Introduction

Introduction

You have something to say.
We can help you say it
WELL

The Penn State Undergraduate Speaking Center was born of the belief and supporting evidence that speaking well matters. Our mission is to help Penn State students graduate as excellent orators. From individuals to groups, the Speaking Center’s trained Mentors are ready to assist with every phase of your presentations.

  • Brainstorming Topics
  • Organization & Outlining
  • Kickstarting Research
  • Sharpening Language
  • Delivery Coaching
  • Developing Powerful Visual Aids

Visit us this summer in 220D Boucke!
Mon-Fri: 1-4pm
Mon-Thurs: 7:30-9pm

Request a Presentation

Request a Presentation

Request a Presentation

Speaking Center Mentors would be happy to come to your class or organization to speak with your group about any of the subjects listed below.

To request a visit, complete the following:

Choose Topic(s):
Before You Visit

Before you visit

Before you visit

Your time is valuable, and so is ours! Be sure you come prepared for your meeting by bringing all of the resources necessary to your visit.

Plan ahead. Don’t wait until the day before (or hours before) to seek help. First, a tutor may not be available. Next, you need time to make changes and practice your presentation OUT LOUD for several days.

Come as prepared for your meeting as possible. For example:

  • If you need help brainstorming ideas for your presentation, bring your assignment description and rubric.
  • If you need help outlining your presentation, bring your assignment description and rubric, all of your research, and thesis statement.
  • If you need help with delivery, bring your assignment description and rubric, all of your notecards, and visual aids.
  • If you need help with visual aids, bring your assignment description and rubric, research for visuals, and drafts of visuals.

“What to Bring?” Checklist

  • Assignment description and rubric
  • Thesis Statement
  • Research
  • Outline
  • Visual Aids
Resources

Resources

Resources

Research

There is a Penn State Librarian for every major! Called “’Subject Specialists,” these professionals are experts in your field of study. Check out this link to find yours: Subject Specialists by College and Department

There are also specific Course Guides for Penn State courses. These resources have been designed to meet the curriculum needs of particular courses. Find your course here: Course Guide Finder

Another way to find high-quality information for your discipline is through the Penn State Library Research Guide. Created by Subject Specialists, this page is another way to get to your area of study quickly: Research Guides

CAS 100A

Emily RimlandEmily Rimland, Subject Specialist for CAS 100A, has put together a great page that will help you with topic selection and research from a wide array of sources. She’s a tremendous resource!

CAS 100 - Effective Speech Course Guide

Citations

Improper or absent citations can land you in a sea of hot water! With all of the easy resources, there’s no excuse not to cite your work properly.

Penn State Libraries offers a great place to start: Citation and Writing Guides

Another great go-to resource is the Purdue Online Writing Lab: Purdue OWL: Research and Citation Resources

Presentation Planning Aids

Presentation Worksheet

Project Calculator

Penn State Speaking/Speech-Related Courses

CAS 100A (GWS) Effective Speech (3) Principles of communication, implemented through presentation of speeches, with some attention to group discussion and message evaluation.

CAS 100B (GWS) Effective Speech (3) Principles of communication, implemented through group problem solving, with some attention to formal speaking and message evaluation.

CAS 100C (GWS) Effective Speech (3) Principles of communication, implemented through analysis and evaluation of messages, with some attention to formal speaking and group discussion.

CAS 211 Informative Speaking (3) Planning, organizing, adapting, and presenting informative speeches and oral reports on technical/scholarly projects, both by manuscript reading and extemporaneously.
Prerequisite: CAS 100  

CAS 212 Professional Public Speaking (3) Organizing, adapting and presenting ideas in public informative, persuasive, technical and ceremonial speeches. 
Prerequisite: CAS 100  

CAS 213 Persuasive Speaking (3) Planning, organizing, and adapting techniques of persuasion to achieve personal and public goals; engaging in critical assessment of persuasive messages. 
Prerequisite: CAS 100  

CAS 214W Speech Writing (3) Writing speeches for delivery in political, professional, and ceremonial settings; emphasis on composition and language for oral presentation. 
Prerequisite: CAS 100 

CAS 215 Argumentation (3) Theory of argument: gathering of evidence, analysis of proposition, case building, cross-examination, refutation, composition and delivery of argumentative speech.

CAS 252 Business and Professional Communication (3) Interviewing, briefing, conferring, and decision making; analyzing and evaluating formal and informal patterns of communication in organizations.

CAS 253 Health Communication (3) To introduce students to principles of health message design and the general theories and models used to guide these efforts.

