Frequently Asked Questions

Why take a public speaking class?

If you plan to graduate with an associates degree from Chemeketa you have a choice to take any of the speech classes offered here. If you know that you will transfer to PSU, OSU, WOU and may not transfer with the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer or Associate of General Studies degree, it is recommended that you take Sp 111, Fundamentals of Public Speaking or Sp 112, Fundamentals of Persuasion which are public speaking courses.


The Speech & Communications department faculty strongly recommend that you take more than one communications course before graduating including at least one public speaking course.

Do you always have to give speeches in a speech class?

This depends on which class you take. If you take Sp 100, Sp 111, or Sp 112, you will give one or more speeches during the term. If you enroll in interpersonal or small group communication you may have to present to the class although the presentations may not be as formal as a public speaking course.

What if I am really nervous about giving speeches and working with other people?

Not to worry. Our instructors are experts and have years of experience in helping students cope and overcome communication anxieties. They work hard to make the classroom setting a challenging but comfortable environment in which to study communication.

What careers will a speech degree prepare you for?

Though any career would be enhanced by the ability to speak in public or smaller forums, the specific careers that apply may include broadcasting, public relations, professional consulting, marketing, sales, theater, politics and public service, customer service, and teaching.

Why would I want to take a speech class if it's not what I will be majoring in?

One of the skills most asked for by employers is the ability to communicate both orally and in writing. These competencies are also required by the state system of higher education to be a component of any degree program. In reality, these are very important skills for getting and keeping any job as well as assisting you in interpersonal relationships and other areas of your life.

Do all of the speech classes transfer to the universities and other private colleges?

This is an interesting question to ask in a higher education system that is not uniform. The best answer we can give is that if you get an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree before you transfer to an Oregon University, you will have whatever speech course you have taken accepted as fulfilling the speech requirement of that college.


If you transfer without the AA degree, it is up the college or university to evaluate the course. It is wise to check with the college you plan to attend as to what they will accept.

Is attendance and participation really important for speech classes?

Yes, this is experiential learning where not only are you a speaker, you are also a listener, an audience member, an active small group problem-solver, and a key contributor to the classroom environment. Watching and listening to others speak can enhance your own communication.

Are there any competitive speaking opportunities at the college?

At this time we do not participate in any competitive speaking events as a college. We are working on several service learning options that would allow you to give speeches in public settings. We may also organize a speakers bureau to provide students with additional public speaking opportunities.

Will I have to do any writing in a speech course?

To communicate well includes both writing and speaking. It would be impossible to design a speaking class that would not also require some written analysis or preparation.


Some speech classes are more writing intensive including interpersonal and small group communication courses that require that students reflect on their personal communication styles and methods.


Public speeches as well require the same amount of effort and attention to language, structure, and content as a well-written paper. Such effort, however, reaps rewards from an attentive and appreciative audience.