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

Hours
The Center opens for fall on Tuesday, September 6.

Sun: 6-9pm
Mon-Thurs: 10am-9pm
Fri: 10am-3pm
Sat: Closed

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; you need time to make changes and rehearse your presentation aloud over 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 are 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 Subject Guides. Created by Subject Specialists, this page is another way to get to your area of study quickly: Subject 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 CAS 490, Peer Mentoring for Public Speaking, the following fall. Successful completion of the course and a recommendation by the course instructor will earn a position as a paid mentor.

Nominate Yourself!

Mentor Profiles

Mentor Profiles

Mentor Profiles

Mary Anjali Abraham

Mary Anjali Abraham

Mary Anjali Abraham

Hello! My name is Mary Anjali and I'm so excited to be able to work with you this year! I am a senior majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience. Beyond college? I'm hoping to get my masters or doctorate in Clinical Psychology, to eventually practice in areas with populations that have low access to quality (or any) mental health care. I'm a total nerd and I love to read, and my outgoing personality is balanced with my natural introverted-ness (trust me, it's possible). As far as other interests, I enjoy hiking (especially rock scrambles) and cooking (although eating is better), and I believe that sleep trumps almost all other activities in life. I think that public speaking experience is one of the most valuable tools we take away from our college years, and the scope of what we can accomplish with seemingly simple gestures and words is astounding. I hope I can be of help in this part of your Penn State experience :)

Tad Abramowich

Tad Abramowich

Tad Abramowich

My name is Tad and I am currently a senior in the College of the Liberal Arts. I am majoring in Political Science and am also pursuing minors in Chinese, French, Business (Liberal Arts), and History. 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 a Resident Assistant. 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 at in the process of developing of your speech!

Sarah Bastian

Sarah Bastian

Sarah Bastian

Hi everyone! I’m in my third year of pursuing both a B.A. in Chinese and an M.A. in TESL. I love everything related to China, lime green, and adventures! The very most important thing about me is my relationship with Jesus Christ, and outside of class I am heavily involved with the Navigators campus group. Because of my cross-cultural experience, my very favorite part of mentoring is encouraging confidence in multilingual speakers by focusing on stylistic choices and delivery, but I would love to help with any part of the speaking process!

Darcy Calabria

Darcy Calabria

Darcy Calabria

Hi everyone! I'm part of the College of the Liberal Arts, Class of 2018. I am double majoring in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, focusing in Ancient Mediterranean Archaeology, and Archaeological Sciences. When I'm not studying or sleeping, a lot of my time is devoted to an amazing THON organization called Springfield and participating year round promoting a summer camp organization called Camp COLEY. My strengths in public speaking lie in structure and organization as well as delivery. I’m excited to help you with any concerns you may have with your speeches, so don’t hesitate to stop by!

Nick Capri

Nick Capri

Nick Capri

I’m member of the Class of 2018, seeking to double major in History and Economics. I am heavily involved in the Navigators, a Christian ministry here on campus, and when I’m not studying you will probably find me eating, hanging out with friends (in small numbers and for short periods of time) or reading a book. I had never considered myself a skilled public speaker until I gave a speech during my freshman year here at Penn State. My professor’s compliments helped me discover a gift I didn’t know an awkward introvert like myself could possess. I enjoy helping other introverts (and extroverts) break out of their shell and be the best speaker they can be.

Brad Capuzzi

Brad Capuzzi

Brad Capuzzi

Hi, I am currently a sophomore here at Penn State, majoring in Accounting. Outside of the classroom, I am a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. In my free time I enjoy playing basketball, hanging with friends, and watching reality television. I love working with people and my goal is to make everyone feel comfortable around me. When it comes to being a speaking mentor, I would consider my strengths to be the delivery process and visuals aids. However, I am willing and passionate to help with any aspect of the speaking process. If you ever need some extra guidance when it comes to preparing your speech, never hesitate to come on down to the speaking center.

Emelia Conte

Emelia Conte

Emelia Conte

Hi everyone! I’m currently a junior pursuing a major in Chemical Engineering with an intended minor in Biomedical Engineering. I’m also part of the Schreyer Honors College here at Penn State. Apart from academics, I stay involved by participating in the Newman Catholic Youth Ministry and the Swing Dance club on campus. With regard to public speaking, I can help you with whatever concerns you may have with your speech. Even if you don’t have any pressing worries, feel free to stop on by to get a second look or practice your delivery. I look forward to seeing you!

Lauren Echols

Lauren Echols

Lauren Echols

Hello! My name is Lauren and I am currently a junior majoring in Spanish and Psychology (on the Neuroscience track) with intended minors in Women’s Studies and Global Health. I am a member of the Schreyer’s Honors College here at Penn State. Additionally, apart from the speaking center I am also heavily involved with the Penn State Global Medical Brigades. I intend to one day go into the medical field, however I truly believe that public speaking is a critical skill necessary for any career path. I thoroughly enjoy helping my fellow students to discover the speech writing and delivery process being that I know that it is such an important skill. So please do not hesitate to come in and see us! We look forward to meeting all of you this year!

Harley Finn

Harley Finn

Harley Finn

Hi, I am a sophomore majoring in Labor Employment Relations! Penn State is my favorite place on Earth so I am happy to be here helping out my classmates. I feel that my strengths in speaking are my conversational tone and strong organization of material. Outside of the classroom I am a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority and love to spend time with my sisters! I look forward to working with you!

