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 in 7C Sparks!
Mon: 10am-8pm
Tues: 10-11:30am, 1-9pm
Wed: 12:15-8pm
Thur: 10am-3pm

Make an Appointment

Make an appointment

Make an appointment

Generally, we recommend walk-in hours, but welcome meetings with specific Mentors about specific topics.

To request your appointment, complete the following:

Identify the area in which you would like assistance:
OR
Request a Mentor:







*Failure to show up for two appointments will result in your inability to schedule further appointments.
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

Maura Clark

Maura Clark

Maura Clark

Hi! My name is Maura Clark and I am a junior double majoring in History and Art with my focus being in painting and drawing. I love to give speeches that are motivational, personal, and poetic. Working with students on brainstorming ideas, finding a creative style of speech, and practicing delivery are my favorites, however, I’m happy to help with anything. When it comes to speeches, I love watching TED talks, and find Taylor Mali’s “Brave Viking Warrior” a beautiful poem that really speaks to the heart. Outside of school, I am involved in Lion Ambassadors, have been on a Morale committee for two years, and am a part of a small ‘good deeds’ club called Go.Change.Move.PSU. I hope to help lots of students with speeches, so come stop by and we can chat!

Alex Cook

Alex Cook

Alex Cook

Hello, my name is Alex. I’m a sophomore in the Schreyer Honors College majoring in mechanical engineering. Outside of class, I volunteer for the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) through the organization Atlas and the OPPerations committee. During orientation for the Schreyer Class of 2017, I will serve as a mentor for incoming students. Playing and listening to music is another broad interest of mine.

My first exposure to the art of public speaking came during my freshman year at Penn State. Although initially nerve-wracking, I soon came to love the process of crafting and delivering a speech. I particularly enjoy technical presentations on interesting topics in science and engineering. However, almost any speech can captivate me if executed well. I’m looking forward to meeting and working with my peers in this exciting method of communication. Feel free to stop by the center anytime!

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.

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.

Sarabeth Royer

Sarabeth Royer

Sarabeth Royer

Hello, all! My name is Sarabeth Royer and I am majoring in Animal Science in the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State. 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!

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!