Back Up and Running

Posted June 20, 2014 By Mark Woods

My apologies for being away for so long! I completed the Winter semester teaching COM 1600 at the Orchard Ridge campus at Oakland Community College, and will be set to teach it again for the Summer II term.

For those of you who follow this website, I invite you encourage any friends or family members who attend this school to register for my class. It’s an eight-week course running Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-9pm.

As always, we’ll learn quite a bit, apply the most important parts, and have a lot of fun all the while (well, you might have less fun while taking the exams, but they won’t be too painful)!



Assumptions Kill Persuasion, Weaken Information

Posted December 4, 2012 By Mark Woods

I was listening to speeches in class and in meetings in the past few weeks when it suddenly dawned on me: the speaker has never questioned the initial position. For example, I heard something similar to the following:

“Everybody knows that cancer in kids is bad, so tonight I want to convince you to donate to the Children’s Cancer Fund.”

Why is this the death of persuasion? Read the remainder of this entry »


Building an Impromptu Speech

Posted November 7, 2012 By Mark Woods

A colleague recently asked me how I incorporate the impromptu speech into my course. This is a great question.

I make it a Week 2 assignment because I focus the energy on understanding the formatting of a speech. Knowing that students won’t be able to draw from sources, the speeches will typically be very thin. So, I get them to work on seeing the structure of a speech and put it together quickly.

Here’s how it works: Read the remainder of this entry »