Welcome to Learn the Art of Public Speaking

Candee Basford

Candee Basford

Greetings! I am the fortunate instructor of the Fundamentals of Effective Speech Class at Southern State Community College (SSCC). This blog is the collective work of students enrolled on the south campus of SSCC. Each week we will be adding new entries and ideas. We encourage you to comment and add your own voice.

At least two ideas motivate the development of this blog. One, we want to share what we are learning with others interested in public speaking and two, we want our work to extend beyond ourselves, beyond the classroom and beyond a requirement for credit.


33 Comments Add your own

  • 1. zoz4067  |  January 20, 2009 at 12:25 am

    I really don’t know much about public speaking and I really wish I didn’t have to do it. But, I am looking forward to learning how to do it and getting over some of the little fears I have about being in front of a group of people I don’t know.


  • 2. William Todd Sanders  |  April 3, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Well I have had the first two classes on what I have been anticipating for quite a while. I am really enjoying this class and I already have the feeling of how much it will help me in the academic areas as well as in the future job market. Looking forward to a great quarter!

  • 3. Ellen Gray  |  April 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Well let me start off by saying to everyone that I am scared to death to give a speech of any kind in front of people… (hopefully) I am going to get through this class without throwing up in front of everyone from the constant butterflies in my tummy.Well guys and gals wish me luck because I am gonna need it….

  • 4. Ellen Gray  |  April 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Well this whole speech class thing is AMAZING…Come on guys you gotta love our teacher…what a tiny little bundle of joy and excitement she is…So far class is nothing of what I had expected it to be…I guess I expected it to be horrible and its everything but that…I must admit that I am still scared to speak in front of people but I do feel better about the whole idea because I know that I am not alone in my fear… besides i know that there are plenty of others who are right there with me just as nervous and fearful as I am…I do enjoy reading the blogs on here from all of you..Guys I am happy to say that I am kinda getting the hang of blogging and i think I like it.

  • 5. Jamie Miller  |  May 5, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    I found this blog by accident but am glad I did. I took a speech class in college and can relate to the comments here, and to the other blog posts within this site. That class was 28 years ago, and boy did the training come in handy. I went on to work for nearly 2 decades in various executive positions in law firms and corporate legal departments. My jobs evolved, in part, due to my ability to speak in public. I presented new ideas, firm strategies, and cost analysis to our various in-house, practice groups and outside clients, which included IBM, GE, Motorola and others. I went on to become a pretty darn successful entrepreneur, owning, among other things, a professional association for real estate investors, where speaking in front of groups became a weekly occurrence.

    What I wanted to say was, it gets easier, and it really comes in handy. In my experience, one of the keys to success is continuing to practice your speaking skills, and continue to get training.

    My first professional training was in the early 90’s while working in NYC, when my boss insisted I take a few private sessions with a speaking trainer. The trainer video taped me, played it back, and showed me tips that would help me come off more effectively. Boy was that enlightening! You don’t always know what you look like, or the expressions you’re making when you speak unless you practice in front of a mirror, or tape yourself. Back then, videotaping was expensive. Today, almost everyone has a video camera or knows someone who does. Try it!

    Finally… I can say that even with all my experience, I’ve continued my education throughout the years. Most recently, I attended a seminar with one of the world top speakers, Armand Morin. He gets paid more than Trump to speak, if you can believe that! The insights were numerous and extremely valuable. The event was called PersuasionX, and I believe it is coming around again in mid May 2009, in LA. Looked up the link for those who may be interested. It is http://www.persuasionx-tra.com. Anyway, the point is that there is always something new to learn – especially with technology updates and marketing strategy changes.

    Bottom line, whether it is at the University with Ms. Basford, with a NYC trainer, a guru like Armand Morin, or yourself in front of a mirror, keep it up! You’ll find it pays livelong dividends.

    Shy Midwesterner turned entrepreneur,

  • 6. Diana  |  June 28, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    I had my first class last Monday and am looking forward to the remaining classes. Although the thought of doing 4 presentations makes me a little nervous – I think it will be a lot of fun.

  • 7. cassiegirl17  |  June 28, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    I too was in the first class last monday and am looking forward to learning more about efective speech. I am not very good about standing up in front of people and talking with out stutering a few times. Mrs.Basford has so much energy and enthusiam that she makes it look easy. I can’t wait.

