Speak Up And Be Heard

Story By Serene Garcia

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You hear the end of the current speaker’s presentation drawing to a close.  Your name is called, blood rushing to your head, nervous twitching, heart racing, eyes watering. You walk to the front of your class, place your perspiring hands on the podium and being to give your presentation, stumbling over words and stuttering only to break the awkwardness with panicked laughter.  

Public speaking is among the most feared parts of the college experience.  With all students required to take oral communications, no one is exempt from the experience of facing a classroom full of peers.  

The oral communications lab was founded in 2014 by Victoria Ellison, instructor of communications, and just officially opened on Feb. 17. The purpose of the oral communications lab is to prepare students for up coming presentations. 

Many times the problem with students is not content but organization and preparation.  

“Students come in and have all these great things to say but they ask, ‘How do I say it?’” Ellison said, “For most people public speaking is about being prepared.” 

The oral communications lab is here so that students can have one-on-one help with their presentations to gain the confidence they need to get the grade they want and become better over all public speakers. 

A few semesters ago, half of the students came to the lab to prepare and the other half did not. On average the students who did come scored a letter grade higher than those that did not, Ellison said

“When you are prepared with a cohesive thought and then a well-formed presentation, it makes you brave and takes away anxiety,” Bianca Porter, lab assistant senior business major, said.  

The oral communications lab is open to all not students.  The lab is open every day with varying hours. The hours can be found on the Henderson website.