Public Speaking and Communication Free and Open Textbooks and Courses


Thank you for joining in the effort to explore OER communication and public speaking materials for your courses! We hope the following resources and ideas will help you in your own efforts to adopt or adapt OER for your courses.


Gold microphone on a stand


Open Courses


Explore the courses.  They are free and open.  Mix and match to fulfill the needs of your own course.

  • Introduction to Communication
    • Description: A Lumen Course that describes it’s desired result as: “Our goal in this text is to introduce you to the field of Communication as an academic discipline of study.

  • Principles of Public Speaking
    • Description:The course is an introduction to the preparation and delivery of oral presentations. Emphasis is on ethical research, critical and logical analysis, and organization of informative and persuasive presentations.

  • Public Speaking Openstax Open Course 
    • Description:Assists students in developing oral communication skills. Classroom practice, the Internet, e-mail, community interactions, and other resources support learning and yield enhanced confidence and competence.

  • Public Speaking Saylor.Org Academy
    • Description:The purpose of this course is to systematically examine the elements and factors which result in an effective speech.  The textbook and associated lectures present an element-by-element examination of the essentials of public speaking while also identifying traits of the individual speaker and how they impact preparation and presentation.  In addition to these resources, a comprehensive series of brief videos demonstrate specific, performance-oriented aspects of public speaking.  Tying each of these course elements together are the themes of information and ethics, emphasized in each resource because they are becoming increasingly important to all communicators. 

  • Diversity and Difference in Communication
    • Description:This free course, Diversity and difference in communication, explores the ways in which difference and diversity impact on the nature of communication in health and social care services.

  • Intercultural Communication
    • Description:We live in an increasingly globalized world. Technology enables us to do business just as easily with our neighbors as with a businessperson thousands of miles away from us. Knowing how to navigate cultural differences is an increasingly valuable skill that will make you a more valuable employee. Encounters among members of different cultures frequently fail simply because of basic cultural differences, such as the importance of time, proper greetings, or even the use of eye contact. This course is designed to help you identify how to become a better communicator in these sorts of cross-cultural situations. You will learn about barriers to successful communication that involve cultural differences. You will also learn more about your own communication style and how it can be developed to facilitate more successful intercultural encounters. 
  • Public Speaking Course Materials (google docs include activities and assignments)
    • Description:This course assists students in developing oral communication skills. Students will be able to speak effectively and comfortably to audiences; explain the nature, value, and requirements of effective public speaking; speak effectively to groups in an academic environment; speak effectively to groups in a non-academic environment; apply principles of cultural diversity to public speaking; and, employ effective information literacy techniques in public speaking.Login: guest_oclPassword: ocl

  • From Sound to Meaning:Hearing, Speech and Language-OpenLearn
    • Description:This free course, From sound to meaning: hearing, speech and language, looks at how language is understood by taking an interdisciplinary approach.

  • Hearing-OpenLearn
    • Description:This free course will enable you to relate what you read to your own sensory experiences and indeed many of the questions asked have exactly that function. This course will be best understood by those with some biological understanding.

  • Key Skills  Assessment:Communication-OpenLearn
    • Description:This free course, Key skill assessment: Communication, will help you recognize your strengths as well as the areas where you could improve. In developing and assessing your communication skills, you will learn to recognize, adapt and use your skills confidently and effectively in different situations and contexts.

  • Professional Communication 1-Foundational knowledge for caring and professional communication in nursing
    • Description:This course provides learners with the foundational knowledge for caring and professional communication in nursing. It uses an experiential and self-reflective approach to develop self-awareness and interpersonal communication skills in the context of safe, competent and collaborative nursing practice. Communication theory, the nurse-client relationship, therapeutic communication, cross-cultural communication, effective teamwork and learning and teaching concepts will be covered.

The following courses have free content but are not openly licensed

  • Introduction to Public Speaking (Coursera)
    • Description:This course gives you a reliable model for preparing and delivering effective presentations.

  • Introduction to Communication Science (Coursera)
    • Description:In this course, we look at how and why communication evolved as a science and reflect on today’s dominant paradigms. The course also extends beyond the boundaries of communication science itself, exploring dimensions of history, sociology and psychology.


Free Open Textbooks

The following are openly licensed textbooks. 

You can explore the different content and use what you need.  