CAS 470 Nonverbal Communication (3) Examining ways nonverbal messages, such as gestures, posture, vocal intonation, and facial expressions, affect us on a daily basis.
Prerequisite: 6 credits in Communication Arts and Sciences  

CAS 471 (US;IL) Intercultural Communication Theory and Research (3) Intercultural and cross-cultural communication research theory and practice as applied within and across national boundaries.
Prerequisite: CAS 271 

Becoming A Mentor

Becoming a Mentor

Becoming a Mentor

Because we want to provide the most effective, beneficial experience for center visitors, there is a 2 semester process involved in becoming a mentor.

Students who have completed CAS/ENG 137H/138T or CAS 100A with an A- or better may nominate themselves or be nominated by their instructor for consideration as a mentor. Nominations are accepted during spring or fall semesters. Nominated students will be invited to interview for acceptance into the CAS 490, Peer Mentoring for Public Speaking, the following spring.

Successful completion of the course and a recommendation by the course instructor will earn a paid Mentor position offer. Paid mentoring will begin the following fall, though some students staying for summer sessions may be invited to work during the summer.

Nominate Yourself!

Mentor Profiles

Mentor Profiles

Mentor Profiles

Tad Abramowich

Tad Abramowich

Tad Abramowich

My name is Tad and I am currently a sophomore in the College of the Liberal Arts. I am majoring in Political Science and am also pursuing minors in Chinese, French, and Business (Liberal Arts). I am also a member of the Schreyer Honors College and Paterno Fellows Program. Beyond academics, I am a Lion Scout campus tour guide and participate in THON with Springfield, a special interest organization.

I feel that I've always handled giving speeches decently well, but the CAS classes that I took my freshman year really piqued my interest in the art of crafting a speech. I really enjoy creating effective rhetoric and analyzing the rhetoric used by others. I can't wait to see you in the Speaking Center and hope that I'm able to help you, regardless of where you are in the development of your speech!

Katie Baker

Katie Baker

Katie Baker

Hello, everyone! My name is Katie. I’m currently a sophomore working towards majors in Sociology and Criminology. I’m also seeking a minor in Arabic. My interest in public speaking started with high school forensics, which is where I got my first taste of extemporaneous speaking (which I still love today). In the future, I would love to work in the legal field as a children’s rights advocate, but until then, I’m here and happy to answer any questions that you may have!

Stephanie Hartman

Stephanie Hartman

Stephanie Hartman

Hi! I’m Steph, a current sophomore here at Penn State majoring in International Relations. I really love learning about American history and politics, and I also enjoy learning the Spanish language. When it comes to speaking, I think that my strengths lie in having a personable tone and presenting an organized speech. Outside of academics, I am a part of DiscipleMakers Christian Fellowship on campus and enjoy feeding my love of playing as many instruments as possible as a member of the worship team.

Kim Jurczyk

Kim Jurczyk

Kim Jurczyk

Hello everyone! My name is Kim and I'm currently a junior double majoring in English and Communications Arts and Sciences. I'm also a Shreyers Honors Scholar and a Paterno Fellow here at Penn State. Besides working at the Undergraduate Speaking Center, I enjoy being a part of my THON organization, Springfield, and playing in the volleyball and basketball pep bands. Here at the Speaking Center, I specialize in helping people with non-technical presentations and speech apprehension. I became interested in public speaking during my freshman year when I created an advocacy project that outlined the detrimental affects of tracking in America's public schools. Producing a project I was proud and on an issue I feel passionate about made me want to become more involved in communications. Other than public speaking, I enjoy playing music, creative writing, and talking with people so feel free to come and say hi!

Laura Kastner

Laura Kastner

Laura Kastner

Hi, my name is Laura and I’m a sophomore majoring in Communications Arts and Sciences with a minor in Statistics. Outside of class, I volunteer for the Penn State Dance Marathon through the OPPerations committee as well as the organization Everyday. I also sing in the only all-girls a cappella group here at Penn State, Savoir Faire. My specialties in public speaking lie in organization and visual aids, but I’m happy to help with any concerns you may have!

Christine Keeney

Christine Keeney

Christine Keeney

I’m a Management Information Systems major in the Smeal College of Business as a and a Spanish minor here at Penn State. I’m currently in my senior year and a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. I’m from Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, which is just outside Philadelphia. Hobbies include running, watching movies, reading, and going to comedy shows. Specialties in public speaking mentoring include but are not limited to: outlining, delivery, and managing presentational aides.

