Teaching public speaking online has been highly contested by communication studies instructors. The need for having a live audience has been a staple in public speaking from its inception. The COVID 19 pandemic forced many reluctant public speaking faculty members to teach this pivotal course online. Communication studies departments were required to examine their stance of offering it online or not. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to answer the following three questions: (1) Is there validity in teaching public speaking online? (2) What are best practices in teaching public speaking courses online? and (3) How do best practices differ for teaching public speaking online either synchronously or asynchronously? Using a basic qualitative research design, I interviewed 10 technical and community college instructors who had taught public speaking face-to-face and online to investigate these questions. The findings from this study indicate there is validity in teaching public speaking online. Best practices for teaching public speaking online include being student focused, being committed, and finding a mentor. Best practices for teaching synchronously versus asynchronously were similar including keeping students active, building community online, and being extremely detailed.


Kristi Treinen

Committee Member

Laura Jacobi

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)

Program of Study

Communication Studies


Arts and Humanities

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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