes place in more than one campus in the same city and you would like to know more about which location you will be allocated, please call our registrations team)

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