**Please note that there may not be one textbook that meets all of your course needs.  One of the benefits of using Open Educational Resources is the ability to use content from a variety of sources without the cost of a variety of textbooks**

Stand Up-Speak, The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking


Description: From audience analysis to giving a presentation, Stand Up, Speak Out: The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking will guide students through the speech-making process. We believe that it is important to focus on the practical process of speech making because we want this book to be a user-friendly guide to creating, researching, and presenting public speeches. While both classic and current academic research in public speaking will guide the book, we do not want to lose the focus of helping students become more seasoned and polished public speakers. We believe that a new textbook in public speaking should first, and foremost, be a practical book that helps students prepare and deliver a variety of different types of speeches.

Communication in the Real World:An Introduction to Communication Studies

Creative Commons License

Description: Communication in the Real World: An Introduction to Communication Studies overviews the time-tested conceptual foundations of the field, while incorporating the latest research and cutting-edge applications of these basics. Each chapter will include timely, concrete, and real-life examples of communication concepts in action.

A key feature of this book is the integration of content regarding diversity and organizational communication in each chapter through examples and/or discrete sub-sections. Discussions of diversity are not relegated to feature boxes. Also integrated into the content are examples that are inclusive in terms of race, gender, sexuality, ability, age, marital status, religion, and other diverse identity characteristics.

The Public Speaking Project

Description: Welcome to The Public Speaking Project! This website offers an assortment of virtual tools to help users improve their public speaking skills. A variety of speech professionals who are dedicated to providing free and low cost instructional materials contributed their original work. The project is growing and we will be adding and updating the content regularly.

Business Communication for Success

Creative Commons License

Description: Business Communication for Success (BCS) provides a comprehensive, integrated approach to the study and application of written and oral business communication to serve both student and professor.

Communication Theory Wikibooks

Description: This book is an introduction to communication theory — the theory of how humans share, encode, and decode what they know, what they need, and what they expect from each other.

Survey of Communication Study-Wiki Books

Description:This text offers the opportunity to introduce people to Communication as an academic field of study. We have broken the book into two parts. First, we lay the foundation by covering the scope of communication study, its history, as well as a brief introduction to theories and research methods. Second, we provide chapters that survey many of the areas of specialization practiced in the field of Communication today.


Description: Boundless improves education for millions of students and educators through educational resources powered by cloud technology. With content created by a community of educators, who work side-by-side with subject-matter experts, Boundless provides ready-to-use online content, study materials, and assessment items to make teaching more efficient and learning more effective.

18 chapters dedicated to preparing students for a variety of different public speaking situations.

Foundations of Professional Communication (contains 4 modules and instructor resources)

Click HERE for information about the resource and modules


This OER comprises a series of modules covering the following:

  • Foundations of Communication
  • Communicating in Writing
  • Communicating via Presentations
  • Interpersonal Communication

You can download the full eText (a file containing Parts 1 through 4), or download each module’s eText individually.

Development Communication Sourcebook: Broadening the Boundaries of Communication-This Sourcebook illustrates how the emerging paradigm in development communication, focused on participation and two-way communication, constitutes a necessary element in order to avoid the mistakes of the past. It makes the case about the importance of incorporating communication practices into the policies and practices of development. It intends also to offer a broader conception of communication that would take into account other purposes and functions than the usual ones. The study claims that communication is not only about raising awareness, informing, persuading, or changing behavior. It is also about listening, exploring, understanding, empowering, and building consensus for change. This should resonate loud and clear for the reader. Two-way communication used to understand, assess, explore, and facilitate decision making related to change, combined with the effective use of one-way communication approaches, has been proven to significantly enhance results and the sustainability of development initiatives. This Sourcebook is intended to provide a small contribution in further promoting the understanding and subsequent adoption of such practices, in any sector of intervention. To sum up, these are the two key messages of this publication: (1) two-way communication, when used from the onset of a development initiative, is not only a useful but also a necessary ingredient to enhance development initiatives and avoid the failures of the past, and (2) two-way communication should be applied professionally by specialists familiar with the rich body of knowledge and the diverse range of methods, techniques, and tools of development communication.