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.

Laura Kastner

Laura Kastner

Laura Kastner

Hi, my name is Laura and I’m a Senior double-majoring in Communications Arts and Sciences and Statistics. Outside of class, I am a Lion Ambassador, the Business Manager of the only all-female a cappella group here at Penn State, Savoir Faire, a research assistant for the PNC Leadership Assessment Center, and an Umbra Ambassador (aka a representative for my study abroad program in Perugia, Italy). My specialties in public speaking lie in organization and visual aids, but I’m happy to help with any concerns you may have!

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! ;)

Hanna Leonard

Hanna Leonard

Hanna Leonard

Hello! I am currently a sophomore majoring in International Politics with minors in Criminology and Health Policy and Administration. In addition to working in the speaking center, I am involved with THON through my organization, Springfield, as well as through my honors fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi. I am also in the Presidential Leadership Academy. My interest with public speaking started in high school, where I took a speech class and loved it. Ever since then, I’ve been passionate about creating speeches as well as helping others make great ones! Feel free to come and ask me any questions you may have!

Eric Love

Eric Love

Eric Love

Hi, everyone. I am a Senior Schreyer Honors Scholar double majoring in Political Science as well as Labor and Employment Relations. Outside of the classroom, I compete for Penn State Mock Trial, which allows me to hone my public speaking skills by pretending to be an attorney (fake it 'til you make it). Additionally, I serve the Penn State student body as the Chairman of Student Organization Conduct Committee, the Chief Justice of the UPUA Judicial Board and a sitting member on the University Conduct Board. This will be my third and final year with the Speaking Center, but if you need any help with any aspect of a speech whether for class or not, please do not hesitate to come down to 7C Sparks and see me or one of the great mentors that work with us.

Rachel Miller

Rachel Miller

Rachel Miller

Hi! I am a junior majoring in Nutrition-Dietetics with a minor in Kinesiology. Outside of the classroom, I am the President of Savoir Faire, Penn State's only all-female a cappella group. When I'm not singing, you can usually find me on the basketball court, in the gym, or taking a long romantic walk to the fridge. With regards to speaking, my strengths are found in audience engagement, speech structuring, and delivery, but my ability to help you spans much further than these three areas. Please come visit myself and the other mentors at the speaking center, we look forward to meeting you!

Dylan Pearce

Dylan Pearce

Dylan Pearce

Hi, my name is Dylan and I am currently a senior here at Penn State majoring in Kinesiology. I have a passion for athletics and exercise science, which is why I am striving to become a physical therapist in the near future. Accordingly, I am an active member of the Pre-Physical Therapy Club, Kinesiology Club, Associate Dean’s Student Advisory Board, and like competing in several sports at the club and intramural levels. In addition to these interests, I really enjoy the art of analyzing and orating public presentations. Throughout the last 4 semesters of mentoring at the Undergraduate Speaking Center, I have found that my rhetorical strengths lie in organizing persuasive speeches, critiquing the delivery process, and alleviating speech anxiety, but I am excited to lend a hand in all aspects of public speaking. So, feel free to come by the Speaking Center if you need any assistance. I look forward to working with you!

Lydia Scheel

Lydia Scheel

Lydia Scheel

I’m a junior in the Land Management option of Energy Business and Finance. Involved in our Energy Land Management Society, Student Council and THON organization, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences is my niche at Penn State. I absolutely love talking to a crowd of open ears. My hope is for all students to feel empowered by public speaking, being able to convey their emotions and make change through excellent communication. Let’s talk!

Ronald Thomas

Ronald Thomas

Ronald Thomas

My name is Ronald but most people know me as RiZ. I am a Junior in the College of the Liberal Arts majoring in Communication Arts & Sciences (CAS) and Sociology. I've always found speaking and writing fun especially when there is an opportunity to put your own personality into the work. My CAS classes throughout my years have helped me develop the tools I have as well as the chance to expand my knowledge of what it means to give a quality presentation and speech. Outside of class I enjoy creating and performing quality music as well as competitively playing basketball. I most enjoy working on the brainstorming and organization process for the outline as well, but also really enjoy delivery and style. I look forward to seeing you at the Speaking Center.

Sam Victor

Sam Victor

Sam Victor

What’s up! I am currently a sophomore studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I’m exploring all my opportunities here at Penn State as I’m now performing research in Dr. Keiler’s lab on antibiotics. I’m also a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan and I love watching and playing various sports with my friends. Most importantly, I love helping people academically or any other situation outside the classroom. Ironically, I used to fear public speaking more than anything. Even for the simplest presentation my hands would start to sweat like pigs in a desert and the butterflies in my stomach would flutter uncontrollably. But as I grew older, I learned more techniques to craft better speeches and deal with the natural nerves that arise. My CAS classes have helped me tremendously with my public speaking skills and I’m eager to help you in this area. So what are you waiting for! Come down to the Speaking Center and let’s get started.

Rob Voorhees

Rob Voorhees

Rob Voorhees

Hi! My name is Rob and I'm a senior here at Penn State. I'm double majoring in International Politics and the Russian language, and this past summer I had the incredible opportunity to travel to St. Petersburg, Russia to work on my Russian language skills. 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!