    • 8. luma4191  |  July 6, 2009 at 5:35 pm

      I agree Mrs. Basford does make it look very easy. I too, get a little nervous and stumble over words, but the more practice I get the better I will become.

  • 9. Jon  |  June 28, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Like Cassie and Diana I am also taking Fundamentals of Effective Speech. I feel that this course will help all the students tremendously in their views and techniques of public speaking. Mrs. Basford has an excellent way of connecting with her students and I am looking forward to the rest of this class.

  • 10. jonb24  |  June 29, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Like Diana and Cassie I am also enrolled in the Fudamental of Effective Speech class. After the first week of class I have a good feeling about the remainder of the class. I feel that all the the students will be able to better their techniques of public speaking aloong with gaining confidence in themselves. Mrs. Basford has a great way of connecting with her students and I look forward to the remaining weeks.

  • 11. joshspatton  |  June 30, 2009 at 7:20 am

    This class is very interesting to me. I love how Candee makes it fun. We are there for 3 and a half hour and it doesn’t feel like it at all. I really do feel that this class will help me in my future business.

  • 12. luma4191  |  July 6, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    I am very excited about this class because my ultimate goal is to become a public speaker on alcohol and drug use and abuse. This class is the very thing that will get me on my way.

  • 13. Doug creech  |  July 12, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    I’m still nervous about talking in public but this class gives the feeling of just talking with freinds.

  • 14. ashley leininger  |  July 22, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    well, i too agree with everyone Mrs. Basford makes speeches look like a walk in the park. Now that we have went through a couple of weeks i am now very comfortable about talking infront of people i barly new but that has alot to do wtih the vibe from our classmates. I would like to thank everyone for being so kind and understanding of others. Looking forward to next monday maybe some more food and great intertainment!

  • 15. ashley leininger  |  August 4, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Wow we played a game that was great. I loved the stone game we seen everyone speak. We listened to everyones comments and everyone thought alike. That was so much fun!

  • 16. Missy  |  August 6, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    I also loved the stone game. I think every family should have it and play it at least once a month! Very clever way to get people to open up and talk.

  • 17. angel1977  |  October 7, 2009 at 11:52 am

    I have never really been that great of a public speaker, so this class was a dreaded one. Although, I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I really do enjoy this class. I always ondered how people bring themselves to speak i n front of thousands (or in some cases millions ) of people without freezing like a deer in headlights. Well I think I am begining to understand that a majority of people really ARE nervous , but it is how you handle and control that nervousness that makes all the difference. I am not saying I will become a great public speaker, but maybe , just maybe by the end of this class I will be willing to at least attempt to speak publicly. It is really nice to be in Effective Speech class and see how others deal with their public speaking anxiety.

  • 18. fawncole  |  April 1, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I have to admit I am a little nervous about being judged. Embarassment is one of my biggest fears. I am hoping this class will help me become fearless!

  • 19. Dr. Boys  |  July 7, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    I was invited to read your blog and am so impressed by the fears you are overcoming and the confidence you are gaining. If I had to identify one single skill that has advanced me in my own life and career path, I would have to say it is the skill and actual enjoyment of public speaking. In fact, I was very reserved as a kid, somewhat shy, and even as a college student did not speak up much in class. Like many of you, it was discovering that I had something of value to say that made me more at ease. Now as president of the college, I am put on the spot often to speak publicly. When asked to do so, I try to accomplish the following: 1. Be an enthusiastic ambassador of the college 2. Try to identify with the audience 3. Weave in a story 4. When appropriate (which is almost always), smile, try to inject humor, and keep it brief. I wish you all well in the remainder of this course. You are in great hands with your teacher!

  • 20. Lynann Simpson  |  October 1, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Honestly, I was a little worried about taking your class. I don’t really like gettting up in front of people and speaking. I mean I like to talk and be weird and crazy but I tend to try and steer clear of speeches givin in a classroom environment. However, after the week of class that we just had I am actually lookin forward to future classes…..even if I do have to speak to the class.

