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The Oral Communication (OC) focus at Windward Community College applies to 200-level courses (and 100-level courses in Speech).


Each student will conduct or participate in a minimum of three oral communication assignments or a comparable amount of oral communication activity during the class. In addition, at least 40% of the final grade for a 3-credit course will be a function of the student’s oral communication activities.

Types of presentations:

  • Individual creative and aesthetic performances (e.g., storytelling, performance of literature, interpretations and readings)
  • Group presentations
  • Facilitating and participating in group discussions and community gatherings
  • Individual presentations and speeches—formal and informal
  • Panel discussions
  • Engaging in outreach activities that incorporate oral communication skills (e.g., community teaching,coaching, presenting)
  • Various forms of interviews/interrogations
  • Press conference
  • Various persuasion and influence appeals (e.g., sales presentations, solicitations, motivationalpresentations)
  • Argumentation and Debates (individual and team)
  • Oral critiques of and responses to others’ performance and presentations


Each student will receive explicit training, in the context of the class, in oral communication concerns relevant to the assignment or activity.

Explicit training for students can include:

  • Choosing appropriate topics for the occasion, purpose, and audience
  • Analyzing and adapting to audiences to become “audience-centered” using extemporaneous speaking
  • Researching credible sources and choosing relevant information to add to the presentations
  • Organizing information using the appropriate format for the occasion
  • Developing strong thesis statements
  • Using language appropriately and effectively
  • Using visual aids effectively and efficiently
  • Improving verbal and nonverbal delivery (e.g. eye contact, gestures, body movement, vocal inflections, etc)
  • Actively listening to content and organization versus passively listening
  • Listening critically and providing constructive feedback
  • Using information to influence the speaker, audience and the situation to the communication process


Each student will receive specific feedback, critiquing, and grading of the oral communication assignments or activities from the instructor.

Feedback, critique, and grading can be provided in the following areas:

  • Organization and Content
    • Introduction: Gains audience’s attention, introduces topic and thesis clearly, establishes credibility and relevancy to audience, creates common ground, and preview main ideas clearly
    • Body: Ideas are logically organized according to the order of main points taken from the thesis, main ideas are consistent in thought with clear transitions, time is devoted equally to each main point
    • Conclusion: Main points are summarized, a memorable close is included, and an action step is proposed depending on the occasion
    • Supporting Material: Each main point is supported with credible sources, supporting material creates visual imagery, is diverse, and developed thoroughly and consistently
  • Delivery
    • Visual Aid(s): Clearly visible and legible, contains appropriate amount of content, enhances audience’s comprehension and presented with a purpose
    • Language (Verbal Delivery): Uses appropriate level of language, language is used according to occasion and context, uses correct pronunciation, elaborates on ideas, avoids biased language, uses appropriate volume, effective speaking rate, articulate, uses vocal variation, minimizes verbal fillers
    • Physical (Nonverbal Delivery): Maintains consistent eye contact with audience, extemporaneous, uses effective and purposeful gestures and movement, appropriate posture and body orientation, dynamic, conversational, professional appearance, reduce anxiety and apprehension, include nonverbal gestures to support the verbal message
  • Topic Choice
    • Topic is relevant and relatable to the audience


If instructor feedback primarily involves individual or paired students, enrollment will be limited to 25 students and 20 students for WI courses.