Aaron Kreider

Aaron Kreider

Aaron Kreider

Hi, my name is Aaron and I am a sophomore double majoring in Criminology & Sociology and minoring in Communication Arts and Sciences! Outside of my hectic schedule, I am highly involved with Penn State Mock Trial. My love for public speaking started when I became involved with Mock Trial back in high school. I was never the greatest speech giver, but when I started winning awards for the speeches I was delivering, I started to gain some confidence. Now, I'm really good at helping people out with the style and delivery of a speech-- as well as getting rid of nerves! Ultimately, I would like to be an attorney with a specialization in litigation. What that means-- for those of you who don't know-- is that my basic job will be giving speeches to juries all the time. Feel free to come down to the speaking center and let us help you out! It's what WE ARE here for! ;)

Tim Kundro

Tim Kundro

Tim Kundro

I am currently a sophomore here at Penn State majoring in psychology. My academic interest lies in researching and studying the field of Industrial/Organizational Psychology and I’m actively involved such research at Penn State. My specialities in public speaking are in persuasive and informational speeches, but I also enjoy helping students with whatever concerns or issues they may have about their presentations. From personal experience, I also have an understanding of how to partially alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with public speaking. Outside of academics, I am an avid whitewater kayaker and enjoy kayaking extreme rivers year round.

Jessica Lilley

Jessica Lilley

Jessica Lilley

My name is Jessica Lilley and I'm a sophomore in the College of the Liberal Arts. I am currently pursuing three majors: Spanish, Criminology, and International Relations (National Security Track). When it comes to public speaking, my strengths include tone and delivery as well the general organization of the speech! Some of my favorite speakers include Shane Koyczan (spoken word poet) and Winston Churchill. Here at Penn State I'm an active member of the Sigma Kappa sorority, and during my free time I'm usually hanging out with my sisters.

Kayla Lord

Kayla Lord

Kayla Lord

Hello! My name is Kayla and I’m a sophomore here at Penn State. I am majoring in Psychology and CAS. Besides class and being a speech mentor, I am in OHANA and I work at the Bryce Jordan Center. When it comes to public speaking, my strengths are dealing with speech anxiety, invention and development, and delivery, but I’m happy to help with anything! Public speaking to me is like writing poetry or singing, which are my two favorite hobbies. I love watching slam poetry or spoken word, especially Neil Hilborn (check out “How to Ruin Your Life”), and you can typically find me singing whatever song is stuck in my head. Public speaking is an art, and you are the artist! I look forward to meeting you.

Eric Love

Eric Love

Eric Love

Hi, everyone. My name is Eric and I am pursuing a degree in Political Science as well as Labor and Employment Relations. While working toward these degrees, I am also aspiring to obtain a Paterno Fellowship. Outside of the classroom, I am a member of Penn State Mock Trial. I have competed in mock trial competition since high school, and it is one of my greatest passions. This activity has allowed me to hone my public speaking skills and develop an appreciation for the dramatic side of public speaking. If you want help from me or any other of our lovely mentors, drop by 7C Sparks or make an appointment with a mentor. Look forward to working with you.

Lauren Mayer

Lauren Mayer

Lauren Mayer

My name is Lauren and I am a sophomore double majoring in Engineering—hopefully Chemical—and CAS with a minor in Economics. Outside of academics, I am involved in Penn State Homecoming, currently serving as a member of the Homecoming Executive Committee as the Distribution Management Director. I’m also a passionate THON volunteer and was a Supply Logistics Captain for THON 2014. Reading, writing, and public speaking are three of my favorite things—and I can’t wait to help out students in the Speaking Center this year!

Shaan Pattni

Shaan Pattni

Shaan Pattni

Hi, my name is Shaan! I am a junior in the Schreyer Honors College studying Economics and Supply Chain. Outside of the classroom, I am the Vice President of the Penn State Economics Association, Chief Brand Ambassador for the Malini Foundation, and a member of the Liberal Arts Integrity Board. I am a HUGE soccer fan, specifically a Manchester United fan. I love playing soccer, reading, and watching TED Talks.

My passion for public speaking came about through my economics classes when I was continually asked to explain complicated theories and concepts. During that time I realized two things: one, the importance of being able to breakdown complex problems and clearly present them in a concise and clear manner, and two, how much I enjoyed doing that! My public speaking specialties include: delivery, brainstorming and invention, and group presentations. That said, I'm really happy to help students in anyway I can, so come by the center!