Instructor Materials

Foundations of Communication Lecture Notes

Line B: Employability Skills Competency B-3: Use Interpersonal Communication Skills

Description: No matter what your job is, you will need to communicate with other people. Your communication skills determine how successfully you receive and transmit information. Communication is arguably the most important of all life skills and plays a significant role in all aspects of work and home life. Communication is verbal, written, and non-verbal, and every gesture, voice inflection, or facial movement speaks volumes and conveys information to others. An effective communicator is also an active listener. Employers actively seek out Individuals who are good communicators. The following list of lines and competencies was generated with the goal of creating an entry-level trades training resource, while still offering the flexibility for lines to be used as stand-alone books. Line B – Employability Skills. B-1 Apply Study and Learning Skills, B-2 Describe Expectations and Responsibilities of Employers and Employees, B-3 Use Interpersonal Communication Skills

Communication Skills for Personal and Professional Development:The Seven Challenges Approach

Click HERE for license and attribution information

Description: Searching for what is most important. This workbook proposes seven ways to guide your conversations in directions that are more satisfying for both you and your conversation partners.

Exploring Public Speaking (Communication Open Textbooks-Galilleo)

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Description: In fifteen chapters the authors have attempted to address all the major concerns, issues, and material that an introductory, freshmen-level public speaking course involves. Beginning with the value of public speaking to one’s life and overcoming public speaking anxiety, the subsequent chapters cover listening and audience analysis; plagiarism and ethics; invention and thesis development; research; organization; introductions, conclusions, and transitions; supporting material; delivery; visual aids; language choices; informative speaking; persuasive speaking; logic and fallacies; and special occasion speeches. The book was written with students in the open access college and with diversity in mind.

Communication Skills (OER Africa-Chapter on Effective Listening

Description: The chapters in this text include:
Orientation to the Text, Study Skills, How to use the Library, Listening Skills, Reading Skills, Writing Skills
and Examination Skills

Logical ReasoningThe goal of this book is to improve your logical-reasoning skills. These skills are also called
“critical thinking skills.” 

Introduction to Group Communication

Creative Commons License

Description:Exploring Group Communication offers a practical introduction to the theory and practice of group communication, with an emphasis on real world applications to develop an awareness, understanding, and skills to effectively participate as a productive group member. Through a clear and concise approach to group decision-making and dynamics in teams and leadership, students are presented with the tools needed to create plans, find solutions to problems, produce goods or deliver services, and evaluate their performance through self and peer assessments.

Introduction to Organizational Communication

Creative Commons License

Description:This book will examine both the historic and modern theories of organizational communication.

Media Studies101 (Some Information on Intercultural Communication)

Description: Open educational resource for media studies studies. Each section
builds on and refers back to previous sections to build up your knowledge and skills.

How Language Works:The Cognitive Science of Linguistics

License:GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.

Description: This OER comprises a series of chapters covering the following: How and why we study language, word meaning, word units, word forms, combining words and sentences and grammatical categories.

Critical Theory of Communication-Christian Fuchs

Description: Critical Theory of Communication offers a vital set of new insights on how communication operates in the age of information, digital media and social media.This book contributes to the foundations of a critical theory of communication as shaped by the forces of digital capitalism. 

Human Relations (Communication and Group Communication Information)

Creative Commons License

Description: Knowing how to get along with others, resolve workplace conflict, manage relationships,
communicate well, and make good decisions are all critical emotional intelligence skills students
need to succeed in career and in life. Our Human Relations book will address all of the critical topics
to obtain career success. The core concept in the book is emotional intelligence and how these skills carry over into career
success, such as through ethics, communication, diversity, teamwork, conflict, good decision making,
stress management, motivation, and leadership.

The Power of Selling (Chapter on Effective Communication)

Creative Commons License

Description: Interactive textbook written by a team of sales professionals.  Chapter 6 titled “The Power of Effective Communication” with the following learning objectives:

1. Understand the elements of effective business communication.
2. Recognize the implications of different types of verbal and nonverbal communication.
3. Learn how your dress communicates in an interview and the workplace.
4. Discuss how technology tools can help a salesperson manage customer relationships.

How to Communicate as a Health Volunteer

Description: Mr. Daniel Erchick of Rice University’s Department of Bioengineering wrote this module. It prepares students to communicate during their internships in developing countries as health volunteers in clinical settings.

Mediated Communication Open Textbooks

Understanding Media and Culture 

Description:This book’s title tells its intent. It is written to help you understand media and culture. The text explores communication through a variety of media.

Culture and Media

Creative Commons License