  • 21. jodelle465  |  November 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks for a great class! I was really looking forward to this class. With the things I want to do in the future this was one of the few classes in my curriculum I was sure would be helpful. I have been blown away by how much this class has exceeded my expectations. I have so liked getting to see everyone in the class grow and succeed in the realm of public speaking. I so wish my schedule would have allotted for more time to be devoted to this class because it has been so great. Thanks Again!! 🙂

  • 22. My search  |  January 24, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Well since we didn’t do our reading last week we are doing it today. I’m not nervous getting in front of the class just talking but actually being graded on something is pressure which scares me to death! The 17th I decided sitting down and brainstorm what I was going to read for my assignment. I didn’t want something serious or sentimental. Even though I knew what I didn’t want I still didn’t know what I wanted. I looked on goggle for the newest news but nothing that happen last week was interesting and not depressing. Then I notice my Cosmo magazine sitting on the table and started looking through it to get some idea for what I wanted. I found something that was fun and flirty and not embarrassing to read out loud. I also like it because it fit my personality as well.


  • 23. Kevin Boys  |  March 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Candee, Someone shared your blog with me and I am so impressed with your students and the confidence they have gained through your public speaking class. You have obviously related to them and reached them in powerful ways! Thanks for your creative, reflective, and relational approach!

    • 24. Candee Basford  |  March 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      I know how you feel. They impress me, too!

      And…..Thank you~~


  • 25. Hannah Ziegenhardt  |  March 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    To be completely honest I am so petrified of speaking in front of people, yet alone giving a speech that I have prepared. Being judged and rejected is one of my biggest fears. Over time, I have let this fear grow into something bigger, which now has some control over my life. The fear now has the ability to make me sick, and go into a state of shear panic, causing panic attacks. It has happened so many times before in my life, I am sure it will happen again. That is why I have avoided taking this class so long. But I have decided that I need to muster up all my strength and courage and take this class. Which is why I am in this class, that and it is a requirement for my degree, so I have to regardless. I hope that after taking this class, I will become a better public speaker and lose my fear, but also that I will also be able to find my own voice among the crowd.

  • 26. Jamie Cox  |  March 29, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    In our first class today I was so nervous, unsure of what to expect. After reading several of the postings on this site I realize we are all unsure of our footing… I am not alone. Previous student’s postings are inspiring. How great the class is, the confidence students received and how the simplest thing in a student’s arsenal of how-tos worked so well (the comfort of something familiar would help- why didn’t I realize that). Please excuse me my mind is still twirling from new classes, teachers and classmates.

  • 27. Annie McClain  |  March 29, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Today was my first day of speech and I will admit I’m terrified of the class. I am so nervous about this class and I really don’t know why. I’ve had to give speeches in other classes and they really never bothered me but just taking this class makes me nervous. I do feel a little better now that I’ve had the first class and its over with. Mrs. Basford makes everything seem so easy and laid back. I hope I can over come my fears and make it through..

  • 28. Jennifer  |  March 29, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I can honestly say that this class terrifies me and I wanted no part of it today. Standing in front of a group of people is not my idea of a good time lol 🙂 But I am hoping that by the end of the quarter all of these feelings will change and I’ll be more confident and more relaxed. I think this will be a great opportunity to try and get over this fear.

  • 29. Haley  |  March 30, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Yesterday was my first day of speech, and I am still nervous. I don’t like standing in front of a bunch of people, and I have always hated giving presentations in classes before. However, after the first class I am a little more at ease. Candee seems to make everything less stressful and more easy. Also, after listening to everyone in class, I know I am not the only one that is still nervous. I am excited to take this class and gain more confidence in myself, and get to make new friends and learn more about my classmates.

  • 30. Amanda Cantrell  |  March 30, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I Have to say coming into the class on Tuesday I was very skeptical. I had my preconcieved notions about what a speech class would be like. But after Tuesdays class I feel like you are going to make this as fun and painless as possible. Hahaha.

  • 31. Mark  |  March 30, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    This will be not just a learning experience, but also a growing experience. .God speed too all my fellow class mates

  • 32. Shayla  |  March 30, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I have been somewhat of a ‘shy’ girl most of my life. When I do get the urge to step outside of my shell, most are surprised. I’m looking forward to speech class helping me become more confident infront of others– but I will admit that I’m completely terrified!

  • 33. Ashley Hamm  |  March 30, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    I was and still am very nervous about taking this class. I hate giving speeches and am not looking forward to it but you really helped to ease up the tension and made the classroom feel like a very welcome place to be. It doesnt seem like it will be as bad as what I am making it out to be!


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