Dylan Pearce

Dylan Pearce

Dylan Pearce

My name is Dylan and I am currently a sophomore at Penn State majoring in Kinesiology. I have a passion for sports and exercise, which is why I would like to become a physical therapist one day. I played on various sports teams in high school, including football and baseball, and have participated in intramural sports at Penn State. Aside from my interest in athletics, I really enjoy observing and giving public presentations. Although the idea of a public speech used to scare me like nothing else, classes during my freshman year at this school helped me overcome that fear. Now, I hope to help others get past those nerves and develop the same passion for public speaking that I have developed. I particularly enjoy designing and organizing persuasive speeches and TED talks, but am excited to lend a hand in any aspect of any presentation. If you need some assistance, come down to the speaking center and we can get started on some mentoring.

Emma Roudabush

Emma Roudabush

Emma Roudabush

Hello! I am Emma and I am a junior in the Schreyer Honors College majoring in Computer Science. I love helping students brainstorm, develop speech ideas, make visuals, practice delivery, and, of course, alleviate speech anxiety (though I can help with any phase of the speech process). Outside of class, I am highly active in ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) and AWC (Association of Women in Computing). And, when I'm not insanely busy, I enjoy watching massive amounts of TV and movies and generally being lazy. Anyway, feel free to come by and get help anytime!

Sarabeth Royer

Sarabeth Royer

Sarabeth Royer

Hello, all! My name is Sarabeth and I am majoring in Agricultural and Extension Education (AEE) with minors in Animal Science and International Agriculture. I absolutely love working with animals and being outside in nature. As you can see from my picture, I also love cows! This is me with Rosie, and interesting fact… I practiced most of my speeches for High School in front of cows before I gave it to any people! (They are pretty great listeners) I really enjoy working with people who get nervous giving speeches, and I have a lot of tips and suggestions because I also get nervous when speaking in front of people. I also would love to work with all of you if you have questions about your speech, whether it is regarding organization, content, delivery, or really anything. Please feel free to come to the speaking center, we are all here for you!

Lydia Scheel

Lydia Scheel

Lydia Scheel

I’m a sophomore majoring in the Land Management option of Energy Business and Finance. Involved in both our Student Council and THON organization, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences is my niche at Penn State. Other loves include volunteering for THON Finance, enjoying time with friends and family, and exploring my world through social media, reading, and travel.

I absolutely love talking to a crowd of open ears. My hope is for all students to feel the empowerment of public speaking to convey their emotions and impact changes. Let’s talk!

Brodie Schultz

Brodie Schultz

Brodie Schultz

Hey, my name is Brodie. I am a Junior at Penn State majoring in Mechanical Engineering. I am a member of the Blue and White Society, I play intermural sports and I plan on volunteering for THON this school year. Besides school and tutoring, I am a huge sports fanatic and a cook. My favorite sport is baseball so of course I am Pittsburgh Pirates fan (LETS GO BUCS!), but in a close second is golf. Besides watching baseball, I also played my junior and senior year of high school, and I also played golf sophomore through senior year. Other than sports, I also take great interest in public speaking. I first became interested in public speaking during my Junior year in high school when I took a speech preparation class. After completing the class, public speaking became second nature to me. This year, I am here to mentor any student in all aspects of public speaking. So if you need any mentoring, head on down to the center and we can get started!

Amanda Thoet

Amanda Thoet

Amanda Thoet

Hello, my name is Amanda and I am a senior double majoring in English and Communication Arts and Sciences (CAS) with minors in German and Rhetoric. Outside of class, I am President of the Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, VP for the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Council, an Ambassador for the College of the Liberal Arts, a Lion Scout Tour Guide, and an active THON volunteer. My hobbies include reading, writing, running, travelling, and playing with my yellow lab, Molly, when I am home on break. In terms of public speaking, my strengths include delivery, brainstorming, organization, and developing effective visuals, but I am more than happy to help with anything at all! Looking forward to seeing you at the Undergraduate Speaking Center!

Rob Voorhees

Rob Voorhees

Rob Voorhees

Hi! My name is Rob and I'm a sophomore here at Penn State. I'm currently majoring in International Politics and intending to minor in the Russian language. Outside of class I'm a member of the Russian Student Association and the Outing Club, and I absolutely love anything related to the outdoors. I also love playing and listening to music and I'm a huge Philadelphia Phillies fan. In regards to public speaking I'm great at the entire invention and idea development process, but I'd be happy to help you at any stage of public speaking. So come on down to the Public Speaking Center!