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 is open this fall from Tuesday, September 7 through Friday, December 9.

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

Location
7C Sparks Building

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!

Request a Presentation

Request a Presentation

Request a Presentation

Speaking Center Mentors would be happy to visit your class or organization to talk about the Center. The standard presentation lasts less than 5 minutes and explains the range of services offered, from topic selection and development all the way through delivery and how to deal with nervousness. Email speakingcenter@psu.edu with your preferred locations, times, and dates.

We also are able to provide more in-depth presentations on a range of speech development strategies, such as transitions and organization strategies, brainstorming, rehearsal strategies, and PowerPoint design. Email speakingcenter@psu.edu to discuss how we can tailor a presentation to the specific needs of your class or organization. (Because these presentations take additional time to develop, several weeks' notice may be required.)

Mentor Profiles

Mentor Profiles

Mentor Profiles

Derek Bannister

Derek Bannister

Derek Bannister

Hi! My name is Derek Bannister and I’m majoring in History and Economics. Other than mentoring within the Speaking Center, I am a writer for Onward State and a member of the club Project Paws (which I highly recommend for animal lovers). I am also a member of the Paterno Fellows Program and the Schreyer Honors College, and my dorkiness doesn’t stop there. I love all things sports, but you may also find me reading the Wall Street Journal or watching anything that Stephen Colbert does. I can’t wait to help you out, future mentee!

Katie Bartuska

Katie Bartuska

Katie Bartuska

Hi! I’m a member of the Class of 2019, pursuing majors in International Politics and Economics with a minor in History. I am also a member of the Schreyer Honors College. Outside of the classroom, I am involved with the Penn State International Affairs and Debate Association (Model UN!) and the United Nations Campus Advocates. I’m exceptionally passionate about education, travel, and history. In regards to speaking, I believe that my strengths lie in organization, the revision process, and visual aids. I love helping people feel confident about their speeches, and am looking forward to working with you!

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!

Matt Dabiero

Matt Dabiero

Matt Dabiero

Hello! My name is Matt and I’m majoring in Communications Arts and Sciences with a potential minor in Philosophy. Outside of the classroom, I run with my friends on the Club Cross Country team, and I am also heavily involved with Reformed University Fellowship, a Christian campus ministry here at Penn State. Most of my time is spent either studying, running, or building relationships with the people here on campus. I love studying communications because I hope these skills will help me better relate to my friends and allow me to have the best possible impact on others. I’d love to help out anyone preparing a speech, so stop in whenever you’re free. I’m looking forward to working with you!

Reilly Ebbs

Reilly Ebbs

Reilly Ebbs

Hi everyone! My name is Reilly Ebbs and I am Schreyer Honors Scholar majoring in history and anthropology with a minor in Jewish Studies focusing in genocide studies. I am Penn State EMT and a rape and domestic violence counselor advocate with the Centre County Women’s Resource Center. I am involved with the Presidential Leadership Academy and UPUA as a justice for Penn State’s Judicial Board and the Student Organization Conduct Committee as well as a member of the mock trial team. In my free time, I love to sleep! I am very passionate about public speaking and hope to attend law school after graduation and advocate for those in need. I am eager to assist you with your public speaking, and share some of my love for speech giving!

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!

Allison Gaddis

Allison Gaddis

Allison Gaddis

Hi everyone! My name is Allison, and I’m majoring in Risk Management: Actuarial Science with intended minors in Psychology and Statistics. Outside of the classroom, I’m very involved with Penn State Homecoming and THON, through committees and my special interest organization, Springfield. Other interests of mine include traveling, good food, good puns, and good conversation. I truly believe public speaking is a valuable skill that can last a lifetime. I’d love to help you with any concerns you may have, so don’t hesitate to stop by! The other mentors and I look forward to meeting you!

Gabby Giotto

Gabby Giotto

Gabby Giotto

Hi everyone! My name is Gabby Giotto, and I am double majoring in Political Science and French Language and Culture here at Penn State! I am also a Paterno Fellow with the College of Liberal Arts. Outside of school I am a member of an A Cappella group called The Coda Conduct, a volunteer for Peers Helping Reaffirm, Educate, and Empower, and a member of College of Democrats. Because of my background in performing, I have always enjoyed public speaking! My favorite type of speech to present is one with a creative topic and conversational tone; TED Talks are the best. In my eyes, communication is the most important aspect of life, so I cannot wait to help you share your voice!

Sangeetha Kannan

Sangeetha Kannan

Sangeetha Kannan

My name is Sangeetha and I am an Economics and Finance major. I am in Schreyer Honors College and I am also a Paterno Fellow. Eventually, I hope to go to to law school and be an international humanitarian lawyer. Outside of academics, my main activities include being on the mock trial team and their Judging Coordinator, being a Student Conduct Advisor, and a member of UPUA's Judicial Board. I have loved public speaking ever since I started doing mock trial in high school. It really gave me the chance to develop strong public speaking skills, which aren't enforced in basic academic courses. I am excited to help others craft speeches and I hope to share my love for public speaking!

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!

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!

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!

James Smith

James Smith

James Smith

Hello everyone! My name is James and I am currently studying Mechanical Engineering here at Penn State. I love learning about how Engineers design and fabricate different items that we all use in our daily lives. I am an active-duty sailor stationed at the NROTC unit. My current goals are to complete my degree by May 2018 and then serve on a submarine (hopefully in San Diego!!) I have always loved watching an amazing speech and then seeing how it impacts an audience. If anyone needs help with anything please come by the Speaking Center! All of us here would love to help you in any way we can.

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.