Department of Communication
Master of Arts
If the purpose of speaking to others is communication, then the purpose of teaching public speaking must be to aid in the learning of those speech skills which will facilitate effective communication. In striving to achieve this goal, every opportunity must be taken to emphasize areas of development which are particularly important. Ideally, such areas should be those involving precepts long held in places of importance by the tradition of the speech discipline and verified through scientific examination. As Clarence T. Simon has written: During its long life speech has accumulated diverse beliefs and assumptions; many of them from speculative or authoritarian sources. Efficiency in speech performance and in pedagogical practice demands the scientific testing of the tenability of these accumulated traditions.
Weathers, William, "The Relation of Eye-Contact to Retention of Information in a Public Speaking Situation" (1972). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 1024.