Speechwriting course open to Ilitch School students for winter 2019

A common refrain by those who write speeches for businesses and corporations is, “I didn’t start out as a speechwriter. I got pressed into service when my boss needed an important speech!”

A freelance corporate speechwriter once said, “Getting a shot at writing a speech usually occurs by accident. If you like what you`re doing, you become a speechwriter.”

For undergraduate seniors or graduate students who think they, too, might be pressed into a speechwriting assignment, the WSU Department of Communication offers a biennial course in speechwriting (COM 6100) that will give you the background and necessary skills to make your first speechwriting assignment a success.

COM 6100 is being offered this winter in WSU’s Manoogian Hall. The course has been taught for more than 10 years by Prof. Donald Ritzenhein, an experienced and award-winning public speaker, coach, speechwriter and teacher. Some features of the course might be of special interest to Mike Illich School of Business majors:

  • It’s a hybrid course, where students meet face-to-face about once a month to deliver speeches they have written, just to experience what it’s like when they write for someone else, and spend the rest of the time doing readings, exercises and speech preparation online through Canvas.
  • A major assignment is to connect with an outside executive or colleague and write a speech for him or her. Students in the past have written for a top tier executive who was opening a new plant in Korea, a successful businesswoman who had been asked to give the keynote address at a university commencement and the Detroit Public School’s emergency manager, among many others. Topics have included new product rollouts, ceremonial speeches, employee motivational talks, and persuasive presentations for boards and other audiences.
  • Practicing speechwriters are invited to class to speak to students about the collaborative, strategic and sometimes political nature of speechwriting in the real world.

Registration for the course is ongoing. For more information, contact Prof. Ritzenhein at donaldritz@wayne.edu

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